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Is America Ready For a Failed Obama Candidacy?
American Thinker ^ | January 11, 2008 | Marc Sheppard

Posted on 01/11/2008 12:09:22 PM PST by neverdem

Rather than relieving racial tensions, might an Obama candidacy instead intensify them?

Iowa Caucus results quickly shifted many Democrats' sense of Hillary's inevitability to one of Barack's providence.  The smooth-talking senator's surprising historic victory gave fellow blacks and liberal whites a common hope that monumental change was just over the horizon. The happy union didn't last a week.

Explaining last week's celebrated upset, Newsday's Martin Evans told of Obama's:

"... populist message hat has tapped into the desire of voters here to end decades of infighting between Democrats and Republicans, and to banish traditions of racial politics that have divided white and black voters since Reconstruction."
This euphoric sense of unity appeared to be quite widespread. After all, the media went crazy last December when Oprah Winfrey called Obama "the one" who, as president, "can bring us all together." And now liberal talking heads and typing fingers were enraptured with what they believed this man -- one part John, one part Bobbie, and let's not forget a dash of Martin -- might represent and accomplish if elected. Indeed, the momentum appeared unstoppable as the contest quickly moved into New Hampshire this week with all odds-makers predicting an Obama rout and his candidacy all but assured.

But when his unprecedented coronation didn't materialize, familiar allegations of possible racial bias did.  This was only the first of many primaries and the failure of the only black candidate to emerge victorious already has elicited cries of foul.  Ironically, while liberal guilt has historically been both the enabler of minority entitlement and exonerator of its many abuses, the accused bigots in this case were Democrats.

Beware the Reverse Bradley-Effect Effect

Let's take a look at reactions to Tuesday's "startling" New Hampshire Primary results.  Polls across the board predicting an Obama landslide had both the margin and the victor completely wrong.  Why? Exit poll numbers point to a combination of factors, including women turning out in droves to shore up the beaten-upon and visibly wounded candidate sharing their chromosome structure (Hillary took 47% of the women's vote) and significantly more independents supporting McCain than anyone anticipated. 

But many of the enraptured are suggesting that racist white voters simply lied to pollsters about backing a black man (the so-called Bradley-Effect).  To that I say it's just as likely that if any of those polled did in fact misrepresent their Obama loyalty; they did so in a preposterously sophomoric effort to appear overtly not racist, but then voted the issues when alone in the booth (a reverse Bradley-Effect?)

Furthermore, the sheer folly of such inane talk extends well beyond its whiny and insulting connotations.  Tossing these ideas to today's liberal pundits and bloggers for endlessly insipid analysis is bound to have an impact upon the actions of future primary voters.   Noam Scheiber at the New Republic calls this phenomenon the Bradley-Effect Effect, and it goes something like this:

Blacks, previously empowered by Obama's Iowa performance, might suddenly lose faith in their dream and vote instead for an acceptable but electable (read that white) candidate.  Meanwhile, whites, resenting mainstream media racism accusations, may rebel by voting against an otherwise desirable black candidate simply on principal. Make sense?


On the other hand, Scheiber asks:

"Is it so crazy to think working class voters will react to the racism charge by going out of their way to prove it false?"
This potential Reverse Bradley-Effect Effect in which whites vote Obama specifically because he is black is born of the same misplaced white-liberal guilt which may have compelled many Democrats to reflexively tell pollsters they were voting for the black candidate in the first place -- performing a flawless Reverse Bradley with a half-twist of the truth. 

Sound ridiculous? 

Shouldn't it?

Might the Clinton Chickens Come Home to Roost?

On last Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN, Al Gore's former campaign advisor Donna Brazile jumped all over Bill Clinton's allegations that the media pampered Obama by refusing to ask tough questions on Iraq:

"It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former Commander-in-Chief, someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama using "fairy tale," calling him a "kid," as he did last week, it's an insult. And I tell you, as an African-American, I find his words and his tone to be very depressing."
Unusual as my defense of the former President may be -- in describing the youngest in the Democrats' field, the term "kid" would certainly seem an appropriate if not affectionate  pronoun. And "fairy tale" -- what better phrase to describe Obama's meteoric rise?  Might Brazile be reading her own conviction that Obama's tale is, indeed, one of racial preference only, into Clinton's words?

But perhaps most telling is that this is none other than Bill Clinton, whom revered black author Toni Morrison once referred to as the "first black president."  While I can't quite hear the overt tones Brazile complains of, should the Clintons nonetheless lose their third White House bid even partially as victims of white liberal guilt, their frustrations would be well-founded, albeit perhaps well deserved.

I believe a tale of Bill's first year in White House residence is in order.

It was 1993 -- the worst of the crack epidemic was over, and the reign of NY City's arguably worst mayor of that century would soon follow.  Owing largely to David Dinkins' policies of police restraint and neighborhood detachment, north Brooklyn residents endured 474 murders, 594 forcible rapes, 8390 aggravated assaults and nearly 17,000 robberies that year.  Amazingly, these statistics represented a slight improvement over 1990, Dinkins' first year, when a shocking 2,262 New York City citizens were victims of homicide.

Residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant were prisoners in their own homes, their streets a hopeless war-zone of drugs and gunfire. Drug dealers owned the sidewalks and routinely turned rooftops into shooting ranges.  Project hallways were dark vestibules of despair where a rapist's knife or a bandit's bullet seemed as likely a greeting as a neighbor's smile. Predominantly single-mom-headed households urged their young each day toward the solace and relative safety of public school, praying for a means of ultimate escape. 

And, while performance of the city's schools was in dreadful freefall -- fewer than half the students were reading at grade level -- Dinkins' response was to adopt his "Rainbow Curriculum" to promote multiculturalism and instill tolerance of homosexuality in first-graders.

Meanwhile, the City's central cultural borough, Manhattan, had become a toilet. Neither Central Park nor Times Square were particularly hospitable to human life. The stink of urine permeated the corridors of Penn Station and you couldn't buy a slice of pizza there without being surrounded by hordes of physically aggressive beggars.   Driving in by car offered small solace, as thugs with squeegees slowed or stopped traffic to intimidate payment from hapless motorists following a windshield streaking, dirty water "cleaning."

Add Dinkins' decision to raise hotel taxes to the highest level of any major world metropolis in order to support the city's bloating welfare rolls - which grew by one-third to one in seven people during his tenure - and it's small wonder that tourism and theater attendance all but shut down.

The city was a scary mess. Think Blade Runner without the cool gadgets.

Into this nightmare rolled Bill Clinton one October night to speak at a Dinkins fund-raising dinner. The freshman President told the packed room that the mayor deserved re-election "on his record," but was facing an uphill battle (against law-and-order candidate Rudy Giuliani) because:

"...too many of us are still too unwilling to vote for people who are different than we are."
You play with racial swords; sooner or later someone's bound to get cut.

Is America Ready for a Failed Black Presidential Candidate?

As the Dinkins saga clearly illustrates, while public office is no place for racial discrimination, neither is it a venue for affirmative action.  Thankfully, having struggled through four years of failed liberal governance, even the most liberal city in the country wasn't about to be shamed into four more by racial huckstering.

Giuliani defeated New York's first black mayor by 53,367 votes, 49.3% to 46.4%.  By all measures, Rudy delivered on his promise to clean-up the city.  Total crime citywide was down 64%, and murder dropped an astounding 67% (over 50% his very first year).  Even the embattled streets of northern Brooklyn were given back to the people with murder down 73% and robbery over 70%.

After securing the public safety, he proceeded to revitalize the city, putting welfare recipients to work and fixing the broken schools.  Employing tax breaks and other clever incentives, he reawakened the city's cultural and tourism centers, returning the Big Apple to - no actually exceeding -- its glory days of yesteryear.

The list goes on, and one can only imagine the city's condition had people blindly heeded the race-baiting words of Bill Clinton merely to satisfy their liberal leanings.

And yet, while Rudy reduced the homicides of their young males by 75 percent, most black New Yorkers polled simply despised him. Still do -- and thereby hangs my concern.

There lies untold danger in a citizenry that stoops to purely race-inspired voting.  What's more, the divisions such behavior invariably sustains will themselves invariably breed suspicion.  Will each Obama loss demand magnified investigation and explanation?  Are Americans eternally to be assumed racists until proven otherwise?

What's more, should Obama prevail in the primaries, just what might we expect were he to lose the general election, particularly in a squeaker?

Creeping Liberalism has created a world wherein many believe that the only possible explanation for me not liking my black neighbor is surely the color of his skin, regardless of his measure as a man. 

Given the spontaneous distrust already in evidence, might the true Obama believers and racial ambulance chasers witness his defeat any more rationally?

Considering the year-long cries of racial disenfranchisement we heard when even a minority-favored white candidate lost in the past two outings, it's better he loses to Hillary. 

Perhaps the bad-blood his defeat would generate might even chip away at that black monolithic block the Democrats have so come to depend on.


Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008election; obama; obama2008; playtheracecard; racialdivision
Introducing the Bradley-Effect Effect

IMHO, it sounds like another guilt-ridden white fool named Noam.

1 posted on 01/11/2008 12:09:28 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Yes!


2 posted on 01/11/2008 12:09:52 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Go ahead and water the lawn - my give-a-damn's busted.")
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To: neverdem

I’m ready for it.


3 posted on 01/11/2008 12:10:17 PM PST by HoosierHawk
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To: neverdem

Who gives a damn about his skin colour? He’s a baby-killing high-taxing socialist.


4 posted on 01/11/2008 12:10:42 PM PST by agere_contra
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To: neverdem

Oh, forgot to say. This is an insightful article, thanks for posting.


5 posted on 01/11/2008 12:14:13 PM PST by agere_contra
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To: agere_contra

He’s a baby-killing high-taxing socialist.
::::::
True. But it is FINALLY time that America gets rid of the Clintons and their political crime machine FOR GOOD. Let’s hope Obama is their boy (no pun intended)...


6 posted on 01/11/2008 12:14:57 PM PST by EagleUSA
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To: neverdem
The liberal media should remember the great Mike Royko who hated exit polls affecting the voting , he advised people to always lie to pollsters . People resent being asked political and religious questions by strangers and often shield their opinions .
7 posted on 01/11/2008 12:19:15 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it , freedom has a flavor the protected will never know)
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To: EagleUSA

Well, good luck to him in that case. But while Hillary has the superdelegates and rough parity in polls, she will cruise to victory. I believe that the GOP will be facing Lady Macbeth in the primary.


8 posted on 01/11/2008 12:19:53 PM PST by agere_contra
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To: neverdem

Barack Hussein Obama is an African-American who has not shared the black American experience and, by birth and blood, a Muslim for at least 31 years. His politics are rooted in Marx and socialism...

http://www.freedomsenemies.com/_more/obama.htm


9 posted on 01/11/2008 12:21:17 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: agere_contra

With them in the WH again, we better all install smoke detectors in our checkbooks


10 posted on 01/11/2008 12:23:15 PM PST by SMARTY (Public opinion has the power of the lie/creating it is the work of radical politicians in a democra)
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To: agere_contra

Not only that... He was a muslim and now he is not a muslim. Muslims either think that he is an apostate (not good) or a crusader (not good)


11 posted on 01/11/2008 12:29:33 PM PST by DooDahhhh
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To: neverdem

Perhaps the eventually rejection of Obama by the supposedly-enlightened Democrats (and especially the vileness of the Clintons) will be the fissure that shows so much of “black” America:

1. Democrats do not share their Christian values,

2. Democrat welfare programs were intentionally designed to destroy the black family (men, in particular) and keep them dependent on the state (and thus elect Democrats).

You’re free “black” america.

Get the Hell off the plantation, and tell the Clintons to kiss your . . .


12 posted on 01/11/2008 12:31:58 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Fred Thompson)
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To: neverdem
Sissy Matthews says Archie Bunker Democrats may keep Obama from winning.

I do see a good thing coming from an Obama win.

If/When a Black person does become President, then we all get to tell Jesse & Al to STFU once and for all!

13 posted on 01/11/2008 12:33:10 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: neverdem

Ummmmmmmmm, yeah!


14 posted on 01/11/2008 12:36:14 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: neverdem

But the race warlords think he aint black enuff.


15 posted on 01/11/2008 12:38:18 PM PST by Sig Sauer P220
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To: george76

Thanks for the link. Barack Hussein Obama has the oratory of black preachers saying nothing but vague baloney. When you get down to substance, it stinks.


16 posted on 01/11/2008 12:45:02 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: TexasCajun
I do see a good thing coming from an Obama win.

Nothing good will come from an Obama win, and it will get very messy if he loses, too. You just watch.

17 posted on 01/11/2008 12:45:52 PM PST by Semper911 ("We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." -Marge Simpson)
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To: neverdem
People should be asking themselves why Black America is ambivalent about Obama's candidacy. Black America, except for its intelligentsia knows the scoop on Obama, whitey is catchin' up. Its not racial tension, its simple truth:

How Obama and 1st paternal cousin Odinga Tried to Bring Kenya Under Sharia Law and Failed, The Dose

18 posted on 01/11/2008 12:45:56 PM PST by Candor7
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To: TexasCajun

What makes you think that Obama wouldn’t put Jesse and Al in his cabinet? Think about Sharpton as Secretary of State!


19 posted on 01/11/2008 12:50:11 PM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: TexasCajun
If/When a Black person does become President, then we all get to tell Jesse & Al to STFU once and for all!

Yeahbut ONLY if that black person IS Al Sharpton, and Jesse is his Veep.

Perish the thought!

20 posted on 01/11/2008 12:53:16 PM PST by HKMk23 (AUT VINCERI AUT MORI)
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To: neverdem

Why not? We managed to survive a failed Jesse Jackson candidacy.


21 posted on 01/11/2008 12:53:27 PM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: neverdem
Rather than relieving racial tensions, might an Obama candidacy instead intensify them?

Some people look for any reason to play the victim, so in some cases, yes.

22 posted on 01/11/2008 12:54:05 PM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Candor7

Thanks for the link.


23 posted on 01/11/2008 1:01:34 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

I would place money that Obama will be the VP if he isn’t the DemonRat nominee.

That will be the agreement.

What does he bring to the table? Nothing really in terms of experience or constituency or state. He isn’t experienced at all. His minority voters are going to go for Hillary whether Obama is in this or not. Illinois is Hillary’s home state.

What Obama brings is a lot of big “mo” in the minds of people who think he’s new and exciting and profound. (IF you actually listen to him, he isn’t. I’m not sure he isn’t taking plausible deniability lessons from Ted Kennedy who hasn’t spoken in coherent or full sentences since Mary Jo was a cute young thing.)


24 posted on 01/11/2008 1:14:56 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain! True Supporters of Our Troops Support the Necessity of their Sacrifice!)
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To: neverdem

A dem party knife fight, and yes, I’m ready for a failed Obama candidacy. Hell, I’m counting on it.


25 posted on 01/11/2008 1:17:39 PM PST by toddlintown (Five bullets and Lennon goes down. Yet not one hit Yoko. Discuss..)
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To: Interesting Times
Why not? We managed to survive a failed Jesse Jackson candidacy.

When was he a nominee for the presidency?

26 posted on 01/11/2008 1:26:50 PM PST by Misterioso
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To: neverdem

Please!


27 posted on 01/11/2008 1:30:55 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: neverdem

I be ready.


28 posted on 01/11/2008 1:38:39 PM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: neverdem; All

I still cant understand why voters will blindly vote for a candidate just because they say theyre for “change.” Obama is playing the race card, and has locked away the “white” grandmother who raised him, instead bonding with the black relatives in Kenya he hardly knows. In addition you ask him where he stands on an important election issue, like illegal immigration, hes more likely to evade the question with “Want to know what music I have on my iPod?” To top it all off if a GOP candidate had this kind of behavior, he would be drummed out the race. Makes me sick.


29 posted on 01/11/2008 1:40:11 PM PST by wingsof liberty
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To: neverdem

So if racism is the cause of Obama’s defeat, should it happen ... can we then tag the Dems’ as sexist if Hillary loses? They both can’t win ... so they’re either a bunch of racists or sexists, right? ;-)


30 posted on 01/11/2008 1:50:45 PM PST by Mac94
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To: neverdem
Drinking Coffee   The only time Obama voted with the GOP opinion and against the DEM opinion on an important bill was his very first vote, the rest of the time he voted consistently against the GOP position. 

Does this sound like a man that can heal the country, work across the aisle and end the partisan bickering?  This man is an eloquent speaker, but his message of bringing the country together is simply an outright lie.

The following list shows votes by Barack Obama on the most important bills, nominations and resolutions that have come before Congress. The list is based on an analysis of the potential impact of the legislation on policy and politics. Compiled from key votes of the 109th Congress onward.

Date Vote Position GOP opinion DEM opinion
8/3/07 Vote 309: S 1927: This amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 passed 60-28 on August 3. The bill gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. The bill gives the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General authorization for periods up to one year, to information concerning suspected terrorists outside the United States. The existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act contained a 30-year-old statute requiring a warrant to monitor calls intercepted in the United States, regardless of their origin. The new Protect America Act amends this stipulation, allowing U.S. intelligence officials to monitor suspicious communication originating inside the U.S. The Bush administration argued that it needs the expanded power to confront terrorist threats. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States. Democrats managed a minor victory requiring a sunset clause effective 180 days after the bill is signed. In place of a court's approval, the National Security Agency plans to institute a system of internal bureaucratic controls. The bill passed in the House 227-183, and was sent to the White House soon after to be signed into law. No Yes No
8/2/07 Vote 307: H R 976: In this 68 to 31 vote the Senate passed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill also passed the House by a vote of 265 to 159. The bill increases total funding for the program to $60 billion over the next five years and provides health insurance for 9 million currently uninsured American children. The $7 billion yearly expansions were a major sticking point for the White House and ultimately lead to the fourth presidential veto from the Bush administration. The measure is a key agenda item for the Democratic majority in Congress, and Democratic leaders have vowed to push for a veto override, which would require a two-thirds vote. White House press secretary Dana Perino criticized Democrats for sending the president a bill she said they knew would be dead on arrival. “They made their political point,” Perino said. The White House contended that the 61-cent increase in the federal tobacco tax would not be able to recoup the required funds needed to fund the bill. White House officials also argued the measure would push millions of children already covered by private health insurance into publicly financed health care program Yes No Yes
7/26/07 Vote 284: H R 1: This amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was made in order to implement the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission. Different versions of the bill were passed in the House on Jan. 9 and in the Senate on July 9. A modified version of the bill, with conference report changes, was revisited on July 27 and passed by a vote of 85-8. The bill requires the inspection of all cargo traveling on passenger aircrafts and establishes the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This panel, suggested by the 9/11 commission, is responsible for advising the president and senior White House officials maintaining respect for privacy laws and civil liberties. Other provisions of the bill include grants to states, urban areas, regions, or directly eligible tribes to be used to improve the ability for first responders to react to and prevent terrorist attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The bill also outlined details regarding the detention and treatment of captured terrorists. The bill was signed into law by President Bush on August 3. Not Voting Yes Yes
6/11/07 Vote 207: On the Cloture Motion: With this vote Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate sought to move forward on a measure that would have registered the Senate's official opposition to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose tenure was plagued by controversy. The Washington Post reported that “Democrats fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture and begin the debate on a resolution condemning Gonzales.” Seven Republicans distanced themselves from the Bush administration and refused to support the attorney general who had been a target of sharp criticism for five months. Gonzales came under fire for his involvement in administration policies such as harsh interrogation policies, secret overseas prisons, and a domestic surveillance program. But his most controversial action was the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year. The attorney general's critics claimed he fired the prosecutors for political reasons. If passed, the resolution would have done nothing more than send a public rebuke to Bush and Gonzales. But enough Republicans were able oppose "cloture," effectively killing the measure. As the Post reported, “Democrats were aware that victory on the vote was unlikely, but they claimed a symbolic triumph in getting more than a handful of Republicans to join the effort to publicly shame the attorney general.” Gonzales, who initially claimed he would not step down amid the controversies, announced his resignation on August 27. Not Voting No Yes
6/7/07 Vote 204: On the Cloture Motion: This cloture vote would have moved the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 forward to an "up or down" vote on the Senate floor. But the cloture vote failed, 34 to 61, leaving the bill subject to unlimited debate and effectively killing it. The bill set forth border security measures and enforcement provisions which were seen as controversial on both sides of the aisle. The bill called for a crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants and would have required $10-15 billion in total spending, GOP aides told The Washington Post. If passed, the bill would have, “tightened border security, cracked down on the hiring of illegal immigrants and provided a path for such immigrants to stay and work legally in the United States,” reported the Washington Post. The bill also allowed for a guest-worker program to be established after five years and explicitly made it “unlawful to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien” according to the Congressional Research Service. The bill was defeated by opposition from conservative and liberal causes alike. From the Democratic side, labor unions protested the guest-worker program as a threat to American jobs. For conservatives of both parties, the path-to-citizenship provision was interpreted as "amnesty" for lawbreakers. President Bush threw his full support behind this bill, even making a rare visit to Capitol Hill in hopes of bolstering support after it appeared doomed. Despite his attempts, Bush found his major domestic initiative blocked by most members of his own party as well as a few Democrats. Yes No Yes
5/24/07 Vote 181: On the Motion: This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24. The bill primarily focuses on funding for the Iraq war but also addresses other unrelated topics.

A previous war funding bill was vetoed by the president because it included troop withdrawal deadlines, which were largely supported by anti-war Democrats.

Ten Democrats opposed this new bill with no withdrawal deadlines, while 37 supported its passage. Congress had to act to replace war funding that would have ended May 28.

According to the Washington Post, this bill includes 18 “benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid.” One hundred billion dollars in funding is slated to support continuing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill says that the President and Congress must not take any action that will endanger the troops and that they provide any funds necessary for training, equipment and other types of support to ensure their safety and the effectiveness of their missions. The president is required to give a first report on the Iraqis' progress in meeting the benchmarks to Congress on July 15.

Seventeen billion dollars in the package is for domestic spending. Out of this funding, $6.4 billion is for Gulf Coast hurricane relief efforts, $3 billion in emergency aid for farmers, $1 billion to upgrade port and mass transit security, $3 billion towards converting closing U.S. military bases to other uses, and $650 million to increase funding for children’s health care. A Congressional Research Service summary states that the “other domestic beneficiaries include state HIV grant programs, mine safety research, youth violence prevention activities, and pandemic flu protection.”

Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hilary Clinton (N.Y.) were among the 14 who opposed the bill.

No Yes Yes
4/26/07 Vote 147: H R 1591:

House and Senate conferees approved this legislation providing $124.2 billion primarily for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and setting benchmarks and a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, but President Bush vetoed the bill on May 1.

The measure, which also addresses a wide variety of unrelated issues, makes emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

The conference agreement on H.R. 1591 also aims to improve health care for returning soldiers and veterans. It addresses needs related to hurricane recovery for the Gulf Coast, bolsters homeland security programs and provides emergency drought relief for farmers.

The legislation says that troops in Iraq would not have their service extended beyond a year for any tour of duty. It also mandates that the president must certify that the Iraqi government is meeting certain diplomatic and security benchmarks. If that certification is made, deployment would begin no later than Oct. 1, 2007, with a goal of completing the redeployment by within 180 days. Some U.S. forces could remain in Iraq for special counterterrorism efforts along with protection, training and equipping Iraqi troops.

According to a bill summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee, the legislation seeks to make it possible for the U.S. military to focus resources on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and to destroy his base of operations in Afghanistan.

The conference report also provides $3 billion for special vehicles designed to withstand roadside bombs, and it increases from 20 to 270 the number of heavy and light armored vehicles authorized to be purchased for force protection purposes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It prohibits government funds from being used to establish any military installation or base for a permanent stationing of U.S. armed forces in Iraq and does not allow funds to be used to exercise U.S. control over any Iraqi oil resource.

It does not fund two Joint Strike fighters and five of six electronic attack airplanes because lawmakers say they are not urgent.

The conference agreement provides $268 million for the FBI, that’s about $150 million above the president’s request. The agency’s budget includes $10 million for the FBI to implement the Office of Inspector General’s recommendations about the use of special secret subpoenas called national security letters.

On the homeland security front, it provides funding for port and mass transit security as well as other similar investments for a total of $2.25 billion.

Meanwhile, farmers and ranchers would get $3.5 billion to help ameliorate agricultural disasters. The agreement also includes emergency funding for forest firefighting, low-income home energy assistance and pandemic flu preparations.

The legislation includes $5 billion for health care for returning troops and veterans, $8.9 billion for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It also offers approximately $650 million for a children’s state health insurance program.

It phases in a federal minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour and applies the increase to the Northern Mariana Islands. It also amends tax law to allow certain benefits for small businesses that were not included in the House or Senate bills.

It provides an additional $17 million for domestic violence programs.

Among many other things, it makes additional fiscal 2008 appropriations for the U.S. Agency for International Development along with funding for a program aiding Africa, and monies for international narcotics control and enforcement, refugee assistance and international broadcasting operations.

Yes No Yes
3/29/07 Vote 126: H R 1591:

This $122 billion war spending bill calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer. The 51-47 vote fell mostly along party lines. Two Republicans -- Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon -- joined Democrats in support of the package, which would fund U.S. military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Democrats also attached language that would start troop withdrawals within 120 days of passage, with a March 31, 2008, goal for completing the process.

The bill addresses many unrelated issues. It offers funds for disaster relief and recovery stemming from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, funds influenza pandemic response programs, offers disaster assistance for livestock and crops, and makes appropriations to bolster Medicare and Medicaid.

It also requires the secretary of Defense to inspect military medical treatment facilities and housing. It prohibits the use of funds in this or any other act to change essential services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center until certain requirements are met.

It requires the Congressional Budget Office to report to appropriators on anticipated funds necessary for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to continue providing health care to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

It also requires the Coast Guard to exercise competition for contracts related to the Integrated Deepwater System Program.

Lastly, among many other things, it provides funds to assist Liberia, Jordan and Lebanon.

Yes No Yes
3/15/07 Vote 75: S J RES 9: This non-binding resolution would have revised U.S. policy on Iraq. However, it was defeated 48-50. The measure had directed the president to begin a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq within 120 days of the resolution’s enactment. The measure’s main sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, sought redeployment by Mar. 31, 2008, of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq. It included exceptions for certain forces charged with protecting coalition members as well as those who support infrastructure, conduct training, equip Iraqi forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations. The resolution also had directed the president to report to Congress on the progress of the suggested plan. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) did not vote. Yes No Yes
2/1/07 Vote 42: H R 2: This bill would increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years. It would increase the minimum wage in three increments. Sixty days after enactment, the minimum wage is to be raised to $5.85. A year after that it will be $6.55, and a year after that it will be $7.25. This would be the first change to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 since 1997 when the federal minimum wage was increased from $4.75 to $5.15 an hour. The bill would also apply the federal minimum wage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States. The legislation passed in the Senate on Feb. 1, 2007, on a 94-3 vote. The Senate measure includes about $8 billion over 10 years in tax breaks for businesses like restaurants, which is likely to be a sticking point when the chamber tries to reconcile its version with the House. The House passed its version of the bill on Jan. 10, 2007, with a vote of 315-116. Every House Democrat voted in favor of the proposal along with 82 Republicans. Yes Yes Yes
1/18/07 Vote 19: S 1: The measure is designed to provide greater transparency in the legislative process and is commonly known as the “ethics reform” bill.

The bill amends Senate rules in an effort to make more transparent legislative earmarks. It also aims to make clearer the relationship of lobbyists and lawmakers by changing rules governing meals and travel that lobbyists provide to lawmakers and their staff. The bill also makes some restrictions on post-employment for members and staff.

For example, the bill amends a current rule so that if a member’s spouse or immediate family member is a registered lobbyist or works for a lobbyist, that the lawmaker’s staff is not allowed to have any official contact with the lawmaker’s spouse or immediate family member.

Among other things, the measure requires all Senate bills or conference reports to include a list of earmarks in the measure, to list the lawmaker who introduced the earmark, and to explain why the earmark is essential.

It also requires public disclosure of a senator’s intent to object to proceeding to a measure or matter.

The bill also requires that conference reports be posted on the Internet for at least 48 hours before the Senate considers the report.
Yes Yes Yes
9/29/06 Vote 262: H R 6061: H.R. 6061; Secure Fence Act of 2006 Yes Yes Yes
9/28/06 Vote 259: S 3930: S. 3930 As Amended; Military Commissions Act of 2006 No Yes No
8/3/06 Vote 229: On the Cloture Motion: Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider H.R.5970; Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006 No Yes No
7/18/06 Vote 206: H R 810: This legislation would allow federal funding for research on stem cell lines derived from embryos that would otherwise be destroyed. Yes No Yes
6/27/06 Vote 189: S J RES 12: This vote would have given Senate approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the authority to ban 'desecration of the American flag.' No Yes No
6/22/06 Vote 182: S 2766: This amendment called on the president to withdraw troops from Iraq, but set no firm deadline. Yes No Yes
6/22/06 Vote 181: S 2766: This amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill would have set a firm deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. No No No
6/7/06 Vote 163: On the Cloture Motion: A Senate cloture vote on the gay marriage amendment failed, effectively killing the amendment. No Yes No
5/25/06 Vote 157: S 2611: Would tighten border security and establish guest worker and "path to citizenship" programs Yes No Yes
5/11/06 Vote 118: H R 4297: Extended the Bush tax cuts. No Yes No
3/2/06 Vote 29: H R 3199: Reauthorized a slightly modified version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act. Yes Yes Yes
1/31/06 Vote 2: On the Nomination: Confirmation of Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to be an Associate Supreme Court Justice. No Yes No
12/21/05 Vote 363: On the Motion: Cut nearly $40 billion from the federal budget by imposing substantial changes on welfare, child support and student lending programs. No Yes No
10/5/05 Vote 249: H R 2863: Supported a ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held by U.S. forces and to requires the military to follow the Army field manual for interrogations. Yes Yes Yes
9/29/05 Vote 245: On the Nomination: Confirmation of John G. Roberts, Jr., to be Chief Justice of the United States. No Yes
7/29/05 Vote 213: H R 6: Offered tax breaks and incentives in what supporters said was an effort to spur oil and gas companies to provide innovative wasy to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, conserve resources and reduce pollution. Yes Yes Yes
6/30/05 Vote 170: S 1307: Established a free trade zone between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; a separate agreement with the Dominican Republican was also included in the measure. No Yes No
6/20/05 Vote 142: On the Cloture Motion: Blocked, for the second time, the confirmation President Bush's choice for U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton. Those opposed to the confirmation voted "no" on a measure to limit debate. Those in favor of the confirmation fell short of the 60 votes needed to limit debate and move the nomination process forward. No Yes No
3/10/05 Vote 44: S 256: Made it harder for people to erase debt by declaring bankruptcy. No Yes No
2/10/05 Vote 9: S 5: Sought to curtail the ability of plaintiffs to file class-action lawsuits against corporations by making cases that were filed in multiple states the responsibility of federal courts. Yes Yes No

31 posted on 01/11/2008 2:04:58 PM PST by HawaiianGecko (waiting to hear what the reverends Jesse & Al have to say about lily white Iowa voting for Obama!)
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To: agere_contra

Sounds like you’ve done your spadework on his voting record.


32 posted on 01/11/2008 2:46:44 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat
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To: agere_contra
the desire of voters here to end decades of infighting between Democrats and Republicans

Anyone who believes that the infighting between Democrats and Republicans can be ended is a fool. Democrats want to make economic and moral slaves of all of us. No one in their right mind would submit to that. If anything, there isn't enough infighting between Democrats and Republicans.

33 posted on 01/11/2008 2:52:14 PM PST by Hardastarboard (DemocraticUnderground.com is an internet hate site.)
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To: neverdem

Interesting.


34 posted on 01/11/2008 3:14:24 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: neverdem

It’s interesting that Hill and Co. and their fraud machine stole an election from a fellow Democrat. Who wouda thunk it?


35 posted on 01/11/2008 3:26:26 PM PST by Contra
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To: george76
"Barack Hussein Obama is an African-American who has not shared the black American experience and, by birth and blood, a Muslim for at least 31 years. His politics are rooted in Marx and socialism..."

...and wait till his African Muslim relatives show up wanting to sacrifice a lamb on the White House lawn.

36 posted on 01/11/2008 3:31:58 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: neverdem

The “Bradley Effect” is clearly lodged in the drive-by’s echo chamber. Gene Robinson shopped it around earlier in the Washington Post.


37 posted on 01/11/2008 9:27:34 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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