« Walkback | Main | All McCain's Men »

July 21, 2008

Comments

Indirectly, this shows McCain's lack of computer literateness. Someone who GOT the Internet would have made a comprehensive website a higher priority.

The McCain demographic is largely computer phobic or not interested in them. It is no surprise that his web site is from the dark ages.

McCain himself is computer illiterate. He perceives little value in the internet, doesn't understand it and is likely afraid of it to some degree. Just like my mother...

Look under "National Security" and you may notice that he feels that the President is sworn to "preserve and protect" the citizens.

I wish people would realize that the President swears to protect the Constitution.

Sad thing is that most people fall for this. Especially after this administration.

I am concerned about Obama’s plan to put all (the majority of?) college students to work for the state. I was able to defend my premise that it was for all by finding the word ‘universal’ (without ‘voluntary’) on Obama’s website under Issues under Education. This was probably six months ago.

Searching Obama-Issues-Education tonight, I can’t find anything about putting college students to work for the state.

You were kind enough to recently provide a link that stated that this service was now ‘universal voluntary’. How do you navigate to that information?

Why isn't this a serious critique of McCain's campaign? We have political campaigns run by our country's best and brightest, spending millions of dollars every month. Is it too much to ask them to write down their policy positions and put them on the web?

That McCain is old and perhaps computer phobic is besides the point, and something of a cheap shot, you don't need to be computer literate to govern. But that he hasn't hired a couple of interns to put these papers up on the web is inexecusable.

That's because you've quit seeing your case worker and stopped taking your meds, Bill.

Hope you get well.

It works for McCain, though. If conservatives knew what his policies were in any detailed way, they might be less inclined to vote for him.

Bear in mind, though, McCain doesn't even have to plan on winning: all he has to do is score enough votes to be a basis for turning and have media support for a coherent narrative that "explains" how he really won - then American unwillingness to believe their elections are rigged will do the rest.

On the other hand, this story (via) suggests that Obama has taken on board the fact that to be in the White House in January, he has to have the voting machines on his side in November.

Just a little Budweiser Ed, which is good for you, by the way. Obama’s website has changed. Technically, it looks worse, at least on my computer.

The technical changes do not bother me.

Shorter Bill on Obama: There's just something about that boy I don't like.

Jesurgislac;

I am the one who got called ‘boy’ today. See the recent open thread. And I’m the one who got censored.

Dejectedly;

BOBill: Barack Obama's policy on community service is in a separate Service section. It still contains the dreaded word "universal" although I have to agree with the others that the word "voluntary" is somewhat more important.

Thank you for the link Usergoogol;

Quoting Obama’s verbage:

“President Bush squandered an opportunity to mobilize the American people following 9/11 when he asked Americans only to go shopping.”

He should have put all the college students to work for the state. Duh. Stupid President Bush.

Except for those college students who opted out of universal volunteer service. Those unpatriotic students would need special status. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

blevene; Why isn't this a serious critique of McCain's campaign? We have political campaigns run by our country's best and brightest, spending millions of dollars every month. Is it too much to ask them to write down their policy positions and put them on the web?

I presume because more Americans are like the trollBOB currently infesting the thread, or are like von, than are like Hilzoy. TrollBOB doesn't care what McCain's policy positions are: he's just going to keep spewing the same old same old about Obama. Von doesn't care what McCain's policy positions are: McCain's definitely a conservative, Obama's less of one, so Von will support the conservative.

And though we're seeing the bad examples from the other side, I don't doubt there are people supporting Obama for equally mindless reasons.

Jesurgislac;

John McCain has his problems, but he produced a son who rebelled against the birthright granted him, wearing boots tonight as a Marine Corps enlisted rifleman in Iraq. Nobody directed McCain’s son to be a universal volunteer. He just felt the pull to enlist, no doubt against his father’s advice. And with that, here are some lyrics from an album that I have come to respect:

All summer we just hurried
so come over, just be patient, and don't worry.
So come over, just be patient, and don't worry.

So come over, just be patient, and don't worry.

And don't worry.

No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end;
I don't wanna cycle, recycle revenge;
I don't wanna follow death and all his friends.

Good night.

From Obama's Faith issue:

"Senator Obama also laid down principles for how to discuss faith in a pluralistic society, including the need for religious people to translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values during public debate."

There was also a Newsweek article (front page) on Obama's faith. The candidates are really trying to court the Jesus vote this election cycle. Would it be wrong to state "Your religion is none of my damn business" or would that leave too much print space for real issues (Iraq, the economy, etc.)?

Imaginary Republican: "I don't see how we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in this government. And I want to warn everyone in the press and all the voters out there. If you demand expressions of religious faith from politicians, you are just begging to be lied to. They won't all lie to you, but a lot of them will, and it'll be the easiest lie they ever had to tell to get your votes. So, every day until the end of this campaign, I'll answer any question anyone has on government. But if you have a question on religion, please, go to church. Thank you."

Real Republican: "I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Mr. Bush said. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit. On the other hand, I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord."

