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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Races getting interesting

Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at 2:18 PM

Barak Obama is on a roll for the Democratic nomination, while the "Stop McCain" movement also is gathering strength for the Republicans.

After last week's Super Tuesday results (as well as this weekend's contests for both parties around the nation), Obama clearly has the momentum for Democrats, even if the party machinery's "super delegates" appear to be favoring Clinton 2-1 and give her still a slim lead in the delegate count.

A couple of things struck me as interesting over the last week.

First, Obama's success in Idaho. Let's face it, Idaho doesn't exactly have a national reputation that would make you think an African-American would have much of a chance here. In truth, come November, if he's the nominee, he won't. This state will vote Republican in the presidential race no matter who the GOP candidate is.

But Obama was the first serious presidential candidate since Frank Church in 1976 to visit the state. He knew that every delegate to the national convention may count, and he wanted as many from Idaho as he could get. By the time the state convention ends later this year, he could have almost all of the 23 delegates Idaho will send to the national convention. People around the country are going to have to start rethinking their impression of Idaho as a redneck state.

Surprisingly, only two of the Boise area television stations carried Obama's speech live. When you consider he filled Taco Bell arena on 72 hours notice, it was a major event. Only Channel 6 carried the speech in its entirety. Channel 7 broke into it for commercials and self-promotions. KIVI treated it like the major news event it was, while KTVB treated it like entertainment. Somehow, we weren't surprised that the Fox affiliate didn't carry the speech live.

* * *

For the Democrats, turnout at last week's caucuses was huge, one of the best in years, in large part because it meant something. By the time the GOP holds its delegate-selection primary in May, their race may be over.

It looks like Clinton and Obama are going to go down to the wire before someone earns a majority, possibly even going to the convention with both of them close but not enough votes from the elections and caucuses to win outright, leaving it in the hands of the party machinery's super delegates. If Clinton wins that way, I think they'll hand the election to McCain. Her "negatives" are too high. I know a lot of Democrats who've told me they could live with McCain but can't see themselves voting for Clinton. Obama, on the other hand, has them fired up. Of course, this is only Idaho, but I'm reading and hearing similar things around the country. Obama is the Democrat's best chance to maintain and broaden its current power base.

* * *

Meanwhile, the Republican race is a train wreck waiting to happen. Huckabee has almost no chance, short of his belief in "miracles," to win the nomination, but he's become the standard-bearer for the party's "stop McCain" movement.

The Republican Party is, in general, a conservative group these days (although there were times in U.S. history when it was the liberal party).

There is more than one type of Republican. Some are moderates who lean toward middle-of-the-road mainstream America. McCain is in that group and that's why he has a decent chance to win in November.

But there also is the radical wing of the party, for which the party has become better known. This is composed of the radical conservative and religious right. It represents about one-third of the party, but over the last 20 years has tended to influence its policies and candidates more than its numbers suggest it should have. But these are people with loud voices so they get heard over the muted background noise of the majority of Republicans.

They also are important to GOP success in close elections, which most presidential elections since Reagan have been. Bush used them and then laughed at them behind their back, leaving them furious -- with a justified sense of betrayal. If they turn against McCain in November, and don't vote, the Democrats will have an excellent chance to win.

What McCain is showing, however, is that the radical right of the party has limits, and that its leaders (Limbaugh, Coulter, et. al.), have little or no influence beyond those who already agree with them. They're looking like angry road kill right now, something that delights Democrats and doesn't exactly disappoint the more mainstream Republicans.

Whether McCain wins or loses in November, this could very well become a watershed election for the Republican Party. Even if McCain loses in November, if he can break the stranglehold of the radical right on his own party, the GOP may emerge stronger than ever in the long run, because they won't be forced into embarrassing radical policies that turn off the swing voters in this country.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hubert Humphrey purged the Democratic party of its radical Dixicrats, which had been like a millstone around the party's neck. It allowed the party to move forward, instead of anchoring it to radical policies that had become unacceptable to mainstream voters.

