Flimsy Sanity: This Was Interesting

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This Was Interesting

CANDIDATES’ VOTING RECORDS COMPARED (updated March 4, 2008) (Clinton scores better than Obama)
Here’s how they voted:

(1) Confirmation of Condoleeza Rice to be Secretary of State
Vote taken: 1/26/2005
Analysis: Neo-con, war criminal
Clinton: Yes, Obama: Yes, McCain: Yes

(2) Tort “reform” (Class Action Fairness Act of 2005)
Vote taken: 2/10/2005
Analysis: Opposed by more than 68 consumer, civil rights, environmental and labor groups, it was described as the “final [Republican] payback to the tobacco, asbestos, oil and chemical industries, at the expense of ordinary families whose health has been compromised.”
Clinton: No, Obama: Yes, McCain: Yes

(3) Dayton Amendment (S.Amdt. 31) to the 2005 Bankruptcy Act
Vote taken: 3/3/2005
Analysis: Would cap credit card interest rates at 30%. Senator Dayton provided examples of predatory lenders charging vulnerable people more than 1000%/year interest. Republicans argued that “free-markets” should set interest rates, and government should not interfere.
Clinton: Yes, Obama: No, McCain: No

(4) Energy Policy Act of 2005
Vote taken: 7/29/2005
Analysis: A corporate-welfare bill called “bad policy” by Public Citizen because it gives “billions of dollars in unjustified subsidies to the fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries,” rolls back environmental regulations for the oil and gas industry, and “repeals the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), an essential consumer protection that ensures that electric utilities exist to serve the people, not the profit interests of large corporations.”
Clinton: No, Obama: Yes, McCain: No

(5) Dorgan Amendment (S.Amdt. 1665) to the 2005 Commerce Appropriations Bill
Vote taken: 9/15/2005
Analysis: Would prevent future trade deals that allow “dumping” of products into the U.S. at prices below their cost of acquisition (harming U.S. farmers, ranchers, businesses and workers), by prohibiting the Commerce Department from weakening current countervailing duties and antidumping laws.
Clinton: Yes, Obama: No, McCain: No

(6) Confirmation of John Roberts to the Supreme Court
Vote taken: 9/29/2005)
Analysis: Hard right-winger
Clinton: No, Obama: No, McCain: Yes

(7) Confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court
Vote taken: 1/31/2006
Analysis: Hard right-winger
Clinton: No, Obama: No, McCain: Yes

(8) USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
Vote taken: 3/1/2006
Analysis: Allows the government to spy on citizens in “fishing expeditions” without probable cause or a court order, including listening to telephone calls, intercepting emails, accessing private medical records, library records and bank records, and searching homes and businesses without permission or knowledge.
Clinton: Yes, Obama: Yes, McCain: Yes

(9) Feinstein Amendment (S.Amdt. 4882) to the 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations Act
Vote taken: 9/06/2006
Analysis: Outlaws use of cluster bombs in most cases, in order to protect civilian lives from unexploded cluster munitions.
Clinton: No, Obama: Yes, McCain: No

(10) Iraq withdrawal timeline goal (2007 Supplemental Appropriations Act)
Vote taken: 3/29/2007
Analysis: Provides that, “The President shall commence the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, with the goal of redeploying, by March 31, 2008, all United States combat forces from Iraq.”
Clinton: Yes, Obama: Yes, McCain: No

(11) Kyl-Lieberman resolution on Iran
Vote taken: 9/26/2007
Analysis: Tantamount to a declaration of war (Sen. James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy).
Clinton: Yes, Obama: NV, McCain: NV

(12) Feingold-Reid Amendment (S.Amdt. 3164) to the 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations Act
Vote taken: 10/3/2007
Analysis: Requires the President to safely redeploy all U.S. troops from Iraq by June 30, 2008, except for those needed for al Qaeda operations, security and training.
Clinton: Yes, Obama: NV, McCain: No

This came from the comments section: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/04/7465/
as did this reasoned argument on why to vote for Obama (italics mine) from Reality Checker:
I have been a member of the Green Party since 2002 and I plan on voting for Obama. And thanks to all the self-congratulatory cynics on these forums for the warm messages you have for people like me. But alas, I am not stupid (or even stupider) or disillusioned. I am not voting for Obama because I think he will change anything. I am voting for Obama because he is the catalyst that is leading a movement that is independent of any one person or their policy positions, and it in fact could transcend any political party. I really don’t care how we get there or by what name, the fact is that we need to build a large enough coalition to have political power in this country. So I am joining the millions of new voters and the millions of recently re-engaged voters and the millions of former Democratic voters in building a movement for things that we all agree we want. Universal health care, a living wage, restoring the Constituion and demanding justice to name just a small few. Do I think Obama will bring this change? NO! But I believe that the people supporting him want these things and eventually will demand these things. If we don’t act to build a movement instead of tearing down coalitions because you don’t think they are pure enough or revolutionary enough then we are also destined to fail. The Green Party movement is a viable option right now for local governments and elections. But why do progressives insist on trickle-down politics? Trying to elect a Green President when there isn’t a Green Congress person or Governor, or even a Green Secretary of State is futile? If the object is to create meaningful change, and the only change we ever receive is the change we demand, then at some point we need to build a large enough coalition so that we can not be ignored. So you can join us in creating the change we want, or you can continue to sit on the sidelines and scoff at the people trying to make a difference regardless of political party but in the end we are all part of the new majority of Americans and unless we consolidate we will never have enough power. In-fighting and divisions between progressives only strengthens the fascists. There is nothing smart about putting Party (or despising a party) ahead of principle whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent or a Green….. So I choose to have a 2 pronged strategy- I am actively working on building a viable third party while also trying to foster a movement that currently is found marginally within Democratic voters. I just don’t see the virtue in only voting for ideologically pure candidates or parties when there is so much work to do and so many people to convince. We can do both, Si se puede!


  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous R J Adams said…

    I'll go with Reality Checker. It's truly the only way forward. Power has to come from the people, not the politicians. It's up to the people to force the hands of the politicians. Obama is the only one creating a public surge right now.

  • At 4:13 PM, Blogger Nader Enthusiast said…

    rj: I'm still supporting Nader, but Reality Checker is the only one who gave a plausible reason to vote for a corpo-democrat. As far as I can see, this country is going down the toilet whether it swirls to the right or the left. I just love when someone like Nader keeps fighting no matter how outrageous the odds or the amount of ridicule heaped on his head.


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