Sportsmen?

John McCain has his problems, but he produced a son who rebelled against the birthright granted him, wearing boots tonight as a Marine Corps enlisted rifleman in Iraq. Nobody directed McCain’s son to be a universal volunteer. He just felt the pull to enlist, no doubt against his father’s advice.

Aside from the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, I think it's quite dumb to assume that he enlisted against his father's advice.

You have no doubt that McCain sat his son down and said "No son, I certainly don't want you to carry on the family mantle and be the fourth generation to serve this country."?

bwaage: You have no doubt that McCain sat his son down and said "No son, I certainly don't want you to carry on the family mantle and be the fourth generation to serve this country."?

The rest of us have no doubt that Brick Oven Bill makes this kind of thing up as he goes along. He just doesn't want us to discuss McCain's website versus Obama's website, that's all.

You inspired me to start poking around the issue section of Obama's website in more detail, and actually Obama does have a policy paper dedicated to autism spectrum disorders (http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/AutismSpectrumDisorders.pdf) that is a little heftier than two paragraphs. Scratch 1 more point from McCain...

Ah, nice one. Reducing "mobilize" to the meaning of military draft and then claiming that Obama has plans for introducing an American Arbeitsfront. I guess when the constitution specifically bans the quartering of troops it must implicitly allow execution by quartering of civilians.

"Space Program."

This is, very sadly to me, almost always a failing and omission by Congressional Democrats: all my life. It was my one big problem with my Representative, whom I did a bunch of campaign and volunteer work for when I was young (Liz Holtzman).

Democrats tend to suck at supporting the space program, and if anything all too often are hostile to it, seeing it as a boondogle taking money away from more immediate needs, which is an incredibly short-sighted and unimaginative view, restrained to not seeing it as immediately in the immediate interests of their constituents, or of traditional Democratic constituencies.

Which it isn't, in the sense of "what will it do for us in the next five years?," any more than supporting particle physics is, but nonetheless, wise policymakers need to take a longer and larger view.

"I am concerned about Obama’s plan to put all (the majority of?) college students to work for the state."

You're passing along quasi-fascist concern trolling bullsh*t that you know is false, is what you're doing.

"Searching Obama-Issues-Education tonight, I can’t find anything about putting college students to work for the state."

Funny, that.

You know, making stuff up out of whole cloth isn't actually a very convincing way to scare people. But, then, trying to con people who actually know how to tell facts from fantasy, and who know that assertions without credible cites aren't credible, doesn't work very well, either. Inconvenient, isn't it?

McCain isn't running on specific policies, he's running on generic (GOP) policies. everybody already knows what those policies are, so there's no need to explain them. he's gonna lower taxes and trim government and this and that and yadayadayada. don't you worry about how; he's just gonna get 'er done. cause he's not a pointy-headed alien wonk, like that other fella who wants to raise your taxes and make you wear the burka.

What I find fascinating about the difference in policy depth is that the Republican mantra is that "We don't really know this guy or what he stands for". Obama has always been more detailed and open about his policies, yet the other side continues to portray him as vague and unknowable.

I can see why this is good politics with racist voters, and why they can get away with it, since they aren't really saying anything racial. It's all in code, isn't it?

This man has dark skin. Therefore, no matter what he says, we don't know what he might do. Ugh... Detailed policies and clear exposition of positions can't change the racial factor.

Ultimately, this will be one more reason for the demise of the Repugs... The voters will eventually get it, won't they?

ulpian246: good catch. Will update. Thanks. :)

How's everyone surviving under Bush's universal forced shopping program? End slavery now!

Sportsmen?

Apparently it's not PC to call them "gun owners" any more.


What cleek said @ 7:28. McCain is running on the standard Republican myths, not on specific policies. Only a Republican will guarantee income tax cuts; only a Republican will be unafraid to project American military power abroad; only a Republican will get the government off your back. Almost 40% of voters are likely to buy the myths even with the (generally unpopular) details explained. More than 40% will buy the myths if the (generally unpopular) details remain obscured. That leaves only a small percentage that need to be convinced to vote against Obama.

I don't think it's going to work this year. But it's likely to be a much closer election than it ought to be, given the policy and political nightmares the Republican Party is suffering.

Mandatory shopping: THX 1138
Clarification: This is not an ad to buy the sound system or the movie, it is about a certain element of the society described in that movie.

This brings to mind The Purge -- the revisionof the issues webpage Obama's position on the success of The Surge.

The changes weren't as substantial as many commenters alleged, but the copy re-do does raise some difficult questions about candidate websites' editorial and archival responsibilities.

Why would candidates' editorial and archival responsibilities be different for websites as opposed to TV ads, mailings, speeches, position papers, or anything else they produce?

And that calls to mind the the "Preview" button.

KCinDc: TV ads, mailings, speeches (once transcribed) position papers -- all customarily produced in permanent (or at least durable) media. Paper. Magnetic Tape. Disk drives. Even if the campaign itself does not archive those products, others will, keeping it in the record.