To be honest, I think McCain needs to stop catering to the radical elements of his party and do the same thing. He needs to bring the party forward, stressing the GOP standards of strong national security, less government, and fiscal accountability in Washington, D.C. The more the party caters to "church" issues, the more difficult it becomes to focus on the real issues that impact most Americans -- their pocketbook and sense of security -- and the more likely they are to drive the key middle-of-the-road swing voters away from their ranks.

If the GOP were to return to power, strongly, the radical right could probably get a few, but only a very few, of their policies enacted (because even in the GOP, you can give lip service to those positions but when push comes to shove, cooler heads will prevail). But they won't get anything if their party isn't in power.

Huckabee and the "stop McCain" movement in the GOP are not only cutting their own throats right now, but they may be slicing into the main arteries of the party overall. McCain is the GOP's best chance to return to power.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

What John McCain is, bazookaman, is a former POW. Let's not forget that. I would rather have him running our military than George W. any day.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Fri, Feb 15, 2008, at 11:05 AM

I know you did, bazookaman. I wasn't trying to undermine your service bro. I was simply saying that people are being a little too hard on McCain if you ask me. You are all heros to me, I think people should remember that when dealing with McCain. That's all.

And when it comes to the parties, all I see is money my friend. I cannot differentiate between Democrats and Republicans anymore.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Fri, Feb 15, 2008, at 5:10 PM

The country is going to hell, bazookaman my friend, why should the Republican party be any different??? =)

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 9:52 AM

It seems to me that if there are so many Republicans that are so disappointed with the direction their party is going then why is McCain even winning in the first place? Maybe these folks should break off and create their own political party that better represents the old GOP that they love so much. Or maybe find a 3rd party candidate to rally around to try to counter the juggernaut that is the Republicrat machine? That would be more beneficial than just not voting at all.

I am not old enough to really remember the Reagan years personally (I was in middle school) but from what I have read about and heard I do have to agree that he was the man we needed in the office at the time. I also agree that the crop of candidates being stuffed down our throats this year are all pathetic in their own ways. I honestly don't know who I am going to vote for at this point.

And thanks for your service Bazookaman. I served 8 years in the Army myself but I never had to serve in a war zone. I am proud of my service but I don't even hold myself in the same category as those of you who had to be in the war zone. Probably my single biggest peeve right now with our country is the lack of help we are giving our Iraq/Afghanistan vets. It sickens me that we can spend do much money trying to help people half way around the world while our own vets suffer and die back on the homefront because they can't get the care that they need...

-- Posted by mattnielsen on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 11:36 AM

Well Somebody's gotta be Prez, I'd rather Have Sen John McCain, and Yes being a POW does make a Hero

after watching Obama/Clinton debate of tv,(forced health care) high taxes,

Sen John McCain I think will be the Next Prez,

-- Posted by Freedom on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 1:57 PM

its pretty clear the Government has been getting the wrong Message and thats why when they talk they don't make any sence, the big disconnect. the Government can't seem to do anything Right. the United States has fallen off its psy rock and can't get back up. 300 million people, in 20 years there will be 500 million, forget about fishing/hunting, or even going out of our houses. the United States needs too slow down a little bit and wake up, So what can citzens do.pick an Issue, for me its Marijuana, why, because its the biggest dog on the block. we fix that dog of a problem here in Idaho, and everything else will fall in place, we'll be a better state and Nation for it. Have you read CNN, the Goverment is cutting drug war fund money to sheriff from $570 Million to $170 Million, sheriff are all upset over it, I would be too, money is money, but with $1.2 Trillion in the international Hemp market leaves the United States in the dust $570 Million dollars seems like beer money, we should be more concern about the $1.2 trillion "loss" that the state of Idaho suffers and will suffer. Im glad the Gov cut the Drug War Funds too sheriff's, Maybe the Idaho Legislature or Gov Otter can Raise the Food tax too 10 percent, that will fix the problem Right? duhhh???

-- Posted by Freedom on Sat, Feb 23, 2008, at 3:25 PM

yes my friends Im for John McCain for Prez, Im a conser.,

yes POT is the biggest dog, if it was not, the Government "WOULD NOT" be Arresting "lets not forget this" Number please, " 859.000" people a year of People/kids/old people/disabled people

"like I said" 40 billion dollars a Year.

40 BILLION A YEAR. thats alot of TAX PAYERS Money,,, not the Government money

Now Liberals think thats a good idea, ( why ???? liberals) Myself after 40 plus years think thats a bad idea, a really BAD idea, folks all you have to do is read the history, the law, and how much it cost, then you'll see its a bad idea, I did not make this up , this is not My opinion, its just a fact.

HEMP we lose in Idaho 1.2 Trillion, now trillion is a larger number than billion. Now if we fix this ,yes will it solve our problems, well its hard too say this but its true,and we should teach this is schools, those with money win,,, those that don't have Money LOSE,,, right now,,, we here Idaho, "don't have any money" ,,, why because OUR Government,,,,, gave it away, then turn around with palms out asking for more money from tax payers, year in , year out, over and over and over. I feel bad about Iraq, I really do, but my friends all my life friends of all ages are ending up in Prisons, jails, some Liberal Drug program (repeat) 3 plus million people in prison.

Ive had enough of this , Its a Government that lies to our own people, now some think thats ok, myself I don't

the U.S Constitution,,,,there's Nothing in the U.S.Constitution that allows for Prohibition, nothing, and sad too say thats what we are into here not only Idaho but the United States. How would I rate my Govenment "poor", they've done a poor job, at the highest point of our Greatness, we are losing, and if we keep walking this Road Our Money won't be worth Nothing. But Folks , fellow Citzens, if you like it this way, and you want to keep going down this Road, break out the checkbooks.

P.S. I just wanted to remind you that Pot Prohibition has been going on for 40 Plus years, So you'll have to Break out your Calculator too

-- Posted by Freedom on Sun, Feb 24, 2008, at 7:06 PM

Freedom, you sir are an idiot if you think Marijuana is the biggest problem in our country. That is all.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 9:53 AM

OK. So I can't tell if you're for or against Marijuana reform, Freedom. Please use punctuation next time bro.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 10:02 AM

Question, If its not the biggest problem, then answer this, why is the govenment arresting so many people and spending SOOoo much money,,,

why,,, if its not the big the problem then get off the backs of the tax payer and sick people, have government STOP, its not a problem right, Call Gov Otter and say: Gov Otter, Marijuana not a big problem stop wasting our tax dollars, stop this tax and spend, stop taxing food to pay for the prison space, things like that

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 1:49 PM


I could write about marijuana backwards and in code and misspell every word and everybody reading it would still understand, its not like the American People don't know, the Government not fooling anybody.

Im a conser for John McCain, I just Know a bad law when I see one, and I can count, come on 40 years of this stuff, the Government not kidding nobody, folks "we are not at the start of this Road ,we all been down it before, we are if fact at the end and we need new Rules,the old ones we have, don't work, waste money and lives.

Liberals LOL

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 2:40 PM

Im for Law Reform, the Marijuana law needs to be reform to something thats make sence, adds up, and is truthfull

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 2:44 PM

yes there is a bigger problem than Marijuana, its called MONEY, we don't have any, its just happens that Money is linked to marijuana "ask any drug dealer or Canada and most American Corps

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 2:48 PM

LOL. You guys crack me up. First of all, most people grow their own, they don't buy it from a "dealer."

Second, the government is never going to relax on its laws so quit worrying about it and do your own thing.

Third, it's a plant, remember that people. Until the Mexican paranoia craze of the 1930s (see: Reefer Madness), weed was purely medicinal. Make sure to differentiate between narcotics and marijuana when talking about "drugs." They are two different things.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 4:13 PM

I don't know MrFresh28, Im 55 I grew up in Los Angeles in the 50's and 60's Ive been around dope all my life, both of my parents where drunks and pharm dope heads, of course all legal, in their minds.

Im one of those street kids at 14 I was homeless in los Angeles until I went into the military at 18 after 15 years of USAF I was homeless again but this time with wife teenage son and a disability making $280.00 VA check thats what we lived on, Im of Mix blood good part Native American and little bit of everything south of the border.

But in all this time, Ive never seen anyone "Grow pot", and Ive been around the world a couple times over.

Most people who smoke pot and are arrested for it are really poor (ever see rich people in Jail, only few), or ill nowadays,(or maybe its just my age and I don't see it) and would not know how to grow pot if they wanted too. I guess growing pot is a younger persons game older sick people really can't do that, can't afford to get shot or go too prison, its not nice too die in jail LOL.

Is the Government going to Relax Pot laws, when was the last time you where in Los Angeles California, they sell Pot out of vending Machines there all you need is a Medical card and 20 bucks and you get an 8th sack of weed, the good stuff too not this dirt weed here in Idaho.

There's no dif between dope and pot, its all the same. You see MrFresh this issue is not about drugs, its about Money and who controls it, nothing more

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 6:39 PM

Marijuana is not a stepping Stone to anything but FOOD, its more like Coffie (spelling LOL, I can't help it really), and pot is not harmless, there's a down side to it. Drunks drive, pot head stay home and eat food and chill, thats what we are spending our money on, we're freaking kids out over pot and all a pot head wants to do is sit watch tv and eat (donuts) LOL

bazookaman, you should try it, go californa or Org or any state other than Idaho, and try it, you think you're Mad now, oh Man you're really going to be pissed off when the truth kicks you in Right the pants, I can see you now jumping up and down screaming (give us back our money you crooks) LOL

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 6:50 PM

The government wants people to believe Marijuana is a "Gateway Drug" so they can keep justifying the more than $9 Billion dollars a year they spend trying to fight it.

And if you think it's the same as Crystal Meth or Heroin or even Alcohol, then you need a serious reality check. Tell me the last time someone overdosed on Marijuana, or shot someone because of it.

"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction." Bob Marley.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 12:06 PM

OK, I just read John McCain's comments about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years if necessary and I have now lost most of my respect for the man. As a Vet, and a POW no less, it is unfathomable to me that he would take such a stance.

I also watched Intervention on A&E last night about an Iraq War veteran who served two tours, saw his sargent die the day before they came home, and the only job he can now hold down is at a liquor store. Oh, and he also drinks more than a fifth of vodka a day. He is 24 years old.

McCain should think about that kid when he makes such irresponsible statements.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 12:53 PM

Probably up there, laughing at all of us down here.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 2:53 PM

but, dope is dope is dope, red is still red, when we start saying pot is dif than dope, we'll run out of the tax payers money long before we solve it, sure medically there is a major dif, but from a law point of view, the law should be short and sweet, pot is legal and regulated and everything else is not, LOL :) makes it simple, don't want to confuse the Idaho Legislature, they mess things up enough :)

100 years in Iraq,,,, yuk, whats John thinking, yuk, but then again these are the guys that make the drug laws

-- Posted by Freedom on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 4:47 PM

Well hell am I stupid, all we need to do is smoke dope and be happy...LOL

-- Posted by desert1der on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 10:29 PM

Better than what we got

-- Posted by Freedom on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:35 AM

Well Gov Otter is on a Roll, See what I mean about these Fake Drug laws,,,LOL,,,,.

Its the Same Games California Plays,, tax and spend,build more prisons.more drug laws

Car Registration $187.00 for New cars and I guess $150.00 for Used,,, this stuff won't stop folks nexts it will be $800.00.

He don't have Money, OR he's just not willing to go get it. and the Good people of Idaho have too pay for it.

whats next out of this Government. really who wants a Government like this.

Gov. Otter should let the Freedom Bell Ring and let the Free Market fix our problems rather then fat Government,,

Liberal, he should be Gov of California

-- Posted by Freedom on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 11:36 AM

desert1der , You Maybe Right, why, at some point we're not going to be able to drive, hunt, fish,,

I feel so bad for Idaho. Why Can't Gov Otter Just admit, his Policys are just defective, whats wrong with this man ???

-- Posted by Freedom on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 12:17 PM

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