nader.jpgOkay, so spoilsport Ralph Nader, who many decades ago did some good things for the US of A, has decided once again to run as a Republican shill. As we all recall, crestfallen, in 2000 Al Gore lost the election by a minimal margin to George Bush. That margin went, without question, to Nader who managed to snag about 100,000 votes. There were at least a couple of other states that went to Bush along with their delegates in the Electoral College because Nader grabbed enough of the votes that would have gone to Gore to sway the election. Overall, Nader’s 2.7% of the vote in 2000 was enough to place Bush in office.

That isn’t the problem since any person should be able to run for office in a democracy. The problem was Nader’s platform that the two parties, Democrats and Republicans, were essentially no different from each other and he offered a true alternative. His claim was that there would be no substantial difference between Bush and Gore as President.

There were enough people pulled from the Democratic ranks of voters who agreed, that the election went to Bush and we have witnessed the results for 8 years now. For example, would Don Siegelman be in prison right now under a Gore-run Justice Department? No. Would we be in Iraq? No. Would our national deficit and national debt even be in the same ballpark as now? No. Would the US Dollar be in the same kind of funk? No. Would the Justice Department be fighting on behalf of medical device manufacturers who develop faulty products to save them from lawsuits? No. Would there be another generation of a majority Conservative Supreme Court determining our futures? No. And so forth.

Now, it’s not as if any of this couldn’t have been predicted. It was predicted (by many people including yours truly), and it took nothing less than straight-faced lying by Nader to continually make the claim that there was going to be no difference between a Bush and Gore Administration. By the way, he did not back down from this claim and continues to repeat it even now.

This time around, the spiel is a little different but similar enough:

Nader criticized Republican candidate Sen. John McCain and Democrats Obama and Clinton alike for failing to crack down on Pentagon waste and a “bloated military budget.” Nader, who as a consumer activist challenged the products of major corporations, blamed the parties’ inaction on the influence of corporate lobbyists and special interests in the capital.

“The issue is, do they have the moral courage, do they have the fortitude to stand up to corporate powers and get things done for the American people?” Nader said of the leading candidates. “We have to shift the power from the few to the many.”

“You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalised and disrespected. You go from Iraq, to Palestine, to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts … in that context I have decided to run for president

What the fuck? Palestine? Israel? Oh wait, that’s just another in a series of irrelevant lies.

His other reason for running? That the Democrats tried to shut him out of some ballots in the 2004 election (he got into 34 ballots in the end but only won 0.3% of the national vote). This is revenge, apparently. After all, he expected the Democrats to lie down and lose another election thanks to his interference and lying claim that there’s no difference between the two main parties’ nominees.

Tell us, Mr. Nader, you announced that you would not run if you couldn’t raise $10 million. Since you are running as an independent, without the support of the Greens or the Socialists or any other existing party, where are you getting this money? $10 million is a lot of money.

Let’s allow a Republican candidate for President to provide a hint:

“Actually, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race,” [Mike] Huckabee said.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

When a man runs for President on the platform that there was and is no difference between the two main parties’ nominees even after the past 8 years of having experienced the extraordinarily significant difference between the two, that man is either lying or he’s a moron. I will let Nader’s supporters decide which it is.

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  • so he shouldnt run because people vote for him! more power to him that he runs against the establishment.i mean bill clinton won because of ross perot and thats fine. we live in a democracy where unfortunately there is only a 2 party system. maybe he can shake it up a little,

  • He can run. I’m just identifying him as a Republican shill. I don’t think he should be too offended since he claims that the Democrats running are really the opposite side of the same coin as the Republicans.

    He shouldn’t run on the basis of lies. If he wants to run as a Republican, he can do so. If his intention is to once again bring a Republican into office, he should say so. The claim that the two parties are the same is ludicrous.

  • TM,

    Can you give us a quote from Nader where he says they are the same? I’d like to see that in print.

    If that’s what he states explicitly, then yes, I agree, he is delusional. But I would agree with him somewhat, in that both parties have become more centrist that its hard to clearly differentiate between the two. It’s also impossible to make unequivocal predictions about ‘what would have happened’ if Gore was elected, or Kerry was elected. Life would have been different, no doubt, but any claim made has no evidence to stand behind it.

    I like Nader. He’s kind of bizarre, but he’s been attacked his entire career. He’s also one of the reasons why we have seatbelts in cars. Thanks Ralphie.

  • That took all of .045466 seconds on Google.

    Q. So you really believe that the two parties are the same?

    A. Yes, on most issues. On the most basic issues of cordoning power from people as voters, consumers and taxpayers, they’ve very similar. Look at the massive mergers that went on during Clinton-Gore. GATT, Nafta, corporate crime, corporate welfare — the same.

    Q. You kept calling Gore and Bush Tweedledee and Tweedledum during the campaign. So you still think there’s hardly any difference between the two?

    A. On most issues. In foreign policy, the Commerce Department, agriculture, criminal justice, defense, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and even most of the regulatory agencies.

    Totally delusional, I’m sorry.

    As for predicting that Gore would have acted differently than Bush, I’m sorry that I can’t create an alternate dimension that you can visit and see for yourself, but this country and the world would have been extremely different today if Gore had won. I’m not Sure Kerry would have been able to change much of what Bush had put into play, but we wouldn’t have had the two Supreme Court justices we got from Bush. There would have been two centrist justices appointed to the bench. I also don’t believe the Justice Department would have behaved as it has under Bush.

  • Here’s a sneaky way to explain his position even as he openly admits that he’s wrong. He’s wrong, but he’s right. There is a difference, but not in the big picture. In the big picture, there’s no difference.

    Q: That idea, that there’s no genuine difference between the two parties, is the most provocative thing you say. There are so many people now who would say that there’s a tremendous difference.

    A: That’s because they’re focusing on their single issue, and we focus on the whole government. Sure, there’s a difference on pro-choice and how they handle Social Security and Medicare. I can see for example if your biggest issue is pro-choice, that you can say, well, there’s a tremendous difference between Republicans and Democrats. As I say to the pro-choice people who oppose our candidacy, “You’re pro-choice but you’re not pro-choice in terms of there being more than two parties on the ballot, are you?” And then I say to them, “What if both parties were against choice? Would you start a third party? You’d start it before I even ended the conversation with you.” You see what I mean?

    We’re talking about food and drug; we’re talking about occupational safety; we’re talking about the military budget, which continues to grow under both parties; we’re talking about how the treasury department is catering to big business in so many ways, the crooked tax system that taxes working people higher than taxing wealth. We’re talking about the rising power of agribusiness crushing the family farm, like ADM and Cargo and the giant packers. We have many, many yardsticks, and when you add up the yardsticks, here’s what you can conclude–that the similarities between the two parties tower over the dwindling differences that the Democrats are willing to fight over, not just provide rhetoric.

    They were rhetorically against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, but they allowed them to go through when they were in the position to block them. In fact, the big one in 2001, the Senate had just gone under Democratic control after Sen. Jeffords turned independent and voted with the Democrats, and they still let it through. In my book, Crashing the Party, in the appendix it has 20 major areas that Clinton-Gore were taking positions on or not doing anything about, and the heading of the two pages listing them are “Wouldn’t George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have done the same thing?”

    Seems to me like he’s ready to play rhetorical games to defend his indefensible position that would put Vladimir Putin and Yasser Arafat to shame.

  • Here’s another admission of the same:

    For Mr Nader there is little practical difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, and the real challenge is to try to establish a third party in US politics,something, he says, the Democrats bitterly oppose.

    “The corporations have won this election. They have been winning these elections for years … If there is a difference [between the parties] it is rhetoric. Why is Kerry identical to Bush on Iraq? I evaluate the Democrats on defence as well as offence … Why did they not stop Bush? They [say] they were against the tax cuts for the wealthy but they did not stop it even when they controlled the Senate.”

  • I saw Nader on Tim Russert’s program yesterday, and he’s right that plenty of issues are going undiscussed in the campaign. Nader’s also got the poor performance of Congress under Pelosi and Reid going for him. Pelosi can’t even seem to get anything done on ethics reform, much less the Iraq war.

    Middle, I think you should save the lion’s share of your disdain for the folks who vote for Nader. It’s not his fault that the American left has a propensity for circular firing squads. This certainly didn’t begin with him.

  • Tom, there are always going to be undiscussed issues in campaigns. There are multiple reasons for this and usually they are related to what interests voters in polls. It’s not in a candidate’s interest to shy away from an issue that is uppermost on voters’ consciousness and anyway, it doesn’t happen. Can a candidate introduce a topic that voters aren’t worried about? Sure, except that she is risking an election loss since the issue doesn’t resonate with voters. When governing, the issues will probably affect the government anyway and not discussing them in a campaign doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t come up when governing.

    In addition, even the true points that Nader makes, (i.e. corporations and big business have too much sway and control over politicians) are rendered absurd by his record. He helped put into power a President who has now appointed two SC justices whose ideological positions seek to strengthen those corporations. Nader yells how both parties are the same but neither Gore nor Kerry would ever have appointed Roberts (to head the court yet!) and Alito. They are Nader’s legacy as much as Bush’s and the recent pro-business decisions the court is handing out are just the beginning.

    I hold Nader’s followers responsible, but the man knows what he’s doing and it’s shameful. And yes, the American Left (and the international Left) does have a propensity for circular firing squads.

  • u forget to ask if rove works for hillary now also. hillary likes to say how the democrat party cant bash each other using rovian tactics. it seems though that its ok for hillary to use clintonian tactics.

  • Before Hillary ever said that Obama was using Rovian tactics, I said so right here on Jewlicious.

    If anything, Hillary has been way too soft in attacking Obama. Based on the attacks I’ve seen on her, including by his supporters who come here to sell him, I’d say Obama’s campaign stops at nothing to besmirch Hillary.

  • Just wait and see. The Clintons are masters of character assassination.

    I think client is doomed because much of her strategy took an anti-hope, anti-dream speech. Obama is king of the JFK dream, and Hillary is trying to open that window, but she can’t.

    That’s why I think she’ll lose. She’s always struggled to compete with him on that ethos, and still can’t do it.

  • What’s hilarious is that Middle probably doesn’t even understand that Nader could take votes away from Hillary (who is owned by corporations), but not from Obama. 😉

    Interesting new concept: A “delusional” “shill”.

  • There are many things I don’t understand. For instance, when I read how Nader called Obama a pro-Palestinian coward who won’t ‘fess up to his pro-Palestinian leanings. Is Nader right or wrong? It did get covered extensively in the press.

    By the way, Montana, is this you?

    “And our general view has been, that the internet is very difficult, because it is very low cost, it can just be churned out and you can’t trace it back to where it’s coming from. What we have tried to do is just make sure that we are flooding the internet with the accurate information and pushing back as much as possible. I don’t think that we are in an era anymore where you can just ignore these things and not dignify them. There was a time when they would be amplified as consequence of you calling attention to it. I don’t think that’s the case any more because of our media age. You know we saw what happened with the swiftboat situation back in 2004. All you have to do is run the ad once and then it gets repeated. And so what we’ve done is try to lift it up and actively debunk it and encourage stories about it.”

    That’s Obama talking to a Jewish group in Ohio. I can’t help but think of your aggressive attacks on Hillary and defense of Obama on our site when I read that.

    And then there’s this:

    “I understand people’s concern with Brzezinski given how much offense the Israeli lobby raised, but he’s not one of my central advisors.”

    Shades of Walt & Mearsheimer. What fucking Israeli lobby? Does he mean that those people who have a problem with Brzezinski on his team are part of an “Israeli lobby?” Is that the “pro-Likud” strain of Jews he’s talking about? Or just regular Jews that support Israel? Who qualifies for the “Israeli Lobby?”

    Could you please tell your campaign that it’s understood Obama didn’t really mean it, but it would be nice if he didn’t go around giving further impetus to the Walt & Mearsheimer libel? Thanks.

  • American Jews who actually care about Israel and happen to be Democrats are going to have some real soul searching to do once Obama becomes the D nominee.

  • Interesting comment on Zbig, Middle. Barack’s track record is decidedly pro-Palestinian (though I’m sure he’d deny that he’s anti-Israel). One looks forward to the feverish efforts people on this site will make to discount this record.

    It’ll be quite an irony if European leaders turn out to be to the right of President Obama on Israel. At least there’s Angela Merkel to rely on.

  • He even uses Palestinian propaganda lingo painting Likud as the equivalent (or worse) than Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc.

  • Wow, Nader called Obama a “pro-Palestinian coward”? Maybe there is something I actually DO agree with Nader about.

  • Thanks for the link, Middle. What emerges for me is a candidate intent on taking a different approach across a range of issues. Israeli hard-liners will take no comfort in his advocacy of talking to Ahmadinejad. And it’s disappointing that he’s inclined to blame the Iraq war for our unpopularity in the Muslim world.

    He’s certainly rhetorically very pro-Israel. But his advisers, and his comments critical of the Likud, again strongly signal a different approach, a departure from the past 7 years.

    There’s a left-liberal allergy to the use of force in evidence, don’t you think?

  • That wasn’t me, Muddle. And if you could find it within you to see whether it’s worth trusting what people tell you every now and then – instead of assuming a conspiratorial mindframe – you would have remembered that I don’t work for Obama. So I’ve got no weight to pull with him on that one. Sorry.

    I’m no fan of Brzezinski’s approach to Middle East politics, so Obama’s alleged proximity to him is of no comfort to me, either. But why bring up M & W now? Whatever the Israel “lobby” means, the American people support Israel. So do Jews generally. So does AIPAC. So whatever M & W’s numerous shortcomings in the thesis they wrote and in the book that they published, the fact is that they are and were reknown generational super-scholars in political science. They should have therefore known why their sloppy arguments would have been rightly considered as offensive as they were. Obama, being none of the above, was more likely to have simply spoken clumsily and in a way that implies something more innocuous than what you parse his statement to mean, than where Mearsheimer and Walt.

    I’ll take Tom’s word that Obama has been critical of Likud. I haven’t seen it. But I’ll trust that. I’m not sure why that would be such a problem. Kadima is in power now. The Israeli people are with Kadima. AIPAC, being supportive of whomever is currently in charge in Israel, must therefore also be with Kadima. They seem to be doing more for Israel than any other party could be doing for Israel right now – at least in the eyes of the electorate of our staunch ally that is the only democracy in the Middle East. Is someone alleging Obama of being critical of Kadima?

    What no one seems to be expressing, however, are doubts about the strength of Obama’s pro-Israel rhetoric. I’ll take someone strong enough to speak truth to power any day by going to Ramallah and showing no hesitation in telling Palestinians that they can expect Jack S*&# from Uncle Sam until they stop the terrorism and give up all their clamoring for a mythical right of “return” and a one-state “solution” status quo ante. I am also willing to entertain the argument, that Tom mentions displeasure from hard-liners on, that talking to enemies can show strength and that refusing to talk to them can show fear and weakness. It’s all in how it’s done. Talking to someone is not necessarily an endorsement of their position, and it can even be a challenging show of force against them – like when Hillary says to Obama “Shame on you, Barack Obama!” “Meet me in Ohio!” (to debate).

    Not everything is always as simple as it seems.

  • Sorry. I should have said Middle instead of Muddle. I realize how hurt you felt about Obama’s statement and shouldn’t have made fun of your attempt to turn it back onto me. Again, this is the first I’d heard of them.

    As you can see above, I’m obviously willing to be critical of Obama (or at least, of his “associations”), so the last thing I’m doing is some kind of organized “reverse-swift boating”. I just like to debate, is all.

  • You don’t work for Obama, but there are many volunteers out there doing exactly what you do. In fact, we had another guy here just a couple of days ago whose style and Obama references were so similar to yours that I compared your IP addresses.

    I didn’t say things were simple and if you read the transcript I provide to Tom in comment 17, you’ll read Obama’s entire presentation that day and it includes many statements of strong support for Israel.

    Within his statements are a couple of red flags and they may be meaningless but they should be looked at. He says,

    This is where I get to be honest and I hope I’m not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I’ve seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn’t talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we’re going to have problems moving forward. And that I think is something we have to have an honest dialogue about. None of these emails talk about the fact that on the other side, members of my national finance committee, like Lester Crown, are considered about has hawkish and tough when it comes to Israel as anybody in the country. So, there’s got to be some balance here. I’ve got a range of perspectives and a range of advisors who approach this issue. They would all be considered well within the mainstream of that bipartisan consensus that I raised or that we talked about in terms of being pro-Israel. There’s never been any of my advisors who questioned the need for us to provide Israel with security, with military aid, with economic aid. That there has to be a two state solution, that Israel has to remain a Jewish state. None of my advisors would suggest that, so I think its important to keep some of these things in perspective. I understand people’s concern with Brzezinski given how much offense the Israeli lobby raised, but he’s not one of my central advisors. There is an article in Newsweek, not to make this overly political, this issue that shows that there has been a fairly systemic effort on the part of some of my opponent’s supporters, I wont say it was sanctioned from the top, to constantly feed this suspicion, and I want people to take my words and my track record of years on this issue to heart.

    Those of us who follow the pro-Palestinian side of the debate MAY read the “pro-Likud” comment as reminiscent of the Juan Cole school of thought. Cole, as you may know, refers to pro-Israel advocates as “Likudniks” and does so dismissively and disparagingly as if they are all liars and propagandists, not to mention supporters of what he considers the evil state of Israel.

    Almost by definition, Cole’s “Likudniks” are the very same people Walt & Mearsheimer refer to as the “Israel Lobby.” According to W&M, any supporter of Israel who directly or indirectly expresses support of Israel (i.e., if you’re a member of a synagogue whose rabbi expresses support for Israel, you’re part of the “Israel Lobby”) is a member of the “Lobby.” The “Lobby” according to W&M, supports Israel’s actions aggressively and often in contradiction with American interests. W&M take great pains to undermine Israel’s moral position before they present their account of the “Israel Lobby” because if Israel is unethical or immoral then the US government has less reason to be supportive. If the US government has less reason to be supportive, then Israel’s supporters – the “Israel Lobby” – are doubly immoral and unethical. The first time, in their support of the unethical and immoral state of Israel and the second time in their supposed manipulation of the US to act in ways supportive of this unethical state that also contradict the interests of the US. In other words, the “Israel lobby” which probably encompasses about 63% of American Jews according to W&M’s own figures, are Juan Cole’s “Likudniks.”

    What Obama’s statement may point to, and I admit that I am not sure of this, is that he is not only familiar with both Cole and W&M’s presentations (which is fine and desirable), but buys their ideas and simply reflected some of this thinking in his comments. That would be very bad.

    Not simple at all.

  • Yes. All of this is possible. And we should monitor what he says very carefully and hold his feet to the fire should he waver. But until then I think it is perfectly reasonable to judge him by his policy stances rather than by a single word or two that could, in a very extreme case, suggest indoctrination into a school of thought that is as utterly impractical as it is unpopular.

    Remember, Obama draws his strength from 1. His popularity. 2. His pragmatism. There is no favortism against Israel position that is popular among the American public and there is no pragmatic support for that from either party either. As someone who frames his political character on successfully working with both parties to achieve the best interests and desires of the American people, taking the Juan Cole road seems to stand in complete opposition to that. There may be a small part of him that might even feel sympathetic to it in some small way – who knows?-, but he will obviously have to learn that there is nothing to be gained if he doesn’t bring any such ostensible twinges of insufferable naivite into reality.

    And he should understand the limits of Samantha Power’s sympathies, as well. So there!

  • Yo, TM. I’m reading the NY Sun article. I actually really like this. He comes across as a very honest guy. Regarding the swift-boating neutralization, he says this is in retaliation for calling him a Muslim as if that false insinuation should be used as a smear in the first place. (Maybe not to those spreading it, but to the audience). He’s right to respond like this – noting the pattern in which the provocations occur – I think. And regarding Zbiggy, he says “I do not share his views with respect to Israel. I have said so clearly and unequivocally.”

    I think this just highlights his strengths as a politician. No one’s tried to be this upfront in their honesty before, without any fear that it would backfire or fear of recriminations. I think this strengthens political discourse generally – by focusing on illuminating issues and highlighting salient distinctions rather than on framing debates – and in a way that all of us who staunchly support Israel will be better off for. There’s an honest story to tell regarding what’s 100% right about supporting Israel. Allowing the discourse to mature to the point where it is so comfortable and forthcoming with that narrative, and less afraid of how others – who are adversarial to that narrative – would frame any current debates, should be a welcome thing, at least as far as I can tell.

    If I may say so, it’s entirely possible that the two-sided partisan/Manichean mindset has allowed us to believe that a once-universally American sense support for Israel could legitimately be turned into a debate in the first place.

  • Wow Middle. Hillary’s schooling Obama in Ohio on the issue of support from unsavory people. Good for her, and both of them.

  • Yeah. That was the feel-good debate of the year. I love watching these debates. Why can’t they have a presidency like this? A Co-Presidency? With Bill C. banished to like South America or something. If only their massive egos wouldn’t keep getting in the way. You know me. I’m too blind to see the “demographic” weaknesses of the ticket and other logistical problems. But imagine if they were to win and govern anything like this. Even take the co-presidency on the road, on a travel circuit – much like these debates. That would be a damn strong thing. Too logical to happen.

  • Check out the 2nd sentence after the first bold-type passage in the Obama quote at #22. It’s perhaps the most revealing thing he said in that appearance. It’s quite clear, isn’t it: if you’re pro-Palestinian, or a Peace Now type, or subscribe to Tikkun, and want a substantial shift in the direction of US Mideast policy, there’s only one choice in this election.

    McCain’s jibes dovetail with the news Senate Republicans are permitting debate on the latest Democratic Iraq withdrawal resolution– the better to lock Obama in. Progress in Iraq is a big problem for Obama and such of his fellow Democrats who refuse to acknowledge that progress is being made. Obama would be well-advised to move to the center on this issue and take it away from McCain.

    Here’s how McCain beats Obama. The latter has struck, to my understanding, two broad themes: (a) change, which implies substantive shifts in policy, presumably in a liberal direction; and (b) bringing warring sides together in a less polarized, cooperative approach to governance. There’s a tension between the two. If McCain can corner the market on bipartisan cooperation– and his record is far more persuasive on this than Obama’s– he’s got a real chance, especially if he can successfully paint Obama as too liberal and too partisan.

    Make no mistake, though. Obama is a clear favorite to win the White House.

  • Thank g-d he didn’t win. Otherwise, he wouldn’t of had time to perfect the internet and his theory of global warming. 🙂

  • Tom, there’s a perceived tension between the two, but there only need be a real tension between “liberal” and “conservative” positions if one’s understanding of the political spectrum is more linear than circular. Conservatives traditionally favor restricting the power of government against the individual. And hence, videotaping crime confessions was a “liberal” position that Obama got “conservatives” to endorse. Passing bills to account for a transparent system of tracking political funds, etc. was a “liberal” position that Obama got “conservatives” to endorse. And I think that being unafraid to directly confront our enemies in a negotiation is neither a liberal nor a conservative position necessarily, but another example of appealing to basic logic in getting your political opponents to admit that they really have no case against it.

    So your advice on how McCain beats Obama also has to be tempered by the observations that true conservatives hate him, and that Obama wins as many Republican cross-over votes as he does Independents because the former would really respect someone with that much honesty and integrity as their head of state. It doesn’t always come down only to hard-headed political ideology, especially when the practitioners of McCain’s proclaimed ideology find him to be a huge phony anyway. I predict his ability to mobilize the partisan conservative vote is as hobbled as his inability to mobilize the evangelical vote, especially as more evangelicals continue to re-examine why they would affiliate so knee-jerkingly with the Republicans. The Huckabee phenomenon apparently shows them to be not much enamored of fiscal discipline and small government approaches to social welfare.

  • Montana, absent the presence of s Ross Perot-style third party candidate, McCain has the conservative vote locked up, despite the grumbling of the ‘movement’ types. Viewing the election on an Electoral College basis, McCain can comfortably count on the usual suspects among red states.

    Your point about ideology being a far from rigid thing in US politics is well-taken. However, as we saw this week in the dust-up over al-Qaeda in Iraq, McCain will chisel away at Obama’s positions and induce him to assert a ‘liberal’ position, in this case of course on the war. Obama, in contrast, will try to twist Bush around McCain’s neck, so there will be a symmetry there.

    Huckabee is hard to pin down at this point, but my sense is he’s morphed into an anti-McCain protest vote, while still drawing evangelicals. The evangelicals will not stray this fall but may stay home. I suspect they’ll turn out for a candidate whose pro-life voting record is his ace in the hole.

    Don’t underestimate the combination of Farrakhan’s endorsement/Barack Hussein Obama/a somewhat nutty minister/questions over Obama’s commitment to Israel. There will be more than enough smoke there for evangelicals to comfortably support McCain. In this regard, Jews may be important. If enough of them take Lieberman’s cue, evangelicals might conclude that Obama places Israel at risk. That alone would be enough to keep them on the Republican reservation.

  • Obama’s fip flopping on NAFTA and staying the course in Iraq will also become central topics. Sure, John McCain has flip flopped a ton, he’s endorsed Shamnesty, was against the Bush tax cuts, helped create McCain/Fiengold and McCain/Kennedy bills, but at least he’s past more than 1 bill he has authored in 4 years, has a serious military record which should be required of a Commander in Chief IMO, and his supporters actually know about his accomplishments and not just that he is a great speaker and is “hopeful”. Well, if you’ve watched the latest talking points from the Obama campaign, it reaks more of fear and depression than hope and audacious optimism. On top of that, now comes news that other black Obama supporters are intimidating Clinton’s black super delegates. Yeah, sounds like real change there!