Material made available on candidate websites, such as issues pages, is poured onto and essentially ephemeral substrate -- a website -- and is more easily altered, lost, or forgotten.

But I guess you're right. As with the position papers and so on, the campaign is not responsible for keeping itself honest -- the opposition is. It's up to them to notice the alterations and save the record.

McCain is running on the standard Republican myths, not on specific policies.

It's not even that--he's running on a persona, the bipartisan/maverick war hero who Talks Straight. Policy matters only insofar as it reinforces the persona, so it doesn't have to be detailed, or even consistent. And the party seems fine with that, to the point where the RNC is running an ad that says "Vote for McCain because he won't enact the Republican party's energy policies."

He just doesn't want us to discuss McCain's website versus Obama's website, that's all.

I think that's closer.

================

I guess when the constitution specifically bans the quartering of troops it must implicitly allow execution by quartering of civilians.

Does "quartering" mean we each get a quarter, or that we ARE quartered (as in drawn and quartered)?

"The changes weren't as substantial as many commenters alleged, but the copy re-do does raise some difficult questions about candidate websites' editorial and archival responsibilities."

What are those questions, specifically?

It's my understanding that plans have to change in accordance with facts on the ground. Am I wrong? If there *are* positive developments, is it your argument that candidates should ignore them? Or what?

Quote from Politico: "We regularly update the Web site to reflect changes in current events.’"

I'm shocked, shocked, at this policy.

(Why is Mike Allen writing posts on Jonathan Martin's blog?)

"As with the position papers and so on, the campaign is not responsible for keeping itself honest -- the opposition is."

What's not honest? Should campaign sites have a "history" section like Wikipedia, showing all changes? I actually think that would be a fine idea, in fact, but I'm unaware anyone has ever done that, or that Senator McCain is leading the way there, so it seems a bit of an esoteric point, not to mention one that I'm suggesting, rather than you. :-)

The reason for the discrepancy, in my view, is that McCain wants the election to be about Obama.

He flat out loses on virtally every important issue. (Surveys have shown that the D position is far more popular than the R one among even republicans, when party ID is left out.)

Therefore, McCain is running on "Please Reject Obama Personally." Issues have no place in that campaign. It's a very shallow strategy, but the only one he can hope to win with.

What are those questions, specifically?

Should campaigns maintain archives of campaign-generated marketing materials. If so, for how long?

Should campaigns have policies regarding website copy updates? Should the policy distinguish between minor updates and major updates?

Should campaigns have policies regarding the removal/replacement of official campaign blog posts and comments?

Should campaigns have policies regarding the moderation/removal of membership/community generated blog posts and comments?

How transparent should these policies -- and there development -- be?

The questions came to mind following the recent skirmish over at BoingBoing.com regarding one of its editor's decision to quietly remove, or "unpublish," posts referring to another blogger, for apparently personal reasons, which decision was accompanied by an unannounced change to the site's TOS.

Of course, Campaigns are free to do whatever they like with their sites (just as BoingBoing's editors are free to publish and unpublish whatever they like, for whatever reason). But it's nice to know going in, as a reader, the criteria upon which those what those preferences may or may not be based.

I think your Wikipedia "history" idea is a good one.

From Obama's Faith issue:

"Senator Obama also laid down principles for how to discuss faith in a pluralistic society, including the need for religious people to translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values during public debate."

There was also a Newsweek article (front page) on Obama's faith. The candidates are really trying to court the Jesus vote this election cycle.

Obama's comments on 'translation' are a pretty sensible way of dealing with how people inspired by religious beliefs might make a constructive contribution to politics. (If you don't beleive that they should do, I hope you're prepared to condemn Martin Luther King and Gandhi for starters).

He's saying that religious people don't have to excluded from progressive coalitions on principle, but that they are not going to be given a privileged position in them. If your only argument is 'God says so', that is not a good political argument. If your argument is 'God says so and the following rational argument also says so', that should be allowed in political discourse. Otherwise you're implying rhat Quakers and Buddists are by definition wrong to speak out against the Iraq War (because their opposition is inspired by their faith).

Magistra,

I don't have beef with people's personal religious beliefs or even if it inspires their morals/ethics. But, as you mention, my eyebrows get raised when they start using their faith as a direct interpratation of what public policy should be. Example:

"If God had wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had 10 apostles." -Jesse Helms

Hilzoy: I make Obama’s main website my first stop when looking for his position on anything – and it is a masterful work of vagueness. ;) I’m not going to say McCain’s is better – no way. But I will say that Obama’s sux equally.

OCS - That's a fair point, but you have to keep in mind that on many subjects not only do they have to be vague, but it'd be less useful if they weren't. For many issues, particularly in foreign policy and the economy, the more granular your policy gets the less relevant it's likely to be six months from now. Too much detail is a sign that the candidate has a dangerous fixation on the way things are right now without enough attention to how they might change, or even what changes might be necessary to make them work in the real world.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad