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Poll: You, Your Friends, and Politics

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with a couple unusually impacted by this year’s bruising battle for the Democratic nomination – law professors Christopher Edley, Jr. and Maria Echaveste, who are advising Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, respectively.


What do you think? Have political stances and conflicts affected your personal relationships?

We invite you to discuss in the space below.


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Comments

Mcnyc: You are correct. I suggest everyone watch the 4-part series "Unnatural Causes" on PBS. It outlines how inequality is hurting health in general. There has also been some reference to the persistence of disadvantage via health in succeeding generations after a particular group has been exploited or abused. Doctors in the series wish openly that they could prescribe relative affluence and security for their afflicted patients. I am sick of our healthcare debate where treatment is emphasized over causation. Societies are capable of manufacturing chronic disease and injury rates no amount of resources could ever treat. Our American society is way above parity (We hurt and diminish everyone through our competitive cruelty.) on this issue.
On a lighter note, a local female columnist perused whether Obama, age 46, colors his hair. A reader answered on our local newspaper blog; "No, relative to normal people he hasn't a care... (in the world)." This naive exchange made me pause for a moment, and then entertain the profound philosophical implications.

To DCGeneral who posted above:
"I venture to say that African Americans alive today have no connection to the slaves in the past. They are no longer a minority, but hold high positions in every aspect of American enterprise. Therefore, the days of black affirmative action are over."

I believe in much that you believe in as well, but would like to contradict the point you made above. I think the ramifications of slavery are still quite acutely felt today. I have lived in a largely African-American Community for just about 5 years, so I am still a relative outsider. I can still see the difference between "white" community members and "black" community members. It matters if children come from a legacy of poverty and poor education. It matters that injustice has been inflicted on generation after generation of African-Americans in form of police brutality and profiling. Of course, as a minority myself, I'm not saying we should get a free pass to anything (school, scholarship, etc) We are just as capable, have just as much potential, when exposed to the same resources and opportunities as everybody else -- as demonstrated by those minority citizens who have made it to the top. But we're fighting for the middle ground here. The middle class, which should form a strong core...and that's where inequality still lives, and has lived since desegregation -- since slavery. The many "success stories" should not put us off our guard to racism and inequality...and they mustn't dull our senses to the magnitude of getting a black president elected. If Sen. Obama makes it to the White House, I think he will be able to strike a healthy balance between the pain of the past, the work of the present, and the potential of the future.

I should have stated in my previous posting that argument on who should be president given our "major" candidates, was moot.

In my hurried decision to post my opinion I did not check my spelling.

After reading some more posts I felt that I should elaborate on some points.

We should not vote for someone because they "deserve" to be president. An eligible candidate needs to prove that they are worthy of our votes.

What has the current "president" proved to you? Incompetence comes to my mind. Total disregard for the law he has shown.

The Republicans supported him. The Democrats did nothing to stop him. They refuse to impeach him.

The independents and 3rd party candidates are ostracized by Big Corporate Media. Those same conglomerates donate heavily to both "major" parties.

Democracy is about choice. We have not been provided with enough proof by the major candidates to make a solid choice.

How do they intend to stop the bleeding of jobs to third world countries in the name of corporate profits? How will they address the two-fold problem of oil addiction and global warming, both fueled by increased energy demand? How will they address our declining investment in education and healthcare reform?

Again, I ask you this. Are you better off than you were 8 years ago? Will we better off 4-8 years from now if you choose one of the "major" candidates?

Vote your conscience this year. Push the candidates to prove themselves. A lot is at stake this time.

I am an Independent. I was once a Republican, in my youth, but the only thing my old Republican party has in common with the Republican party of today is the name is the same.

That's why I am an Independent.

Democrats are too liberal for me. I believe in helping those having a hard time but not allow them to make it a lifetime achievement. I believe in universal healthcare because it is a human right, not a matter of choice. I believe in higher education for any student who can make the grade and it should always be low cost and free and open to everyone who aspires to it. We never can know where the next genius will come from. I believe in fair and honest elections, preferably without political party involvement. National elections should be under national rules not subject to state rules/regulations.

I believe that it is time for a woman to be President. Black men had the vote long before women did. I venture to say that African Americans alive today have no connection to the slaves in the past. They are no longer a minority, but hold high positions in every aspect of American enterprise. Therefore, the days of black affirmative action are over.

It is time to level the playing field and give all women, of any color, the same respect, education, job status and compensation as that of any man. If we believe that competition produces the best product, then men must compete with women for the same job. Even a Muslim country, i.e. Pakistan, voted for a woman for Prime Minister. We, here in the USA, are centuries behind the time to choose a woman as the leader of our country.

I believe in the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice so long as I am not forced to live by it as it is legislated by the Supreme Court. These are the same politicos who think the American people can't recognize a political decision from a Constitutional ruling. Yes, I refer to the 2000 election. SCOTUS usurped the State powers of the Florida Supreme Court and dictated who would be President. They should ALL have been impeached for that ruling!! That's why, that in national elections, all states should abide by the same rules, using the same equipment and all votes should carry a paper trail. That is the road to a free, open and verifiable election.

Finally, it would be better for our country if we wrote an amendment to the Constitution that allows the Congress to vote, as the parliamentary countries do, "no confidence" in the performance of the President and his cabinet. Had we had that option, G W Bush/Dick Cheney would have been long gone. They were not duly elected in either election, anyway; and the country is paying a daily, exponential price in blood and treasure for their arrogance, stupidity and corruption. The Democrats are politically stupid for NOT going for impeachment of these criminals.

That's why I am an Independent!

`Linda (May 23-11:19am)
Experience leads me to believe Billy Bob is a paid commentator working for McCain. If not paid, he is simply a white supremacist. I finally decided on Hillary in the NC primary, but it is a shame race (and gender) are used to handicap and keep issues from being discussed. I am now associated with Beret Co-op (Grady and Jack, etc.). They are only about 2.5 miles from my house and now I have people to talk and plan with. Don't pay any attention to the prostitutes on this blog, Linda. Think of them as being at work. You know, when you're at work you have no freedom of expression.

Billy Bob, May 20, 2:55 p.m.,

I hugely admire Mr. Nader. Always have, since my teen years so very long ago. I am one progressive who does not blame him, as so many others mistakenly do, for Gore's loss in 2000.

Your point about voting for him in November is well-taken, but it simply cannot be discussed meaningfully without first having a discussion about third party candidates and our deeply-held, personal decisions whether to support them at all, and if so, through which point in an election process.

With that said, if the race was between Obama and Nader, I would choose Obama. I came to Obama slowly, mind you, starting out with Iowa's Vilsack, then North Carolina's Edwards, and now and finally, Sen. Obama.

I have written two commentaries about why I support Obama. Please consider reading them.

From JFK to the Obama Campaign: A Journey From Disillusionment to Hope:
http://goodgirlroxie.blogspot.com/2008/04/yes-we-can.html

Another 'E Pluribus Unum' Moment for Barack Obama:
http://goodgirlroxie.blogspot.com/2008/03/in-order-to-form-more-perfect-union.html

Thief! I'm sorry.

RE: Associate Justice Scalia

The man is brilliant and many of his notions make sense, but in my humble opinion he is a liar and a theft.

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
William Faulkner


I apologize for my poor editing. I am using a computer that is much more difficult to use than the one that I had.

The reason that I will probably vote for Senator Obama in November is simply that Republican members of the United States Supreme Court stole the election in 2000. I recently watched Associate Justice Scalia lie about that on “60 Minutes”. He said that Vice-President Gore initiated legal action in the case. That is not true. Governor Bush first went to the courts. Why does it bother me that an Associate Justice lies about so profound a matter? It just does. And the Republicans pay for his lie with the loss of my vote this coming November- provided I am alive and voting.

I was a registered Republican in 2000; I had not voted for Mr. Gore. (I think that I voted for Mr. Nader but I do not really remember). It bothers me that Senator Obama seems as utterly ruthless and as openly incompetent as Mr. Bush was and is, but he will probably get my vote.

The reason that I will probably vote for Senator Obama in November is simply that Republican member of the United States Supreme Court stole the election in 2000. I recently watched Associate Justice Scalia lie about that on “60 Minutes”. He said that Vice-President Gore initiated legal action in the case. That is not true. Governor Bush first went to the courts. Why does it bother me that an Associate Justice lies about so profound a matter? It just does. And the Republican pay for his lie with the loss of my vote this coming November- provided I am alive and voting.

And, I was a register Republican in 2000 and I had not voted for Mr. Gore. It bothers me that Senator Obama seems as utterly ruthless and as openly incompetent as Mr. Bush was and is.

This is a strange question that I can only imagine is in an attempt to avoid asking a real question. What two people, who ever existed, always agree on everything? The healthy thing is to talk to people like they, and their opinions, are just as valuable as you are. Unfortunately, the couple you had on your show wasn’t a good example of this behavior.
Edley was rude, accusatory, and dismissive to his wife. As bad as his behavior was, it was fairly representative of the way the Obama campaign inner circle thinks about the rest of us.
While this behavior might send this particular marriage into counseling, or even to divorce, it is devastatingly bad for our democracy. This is the sort of “groupthink” that only gets worse once in office. We shouldn’t trade “If you’re not with me, you don’t love this country and support terrorists” with “If you’re not with me, you’re a racist and a Luddite” or the dozens of other things he says is wrong with anyone who won’t join the cult.
The media sells President Obama the same way they sold us the Iraq War. The pundits can keep pretend that all the bad choices Sen. Obama makes are actually virtues, but what keeps getting him into trouble are things he brings brought up and every time he gets challenged he blames his opponents and insults a new group of voters. When you piss on people, you piss them off.
The idea that Manchurian Candidate “code words” are necessary to get them to dislike you is crazy. The idea that marketing or endorsements will make them forget is nothing but further condescension and contempt.
They are already arguing that votes that weren’t for them shouldn’t count. The only thing left for them to do is disenfranchise people or do a little ethnic cleansing.

This is why we are not voting for Obama. Please watch this...
A Video Portrait Of Barack Hussein Obama
http://www.eyeblast.tv/Public/Video.aspx?rsrcID=2036

We are not voting for Hilary because we really don't think she will be any different than Bill.
We won't vote for a Democrat because of the moral issues. Abortion, Same Sex Marriage etc. We believe that all groups of people living in our country should pay taxes. The only way to do that is to get rid of the IRS and put in Fair Tax which gets money from all the illegals who are sucking our economy dry. Another issue is welfare. Welfare does not teach self respect and responsibilty. Another issue is safe sex vs abstinence. Abstinence is the best choice. Teaching self control and abstinence would lower teen and unwed pregnancies which would lower lifetime welfare users? Why is that not logical? "Black Liberation theologians are clear on this point: "People are poor because they are victims of others," says Dr. Dwight Hopkins, a Black Liberation theologian teaching at the University of Chicago Divinity School."
Democratic party supports planned parenthood. We don't. Another issue is gun control. According to our constitution we the people have the right to bear arms with which to keep others and especially the government from getting out of hand. If government can take away our guns then we the people have no last resort against crimnals with the end goal of not being able to reign the government in. Who runs the military? Who tells the Military what to do? Do we really want the military to be the only ones with the guns? We think not!! Don't get us wrong, we love the military, we are srong supporters of the military. Our sons have both talked about wanting to join when they are old enough. We truly believe serving in the military is an honor. However, if you are in the military and Congress and/or the President tells you to go or do this, what choice do these men and women really have? The Democratic party seeks to reduce our military especially the Clintons. Obama would do the same thing. Is reducing our military the right thing to do in a war against fundamental "fiqh's" within Islam? We don't think so. We do not believe that negotiation is possible with the "terrorists" in these particular "fiqh's"
go to...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh
Not all Islamist's are terrorists!
Taxes - everyone should pay taxes on equal basis. Same tax ratio for each class. However, should the rich and upper middle class have to carry the weight of welfare for the lower class? NO. How can we get the lower class to better their situation? #1 Get rid of illegals. We need to close our borders, sign up the illegals to serve in the military for 6 yrs to earn citizenship or deport them. If we can't deport all of them implement the fair tax so that the illegals can contribute to our economy instead of using it for free. Reigning in illegals would free of thousands of jobs for the lower class folks making the way to lower welfare if not end it all together. We don't think our taxes should be going to pay these folks for not taking responsibilty for their own families and decisions.
go to for Black Liberation Theology...http://www.acton.org/commentary/443_marxist_roots_of_black_liberation_theology.php?gclid=CNr59_m7upMCFQyenAod5BuoDQ.
Energy/Oil Policy - our country has enough oil and coal resources. Democratic Party has done everything they can to keep us from becoming independant on foreign oil. There have been geological assessments done that show where the best oil drills could be. We should be tapping those areas in a big way! The west coast and mid west need their own nuclear plants. This would in the long term lower their cost of living. This would in turn help our economy. Congress has sat on this issue for way to long. Forget about the tree huggers and whale lovers and let's take care of our country's needs. Make the oil companies plant 10 - 100 trees for every gallon of oil they drill. Make the oil plant grounds have gardens and parks to help the enviroment. There are many ways to take care of the enviroment while gaining our independance from the Middle East. For us it isn't about race or gender. It's purely the issues. Repulican party hasn't done all that it could but the basic moral issues we support are Republican. Without morals our country is doomed!
Quotes.. "America is like a healthy body and its resistance is three-fold: its patriotism, its morality and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within." -- Joseph Stalin, former dictator of the Soviet Union
"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue." -- Samuel Adams
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -- John Adams
"No free government can stand without virtue in the people, and a lofty spirit of patriotism ..." -- Andrew Jackson
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?" -- Thomas Jefferson in "Notes on Virginia".
"Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction." -- Thomas Jefferson
"A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society." -- Thomas Jefferson
"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts in the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have been advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency." -- George Washington
"I believe that justice is instinct and innate, that the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing; as a wise Creator must have seen to be necessary in an animal destined to live in society." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1823.
"Religion, morality, and knowledge ... [are] necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind." -- Northwest Ordinance (1787)
"Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppresive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin
"[In a republic, according to Montesquieu in Spirit of the Laws, IV,ch.5,] 'virtue may be defined as the love of the laws and of our country. As such love requires a constant preference of public to private interest, it is the source of all private virtue; for they are nothing more than this very preference itself... Now a government is like everything else: to preserve it we must love it . . . Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education; but the surest way of instilling it into children is for parents to set them an example.'"
Thomas Jefferson: copied into his Commonplace Book.

"When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community."
Montesquieu (written by Thomas Jefferson in his Common Place Book).

"Liberty . . . is the great parent of science and of virtue; and . . . a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free."
Thomas Jefferson

"The order of nature [is] that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue."
Thomas Jefferson

"Without virtue, happiness cannot be."
Thomas Jefferson

It's not Obama who frightens the Establishment: It's the expectation of his grassroots supporters for change. (Witness the compensated Obama trashers on this blog.)As a person who hates the Demopublicans (one big fraud party), I may vote Nader or may not vote. Anyway, I'm doubtful the faschistic downfall of the United States can be stopped. What will probably stop after the election and inauguration are the hopeful expectations. Experience is not the issue: It is the needs of the people that are able to be met but are not, because the wealthy elite are demanding everything for their profit. When McCain is on his cane or Obama bombs, maybe you all will be ready to take some action beyond voting like: boycotts, strikes, occupations and people's courts. I look at Bush's cronies and corruption in Congress and think how lynching might be a good thing if conducted in a fair and orderly manner. Lynching is just another good word for international courts of justice after all.

Senator Obama seems able to get the nomination without my support. I assume he can win the election without it. I just don't understand why people want him to be president.

Linda May,19 4:02PM
You may find Obama to be strong & capable, but what do Senators Kennedy, Kerry, McGovern (retired), & recently, Biden find? Sunday's TV appearance of Joe Biden had comments about "that woman" in reference to H. Clinton.

The above Senators have failed to attain the presidency for themselves & do you think they decided, if not me, then not
"that woman!"?
or
Maybe she is to strong for them to influence.

If it is strength of charcater & convictions then check out Ralph Nader.

Respectfully,
Billy Bob, Florida

I really have to commend this couple for being willing to have this amazing discussion on-air. Both of you are truly admirable and intelligent people, and the Democratic party is fortunate to have you on our team.

Edley and Echaveste mirrored the national Democratic party discussion very, very closely, to the point where the discussion elicited the uncomfortableness that our nation must, I believe, get through.

I agree with Edley's comments about Echaveste's word choices, and their influence on others who do not share her progressive views about race. For example, it caught my attention when she made a reference to her doubts that Obama could work hard in the way that Clinton has worked/is working hard to get the nomination. To suggest on any level that Obama has not/is not/will not work as hard as Clinton strikes me as being offensive, for many reasons that I will not go into in this post. As a white, feminist woman in my 50s, that remark reminded me of remarks I have heard from men having to do with women's emotional effects on their decisions, bringing into question a woman's ability to lead, or perform at the level of a man under similar circumstances.

It's very interesting to me how so many Americans who are in my demographic (white, college-educated, baby-boomer women) see Clinton's ability to show no outward demonstration of an inner response to vicious campaign attacks as being a sign of her strength, when I see it as a barrier against empathy and an ability to disguise the truth, two qualities I do not care for. Obama's outward signs that he is, indeed, affected by hate attacks, and his subsequent demonstrations of being so capable, and able to overcome these attacks, in his responses to those attacks, indicate to me that he is able to join together his emotional self and his intellectual self in a very, very powerful way, and this I consider to be one of his, if not the, greatest assets.

To their credit, neither Echaveste nor Edley share Clinton's ability to completely disguise their emotions. This is what made their discussion so sincere and productive. Thank-you.

What an interesting and timely assessment of the democratic process. Living in Europe for 30 plus years I still am hugely interested (even more so now!) in our elections. What depresses me so much is the average American's lack of access to interesting and valid media that can help educate (inform) us in an extremely changing and challenging world. It is an extremely depressing aspect of the US that many Americans do not have access to intelligent and entertaining media so they can be informed about so many aspects of our world. In India, China and Europe education has been the main indicator and signal for our future prosperity - 30 years without money (taxes!) spent on education means we may no longer have the ability to make informed and wise choices. I am an Obama supporter because he "sees" that the US cannot just dictate to the rest of the world - it has to lead and inspire - are these just words or can they - do they - mean something? Guns are okay but deeds other than just war are not what makes us a great nation. Our country spends more on defence than the other nations of the world combined. Doesn't this tell the rest of the world what we value most? The world listens to us when we lead by good example. I pray for decent and honest leadership.

Chris, May 19, 1:59AM You may have something there with Nader. He has been addressing issues for decades & has been right on.

Wonder why the two power political parties are able to hold nomination-elections, at tax payers expence, & make "rules" that filter out all candidates that do not have the "Party" approval? They even make rules about States Rights!
The Ostrich republic gets to vote for a hand picked candidate & has to pay as well. No! No! I'm not referring to Russia's recent elections!

Respectfully,
Billy Bob, Florida

The format was "all off."
Why didn't Dr. Bill (Phil?) put them in the Dr. Bill house and show us how bitter they really are? I predict this couple won't make it to election day, and Dr. Bill's ratings will suffer if he doesn't get off the "whores' race."
It was revealing to see that two highly educated Americans can't get past canned talking points. All that was missing was the cages for these two parrots. I wished Bill would turn into a Cheshire cat (almost is) and eat up these bourgeoise birdbrains.
The stupid statements the three musketeers (Hillary, Barack, and John Mc) are making to manipulate the masses and please their massas are bad enough; do we have to listen to the same whoreshit from 2nd, 3rd and 4th parties. I'm verklimpt: Here's an idea: Think amongst yerselves!
Moyers has now willingly remained a hostage to enemies of the people for 98 days: Ain't he a good feller, though?

Intellectual dishonesty has been brought up.
What about the manipulation we are exposed to?

Nothing is going to change if we are too lazy to pay attention. If we want to be spoon fed.

There are still people believing Obama is a muslim & don't even recognized their disconnect when right wing pundits are lambasting him over things said by his christian preacher - how can both those stories be true?

Dud they lie the first time? The second? Or Both?

More important, why are you still listening to liars at all?

We aren't dealing with who the candidates ARE - we are trading what PUNDITS (is there a degree program?) say about what the candidates said!

Its the same mess that got us to this point - telling us what to think & conclude, without a reason WHY!!!

We Americans sometimes have grown intellectually lazy:
GWB plugged into something in his "decider" line. People want to be deciders marching in at the end, without the burden of knowing what they are talking about.

The conservative "hatred" for anything liberal amounts to intellectual dishonesty. Conservatism cannot mean refusal to change or even to consider that change is necessary. Nor should it, to my way of thinking, mean that the nation does not have social obligations or indeed, that we can afford to ignore these.

I left New Orleans in 1995 because the "establishment" (at the local and state levels) refused to recognize the pernicious effects of legacy social behaviours (especially with respect to racial issues) and the catastrophic effects of "laissez-faire" governance.

The doctrine of "Laissez-faire" was never intended to limit "good" government by which I understand "governance", but to promote, where possible, competitive industries and market-places.

I'm glad the conservative movement is "in crisis" this is certainly for the better. It is however, too late to reclaim this voter's ballot.

My support of Clinton has everything to do with health care, and her support of science, including NASA. Obama has only half a plan that will NOT lead to universal health care, and he wants to cut funding for NASA. Clinton is pushing for universal health care, and wants to INCREASE funding for NASA.

That cinches it for me. Gender and race are irrelevant, but I have to say there has been rampant sexism in this primary that has not been condemned and has actually been perpetrated by many of the leading Democrats. It has been appalling to see and hear.

Personally, my dislike for Senator Clinton has nothing to do with gender, color or any other merely physical aspect of human life. I tend to dislike all people who tell obvious and childish mistruths (e.g., being ``sniped at'' in Bosnia; or having been ``instrumental'' in bringing peace to Northern Ireland; etc. etc, etc.).

Although I will probably vote for Ralph Nader---for the simple reason that he most closely represents my own political beliefs and values---I do find myself admiring Senator Obama. Do I admire him for being:

a) a male?
b) not a female?
c) semi-black?
d) semi-white?
e) relatively honest, fair and decent?

The answer---my own answer---is the one choice that involves something beyond purely physical properties, (e).

P.S. A very interesting essay, by feminist Zillah Eisenstein regarding Senator Clinton, can be found at:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/05/18/9031/

"Commenting on the May 16th program, I don't think Democrats can evaluate which of the two surviving candidates has the best chance to defeat John McCain. It takes talking with Republican men to find out--many I talk to would be willing to vote for Barack. They "hate" Hillary. That feeling is so pervasice and so seemingly inexplicable--but it will take over if Hillary were to be the nominee. The "mother" of all trashy negative campaigns would begin "on day one." For this reason, I think Barack Obama is the only hope for a Democratic victory in November."

Huh?

I find guessing this election difficult. This year I think that voters are forced to think beyond our the codes that defined politics at least from the time of the master Republican demagogues. I am still basically undecided , even if I lean toward Senator Obama.

My brother David told me weeks ago that he prefers Senator Clinton to Senator McCain. Labelling David is difficult for me, but I consider him far more conservative than I am. My brother Timothy liked Senator Clinton a long time ago. I think that he now is considering Senator Obama, but I am not certain. My brother Thomas has moved from Obama to Clinton, but I think he will support Obama. I don’t know about my brother Douglas. He had liked Huckabee. My sister had liked another Republican and does not really like McCain. David assumed that I supported Senator McCain even though I too like Senator Clinton. We are white folks from Georgia, most of whom who live in other states and regions. I find it hard to know what people think about this election.

I do not find a deep-seated hatred of Senator Clinton among Republicans, in part, because the dismal collapse of the Republican Party is the most important factor in this campaign. Senator McCain and Senator Clinton appear to be the most independent candidates, even if their positions seems distinct while those of Senators Obama and Clinton appear similar. There is sufficient disillusionment about the Republican Party to elect either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama.

Some issues have changed. For example, reproductive technologies have sufficiently advanced that the issue of reproductive choice may be less important to some of us than it has been. Republican Party disdain for reproductive freedom has caused that party my vote for at perhaps two or three decades. Morning after pills helped change that issue.

Paying for health care and President Bush’s costly war in a world of tax cuts is still an issue. Senator Obama’s proposals for health clearly fail (read them). No one can make sense of Senator McCain’s “plan” to keep the massive tax cuts for the rich and still reduce the massive deficits that undermine our economy.

These are aspects of the campaign that seem important but that we don’t discuss maybe because too many people are too busy called their opponents racists.

What I think at play is that many liberal Democrats find this a good chance to defeat the pragmatic Clinton and her supporters as well as the Republicans. That is one reason I hesitate to support Obama. Another round of the Republicans might be better in the long run for my point-of-view than the election of traditional liberal Democrats.

Most definitely. I could not be married to a woman who did not share my similar political convictions. I do have friends with whom I rarely discuss politics, mainly because I enjoy their company knowing full well they might not share my views but that we share other things in common. My closest friends, however, do share my political convictions and I nurture those friendships because it takes a group of people to actually implement any kind of systemic change; one individual is not enough.


Have political stances and conflicts affected your personal relationships?

Commenting on the May 16th program, I don't think Democrats can evaluate which of the two surviving candidates has the best chance to defeat John McCain. It takes talking with Republican men to find out--many I talk to would be willing to vote for Barack. They "hate" Hillary. That feeling is so pervasice and so seemingly inexplicable--but it will take over if Hillary were to be the nominee. The "mother" of all trashy negative campaigns would begin "on day one." For this reason, I think Barack Obama is the only hope for a Democratic victory in November.

“I'm going to disagree with that. I don't find much that resembles integrity in Obama. Integrity involves standing up for your principles and (as should have happened in Obama's career but mostly didn't) voting for something even if you know you're handing a future political opponent a weapon but doing it anyway because you know it's the right thing to do. Obama hasn't done that. He appears to have carefully cultivated a career which wouldn't offend anyone, wouldn't leave an opening for the GOP to use to attack him on.

“I don't see integrity when I look at Obama.”

Amen.

Is it good that black people vote for Senator Obama and some white people vote against him? The question is impossible to answer. Why do people like Mr. Moyers keep looking for ways to impose this question? "There it was. . . ." Some woman in West Virginia had noted that some people will vote against Senator Obama because he is black. Okay, so what, especially when black voters obviously vote for a black candidate because he is black?

That is why we have to ask other questions. Is Senator Obama the best candidate for the job? That is the most important question, in part, because we cannot fully answer the race question. We are going to elect a possibility incompetent man because we don’t want anyone to think we are racists? That is silly. We live in a racist society and world. Everyone knows that. Now, lets get on to the question at hand. Who would make the best president?

Listen to Senator Obama's speeches and answers during interviews, watch him in debate, read his books--full of praise for himself-- and look at his record. There is just not much there. He qualifies as a senator. He might become a good governor. His gifts indicate he belongs in the judicial system.

He would make a fine appointment to the United States Court of Appeals and maybe even to the United States Supreme Court. However, what qualifies him to be president?

No one deals with that issue. Instead they point to some stated flaw in Senator Clinton or Senator McCain.

Then there is this nonsense: “Fantastic president”? For what reason? “Will avoid the mistakes that Carter and Clinton made.” How and why?

The polls I have last seen indicate that Senator Obama beats Senator McCain by seven points. That does not sound as if Senator Obama needs my vote, though he probably will get it. The fact, however, is much better than the Republicans he defeated in primaries. He might do for the next four years while the Democrats get another chance to think about they throw away elections.

Some of this reminds me of when the Democrats threw away Senator Eugene Joseph McCarthy to embrace another rutelessly ambitious candidate.

Is it good that black people vote for Senator Obama and some white people vote against him? The question is impossible to answer. Why do people like Mr. Moyers keep looking for ways to impose this question? "There it was. . . ." Some women in West Virginia had noted that some people will vote against Senator Obama because he is black. Okay, so what, especially when black vote obviously vote for a black candidate because he is black?

That is why we have to ask other questions. Is Senator Obama the best candidate for the job? That is the most important question, in part, because we cannot fully answer the race question. We are going to elect an incompetent man because we don’t want anyone to think we are racists? That is silly. We live in a racist society and world. Everyone knows that. Now, lets get on to the question at hand. Who would make the best president

Listen to Senator Obama's speeches and answers during interviews, watch him in debate, read his book, and look at his record. There is just not much there. He qualifies as a senator. He might become a governor. His gifts indicate he belongs in the judicial system.

He would make a fine appointment to the United States Court of Appeals and maybe even to the United States Supreme Court. However, what qualifies him to be president?

No one deals with that issue. Instead they point to some stated flaw in Senator Clinton or Senator McCain. “Fantastic president”? For what reason? “Will avoid the mistakes that Carter and Clinton made.” How and why?

The polls I have last seen indicate that Senator Obama beats Senator McCain by seven points. That does not sound as if Senator Obama needs my vote.

Was the race issue the reason that Senator Obama won the primary in Louisiana. I think it probably was. I think that nine of ten black voters in Louisiana voted for Senator Obama. Just their choice without reference to race?

Was it a Race issue in West Virginia that gave Hillary her big win? Absolutely! My Parents were born and raised in W.VA. and my Uncles and Aunts who I love dearly, are the most ignorant racists one could ever meet. They are scared and fearful and grew up in a time when racism was accepted and even tolerated. I see my young Nephews and Nieces, who are the complete opposite, and I feel a a great sense of hope for America. The old guard are standing down, and the young, vibrant, not afraid of color or sexual preference are taking a stand!

Was it a Race issue in West Virginia that gave Hillary her big win? Absolutely! My Parents were born and raised in W.VA. and my Uncles and Aunts who I love dearly, are the most ignorant racists one could ever meet. They are scared and fearful and grew up in a time when racism was accepted and even tolerated. I see my young Nephews and Nieces, who are the complete opposite, and I feel a a great sense of hope for America. The old guard are standing down, and the young, vibrant, not afraid of color or sexual preference are taking a stand!

Interesting sparring session. Whoever is elected as president in November 2008 had best realize that although both race and gender were key national problems years ago, it is poverty that is the real issue today, irrespective of race or gender.

Prof. Echaveste's comment that the campaign has been anti-women, even woman hating, while it has given Sen, Obama a pass on race was shocking. As a woman and an African-American it is clear that as is always the case, a white women assumed that she would defeat the African-American and is now very upset that she is not going to do so. Sen. Clinton was in fact the presumptive candidate until the primaries started and Sen. Obama started to win. I hope one day soon she and her supporters like Prof. Echaveste will get over their racism as many many other Americans have and throw their support to Sen. Obama so we can avoid a third Bush administration.

Still Thinking,

Thank you for responding to me. I realize that I have posted too many times on this thread. I think that I understand your points and I appreciate them. Thank heavens for Bill Moyers' Journal. It is a boon to voters.

I doubt that any experience prepares anyone to be president. It seems a demanding and perhaps impossible job.

I do confess a prejudice against Senator Obama and that prejudice is that his resume seems especially slim. The man impresses me but he also seems full of himself. I would feel better about him were he to select Congressman John Lewis of Georgia to be his vice-president. That is not going to happen, but I wish it would.

Again, thank you.

I don't understand the reactions concerning the way Mr. Edley spoke to Ms. Echaveste. I read many comments expressing outrage that this man would speak to his "wife" this way. I guess if two life-time political players choose to debate on TV, I'm not trying to observe or read into their marital dynamics. I'm sure they debate publicly and privately all the time. I think Ms. Echaveste can take care of herself just fine.

I'm also confused by all the "experience" credited to Hillary Clinton. She hasn't been a senator all that long, so I assume she gets credit for being the wife of a president??? I have been married to my husband for 4 years. Does that mean I get to claim 4 years of experience in his professional field on my resume? Of course not!

And I have a sincere question about the way Hillary Clinton is supposed to be such a feminist role model: While I acknowledge that she is very intelligent and would have had certain professional success on her own, her current fame and financial resources are the result of her marriage to Bill Clinton, a man who has publicly insulted her multiple times due to his philandering ways. So do we applaud her for standing by a dishonest, cheating husband in the interest of promoting her own political career? And for the record, I will be voting for Obama, but if Hillary were to be the nominee, I would certainly vote for her just like I voted for her husband.

Ted, I my observation was about the posters on this board, not the program.

If this board is any indication of the general public's POV and behavior;

1) There are a lot of people who are actively using their brains and thinking about issues.

2) There is a group of people who use perceptions and key words/phrases to take the place of actually thinking about the issues.

3) There is a group of people who stick with whatever "guidelines" they are comfortable with, be they gender alliance, party politics, racial bigotry or any combination thereof.

Not a pleasant topic of thought, is it?

Then again, maybe - just maybe, we are seeing the beginnings of some true change in the ideology of this country.

What is amazing to me when I consider the way this election has invaded the public mindspace is the way the public has gotten involved. We are no longer the apathetic sheep that ushered Bush II into office either because we couldn't be bothered to vote or figured he would be the next great savior.

"Attack", Ted?

Your word, not mine.

Oh, and one more POV - Mine.

The status QUO, IOW, the same folks who have been politicking for years now, have allowed us to get into the mess we are in. And we, as voters, have let them.

Experience is a great thing, but not only if you learn from it but what you learn.

What my observation has determined is that the experienced folks have learned to make sure they get what they want and the rest of us can do without.

Don't know about anyone else, but I'm tired of paying for Mr. Chaney's medical bills when no one pays for mine but me.

I'm sick of seeing the names and faces of the dead soldiers and hearing the politicians tell me that everything is just rosy and all is going exactly the way they planned.

I'm tired of fuel prices going thru the roof and knowing that instead of actively developing alternative fuels my government has been subsidizing the same folks who have contributed to the higher costs in the first place.

And I am disgusted, and thoroughly ashamed that a country supposedly built on the concept that all men are created equal is still bickering(over 200 years since its inception) about race, gender and religion.

We (Americans) are supposed to be better than this.

At least, that is what I was taught when I was in school.

Gee, "thanks" Mr. Moyers for telling us the "we are in trouble" in the US in your book "Moyers on Democracy."


If you had not been LBJ's main lackey when he conspired with the military industrial complex to murder and replace President Kennedy, largely so that Brown and Root/Halliburton and Bell Helicopter--Johnson's main financial backers--could profit from the Vietnam war, perhaps we'd be better off today.


Have you ever admitted your complicity in that crime, and in the corporate takeover of our country, Mr. Moyers--to others, or even to yourself?


You may pretend to be the journalistic conscience of our nation, but some of us know your history. And your words cannot redeem you for your actions.


Very Sincerely,


Myra Bronstein

The day I become a sheep, is the day I will be in need of a sheperd. That is the day I will vote for a new leader to guide me. Until then, I wonder freely but keep my eyes open for dangers and wolfs!

=
MJA

Forget race and gender. Consider who is ready to assume the office. Senator Obama has an empty reumse. Senator Clinton is ready to be president and be a great president. The supporter of Senator Obama use problems about race to hide their candidate’s thin resume. I am not saying that rich experience in public service and government insures a competent president. President Johnson ought to have been one of our greatest president. On some levels he was, but he failed with his incompetently fought war in Viet Nam.

”The question is, are you going to let yours be pushed because of what you "think" you heard or are you going to make sure that what you heard is what was said and then react?”

This is what I heard and how I responded to it:

Professor Edley talks about Senator Obama as potentially “a fantastic president." He says, “ Senator Obama is not going “to make the mistakes [presidents] Carter and Clinton made.” Well, one hopes that he is right, but Professor Edley does not explain why Senator Obama is going to avoid these mistakes. What makes Senator Obama potentially fantastic? What fantastic thing has he already done?

How can anyone say that this seemingly ordinary south side of Chicago politician is fantastic when he has done nothing to demonstrate being outstanding? How can one simply say a naïve and ordinary politician is going to avoid the mistakes that brilliant men like presidents Clinton and Carter make? What is the evidence to support these affirmations?

This is what I heard. The fact is that Senator Obama has done nothing outstanding in his career other than write two autobiographies that praise himself.

So called "Still Thinking" attacks the speaker but not the opinion of the speaker. I think that Professor Edley warned his wife about making that sort of mistake.

Isn't it interesting that each person sees or hears what they perceive rather than what may or may not have been said?

In reading this board I see a lot of people commenting on the exchange between husband and wife as demeaning and insulting.

I saw the same show, obviously I didn't see the same behavior.

Everyone has "hot buttons".

The question is, are you going to let yours be pushed because of what you "think" you heard or are you going to make sure that what you heard is what was said and then react?

It seems to me that a public willing to live on "automatic pilot" is a lot easier to control/manipulate than one who is not.

I am watching the interview with Christopher Edley, Jr. and Maria Echaveste for the third time. The questions still seems to be two major ones: 1.)Do some voters oppose Senator Obama because his father was black? Do some people oppose him because he is not yet ready to be president? Obviously, at least some and maybe many voters oppose Senator Obama because he is black. However, other people obviously oppose him because his resume is slim. Maybe some folks oppose him for both reasons.

I do think that Mr. Moyers clearly favors Senator Obama. He does seem to reduce most objections to the senator as racist, even during the discussion of Latino voters or when he tries to sympathize with poor white voters, but he seems to try to balance his point-of-view. Professor

Edley is on target about our need to talk about what divides us, but those differences involve more that race. But he does not explain well what those differences are.

Professor Edley talks about Senator Obama as potentially “a fantastic president. He says, “ Senator Obama is not going “to make the mistakes [President] Carter and Clinton made.” Well, one hopes that he is right, but he does not explain why Senator Obama is going to avoid these mistakes. What makes Senator Obama potentially fantastic? What fantastic thing has he already done?

So I am supposed to tak4e seriously a black woman going on and on about Hillary because she is a (multi-millionaire) mother (of a twenty+ year old): excuse my French - are you F-ing kidding me?!?! I haven't a Yale/Harvard/Whatever degree but whaT does thaT have to do with reality?!?!?! PuhLeAzE get a grip when booking guests who speak for "us." What a joke...but how very P.C. of you. I am SO disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!!

Part of the problem is that in some states the delegates go to candidates as percentages of the entire vote. The election is for the Democrats to win. They have mastered the art of throwing away elections. The Democrats just need to take care.

“”Mr. Moyers preference for Obama again came through loud and clear from the questions he asked, the comments he made and the expressions he showed. That is not what professional journalists do. I looked at both candidates and, based upon the issues & experience, supported Hillary. Gender and race did not effect my decision. It is clear from the voting records that race is an issue among black voters. I can understand why they are proud of Obama but if he doesn't win, will they blame it on racism? Or if Hillary doesn't make it will her supporters blame it on sexism? I was amazed to see the press coverage on the "57 states" error (If Hillary had made it, it would still be in the news.) and the over-reaction to President Bush's comments warning the world against appeasement. Obama was quick to argue the point - even though I did not see any connection. I wait to a color-free gender-free society in which Leno can make jokes about Obama's color as he has been making jokes about Hillary's gender. I can't see it happen because racism is bad in our society but sexism is accepted. Mr. Moyers illustrated that in his interview. For shame, Mr. Moyers, and to other members of the media and pundits. I worry about what will happen."

Amen. Amen.

Some corrections because this is a serious matter and some supporters of Senator Obama ignore objections to their candidate:

Super delegates need to realize that they cannot force voters to endorse just anyone they pick as the candidate unless the majority of voters in primaries have made the same decision. Though their impute remains important, they are not the final arbiters of the person for whom I will vote simply because they might well be wrong

We are warning super delegates not to select Senator Obama unless he clearly wins the majority of votes in the primaries. Even then, winning in states that the Democrats are not likely to carry remains questionable.

We are telling leaders of the Democratic Party we might not vote for Senator Obama unless we believe he is fit and ready for office. Though he might be, he does not seem to many of us ready to be president. His record of service is thin.

Remember that we endured incompetent Democratic presidents, incompetent simply because they were not prepared to hold the office of president. John Kennedy was particularly unfit for the office when he first assumed it. He blunder on Cuba, on Berlin, and Viet Nam. He made awful decisions. President Carter let the situation in Iran consume his attention and his administration. President Truman seems to have blundered into the Korean War.

The race between Senators Clinton and Obama is essentially a dead heat. If the majority of super delegates select him or swing the nominating process to make Senator Obama the candidate, then those delegates must realize success of failure in November might well depend on that decision, not on my rejection of their choice. As I have said, I might vote for Senator Obama in the fall, but I am not going to commit myself to just any decision that the super delegates choose.

Super delegates who support Senator Obama do not tell me in May that I am a racist or stupid because I question your wisdom. My question might well be would I vote for Senator Obama were he not black. My answer at this moment is probably not. The man does not have a substantial record. He has energy and tenacity. That is something but not enough. He has to demonstrate vision, ethical breathe, and competence in something other than writing two autobiographies.

Super delegates need to realize that they cannot force voters to endorse just anyone they pick as the candidate unless the maajority of voters in primaries have made the same decision.

We are warning super delgates not to select Senator Obama unless he clearly wins the majority of votes in the primaries. Even then, winning in states that the Democrats are not likey to carry remains questionable.

We are telling leaders of the Democratic Party we might not vote for Senator Obama unless we believe he is fit and ready for office. Though he might be, he does not seem to many of us ready to be president. His record of service is thin. We have endured incompetent Democratic presidents such as John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. President Truman blundered into the Korean War even though he did have some background for the office. President Kennedy appointed ot his adminstration people who crafted the debacle in Southeast Asia. President Carter could failed and stalled in Iran.

These folks were not prepard to be presidents and they failed in major ways the resulted in tragedy for Americans and other people.

This is a serious matter. Maybe no one is ready for the office. But we have to make a decision and the super delegates who support Senator Obama have not convinced many of us to trust their judgment.


The race betweeen Senators Clinton and Obama is essentially a dead heat. If Senator Obama is selected and fails in Novemver, please don't blame me or people like me who favor Mrs. Clinton. We have warned the super delegates. If they fail, they have to own their failure and not blame racism or the stupidity of people who support Mrs. Clinton. We did not fail. We warned you.

How important is it to you that the people with whom you surround yourself share your political beliefs?

I could not answer the question because it does not come very close to circumscribing the philosophical ground I occupy. My house is far bigger than the question allows for.

I prefer to surround myself with people who have a diversity of political views. While sharing common ground is valuable, it's also important to challenge oneself and others through exposure to and honest consideration of differing views. However, the word "view" implies a perception of reality based on observation, not to be confused with "opinion", which one can simply conjure up or inherit from another source and assume to be true without any thought or rational basis whatsoever.

We too often conflate views with opinions. Anybody can have an opinion, but that doesn't mean they are all equally valid. In public discourse, opinions that are demonstrably false should be vigorously corrected, and those that are otherwise incoherent should be sidelined in favor of ones for which a sound basis can be established through observation and historical example.

While it is very important to be respectful of people, I contend that it is an act of disrespect to appease people whose opinions are mistaken or incoherent, as well as those whose actions are in direct conflict with their stated views, by permitting them to co-opt the advancement of the dialogue.

Mr. Moyers preference for Obama again came through loud and clear from the questions he asked, the comments he made and the expressions he showed. That is not what professional journalists do. I looked at both candidates and, based upon the issues & experience, supported Hillary. Gender and race did not effect my decision. It is clear from the voting records that race is an issue among black voters. I can understand why they are proud of Obama but if he doesn't win, will they blame it on racism? Or if Hillary doesn't make it will her supporters blame it on sexism? I was amazed to see the press coverage on the "57 states" error (If Hillary had made it, it would still be in the news.) and the over-reaction to President Bush's comments warning the world against appeasement. Obama was quick to argue the point - even though I did not see any connection. I wait to a color-free gender-free society in which Leno can make jokes about Obama's color as he has been making jokes about Hillary's gender. I can't see it happen because racism is bad in our society but sexism is accepted. Mr. Moyers illustrated that in his interview. For shame, Mr. Moyers, and to other members of the media and pundits. I worry about what will happen.

Bill Moyers:

Why did you at PBS not have Clinton and Obama for a debate/conversation early on?

Rather than blaming WV voters for racism (which is foolish because BUBBA's won't vote for a woman either), you should have made an effort to get word out.

That is your job at PBS, to overcome the media bias that decides our nominee for us.

The poor can not afford cable or internet, (or the education to develop the critical thinking/research skills to learn how to tell spin from data found on the net.)

The coal industry debates were all on cable. So only the ridiculous ABC debate was viewed by the poor.

Is it because Axelrod's client refused your offer?

I strongly agreed with Paula's comment: "The comment that the female candidate needs to 'make nice' and heal the party is so deeply rooted in gender prejudice that no one in the media is even talking about"

I just saw the PBS website broadcast. Maria Echaveste, I assume by her final comment paraphrased by me, "If he wins, you'll be moving to Washington" that she was seethingly reacting to her mate's calm, sort of mellow patrionizing comment for proper little women to do. I would assume she will be certain to discuss it in private with him. At least this was my reaction.

Even the title of the broadcast was sort of patronizing, as if Clinton was dragging it out. Similar to every male commentor in every media coverage daily made about this primary contest.

Clinton should admit (in February through May) the battle is lost--to a better man? She is going on out of "personal" gain, not the good of the party, (even the country). NEVER. NO HOW. NO.

As the first possible leading female ever, giving up would send a "second class" authenticity to any future women candidates. To summarize the gender media coverage so far: She should cover her cleavage as proper women should do. She should cry to show she is a compasionate person, not a political automoton. She should give up, before a decisive primary battle has been won. She should be aware that a comment that might be considered racist could result in Pavlov- bell-anti-racial voter response. But any coments by others about gender- sparking anti-woman voter decisions is not as important in the long run. WRONG.

Well, As Clinton says, she is no quitter. So as she advises take a deep breath, patiently await all primaries to be completed, and then by the first weeks of June, a decision by the people will be made--not by her graciously dropping out

She shows power and persistence by maintaining her candidacy is an historic important task she takes seriously as a person and will see it through.

Either we take a woman candidate-hopeful as a contender, or not. Her persistance sends the message that a woman can and must fight for the right to hold office. This battle is not to be patrionizingly minimized for some better good, before all results are in.

I hope Clinton never gives up.

And I wish Obama might unbutton his collar to the second button (it might get more teen-age support songs on You Tube) He might cry sometimes,to show he is in touch with the masses and not some elitistic book lernin' college gradate. And he might speak to reporters and some off-the-cuff questions with the same direct, powerful, emotions and unfumbling word-search elegance he does in his campaign speeches. His response to Bush's comments was too academic, too polite, not as direct and pointed as other Democrats speaking on his behalf. There appears to be some disconnect in his public speaking styles. He sounded like a cross between Bush and Kerry.

Send Hilary home to bake cookies? NEVER. Arm Maria Echaveste with a rolling pin and send her home to explain matters with her spouse? YES.

“ Because he is black ”
“ There it was - no longer a whisper but out in public, on the record: Because he is black. The fault line in American history is now a dividing line in this election and it's changing the conversation.”
Once again the public choice would be
“to vote their fears rather than their hopes and to vote their prejudices rather than their aspiration”!
“To find ways to talk about ... to bridge those not by ignoring them but by, in some sense, overcoming them, resolving them, accommodating them” is to amend the constitution, to place ALL the ISSUES on the ballot for the people to “express their will” the right to decide their destiny.
It appears, there will be no change at all, it will be decided as has been in the past by color, race, gender, wealth etc. Non of the candidates provide tangible change!
The change, the future of the Country should be by an amendment of the Constitution, to empower “the people to express their will” on ALL ISSUES and not in the hands of the Congress, the President or the Courts. To keep the hope alive and the aspiration is to empower the people “to express their will”.
“Find out to what people will submit and you will find out the exact measure of injustice that will be imposed upon them.” - F. Douglass


The Question was: "Have political stances and conflicts affected your personal relationships.

Yes, they have.

""Regarding Barack Obama and experience: Abraham Lincoln served one term in the House of Representatives before becoming President. He became one of the greatest Presidents we've ever had. So much for experience!

At first President Lincoln did not conduct the war with any ability or success. Then he won the war by letting his military conmmanders conduct what were essentially war crimes. Lincoln was a disaster as president. His election insured war. His inability to end the war early was a disaster and a product of his incompetence. Lincoln undermined the rights of citizens in America. He instituted dangerous policies such as the draft. Under his administration, prisoners of war endured abuse and death. Under his administration, each side of the conflict inflamed feeling and turned the conflict into a war without limits. Lincoln was a disaster in part because he lacked experience.

The Question was: "Have political stances and conflicts affected your personal relationships?"

While I personally don't want to share that on this post, what I do find interesting to note is how far Christopher needs to go to learn how to give his wife, Maria, her own voice in their marriage! He is the dean of the Law School at UCBerkeley and she followed his appointment to serve as lecturer in residence and tote their kids along. During the Moyers interview, he was quick to correct her characterization of blacks as being at the lower levels of U.S. society, reframing her comments in his own way as a way of not so subtly correcting what he clearly interpreted as a gaffe on her part. Oh dear, is she the intellectually inferior professor in that relationship? Maybe he should watch tapes of James and Mary (Carville and Matalin) and pick up a few pointers.

The Question was: "Have political stances and conflicts affected your personal relationships?"

While I personally don't want to share that on this post, what I do find interesting to note is how far Christopher needs to go to learn how to give his wife, Maria, her own voice in their marriage! He is the dean of the Law School at UCBerkeley and she followed his appointment to serve as lecturer in residence and tote their kids along. During the Moyers interview, he was quick to correct her characterization of blacks as being at the lower levels of U.S. society, reframing her comments in his own way as a way of not so subtly correcting what he clearly interpreted as a gaffe on her part. Oh dear, is she the intellectually inferior professor in that relationship? Maybe he should watch tapes of James (Carville) and Mary (Matalin) to learn how it's done. I bet Maria gave him a chewing out when they got back stage after the Moyer interview!

Senaator Obama built his campaign for president on his hagiographies, which he wrote. Is he as good as he claims to be? He might be, but he has not demonstrated much except his rhetorical skills.

If the Democrats make him their candidate, they will be responsible for any loss in November. They have a chance to select a candidate who can win in November. They seem bent of throwing away that chance.

Stop blaming voters before the officials of the party make a mistake for the results of a bad choice of candidates.

Regarding Barack Obama and experience: Abraham Lincoln served one term in the House of Representatives before becoming President. He became one of the greatest Presidents we've ever had. So much for experience!

From my prespective, this race is a tie. If the Super Delegates vote for the candidate who won their State, it would be a practical tie...so the conversation IS who would be the best candidate?

The comment that the female candidate needs to "make nice" and heal the party is so deeply rooted in gender prejudice that no one in the media is even talking about it. I thought your show would be different, it wasn't.

All of the candidates are in the pockets of corporate interests. Since this is the case, none of these "major" candidates will serve OUR interests.

In other words, this debate is mute. We are having candidates marketed to us like a product.

Find a credible 3rd party candidate and vote for them. The two party system is broken. If you don't believe it, then look around you. Are you better off than your parents were at your age?

300 Million people in this country and we only have 3 "major" candidates to choose from. Give me a break.

Please vote your conscience in November.

Bill..

How are we supposed to ignore comments from Fox News when you bring on two left wing professor type to have a fake discussion about race in this election? It is clearly predictable .. what these two would say about anything. They're both nearly as pompous as Obama.

But Bill.. It would be beneath you to discuss the percentage of black voters who will be voting color eh?

Yeah.. I thought so.

I agree with the posted comment regarding Christopher's "disdain and arrogance ... for anything that did not support his candidate's nomination." I was extremely insulted by his attitude toward Maria and the race in general.

Unfortunately, in this most exciting race between two very inspiring candidates I saw the better part of this conversation as just another disappointing debate about demographics at the expense of constructive discussion about the issues and policies that can improve the lives of the people of this nation.

Shame on you Bill Moyers!

When I saw your elaborate doubletake to see a man who (if Obama hadn't run) would have enthusiastically preferred Clinton.

Your very obvious inability to imagine that there actually are that it is not some vanity presidentialrun on the part of just one woman: there are 17 million of us (not merely "a couple of hundred thousand women who..") real Democrats out here who support the real deal, the policy wonk who cares about progressive policy, that does not flirt with Republican YOYO (You're On Your Own) policy like Obama does.

She is the one who can go sock it to O'Reilly on how a real Democrat thinks about the Common Good funded by progressive taxes of 70% is exactly what made the old days great, (and now people have seen what a government drowned in a bathtub looks like!), and who has the courage to go to the poor (yes WV is POOR!) and talk about her $10,000 college Americorp funding plan, to talk about real help in an America that needs real help, more than at any time since the Depression.

You were clearly astonished to see a man support her, yourself. How very offensive your reaction was.

Voting for the content of the character just doesn't apply to selecting a woman, I see.

The whole Orwellian sexism from Olbermann and Mathews and the DNC leadership like Donna Brazile has ganged on us Democrats who simply want what we see as the better candidate, implying that WE have a character flaw of some sort (Oh, it could only be racism) when your preferred candidate is running virtually as a Republican on domestic policy!!!!

How shortsighted to simply clear 54% of us out of the Democratic Party as no longer needed per Brazile (along with Hispanics), or not noble enough per Kennedy.

How many of us are deeply offended at the continual calls for Clinton to get out of the race from well before Ohio.

But for me, worse than the sexism is the anti progressiveism.

Why should Democrats have to accept a defacto Republican at this time, of all times in history!!!???

YOYOism has drowned a major city, is rendering our childrens planet uninhabitable, has lowered our education and healthcare to near dictatorship levels, delivered us from our 500 year history of basic Magna Carta civil rights (well, he also would be as good as her on that)... but you know all the horrors of this administration... it is time for a progressive Democrat!

And she is not giving up on us: Edwards was forced out as soon as he (and she) came out against nuclear power, in the Nevada debate. She wouldn't go, but the media has been hammering at her to get her out too since she published her clean energy plan in December.

The debates were sponsored by "clean coal".

He was initially run as a candidate by dirty energy lobbyists at Alston & Bird nuclear, clean coal and ethanol (ethanol is not sustainable, while not as suicidal like coal) dominate his energy policy.

His whole Bipartisan Schtick is very alarming and offensive and just wrong for this time in our history.

Now is the time for a real Democrat.

I was raised in a dueling family of both Parties where dinner table conversations often revolved around politics. Arguments were spirited but respectful. As an adult, this worked for several decades. Today, it is so much more personal. As much as I try, I feel that there is too much at stake now to allow those on the Right to hold fast to their certainties without a vigorous challenge. I get incensed when they are stubborn and blatantly uninformed at the same time. I have lost patience with idealogy rooted in ignorance. Americans need to bone up on history and current events. Too many citizens have NO IDEA what has been done in their name.

The worst enemies of Senator Obama are his supporters. The man himself makes an excellent impression. He is what we old Southerners call "gentleman and a scholar." I think that he has the grace and skill to win voters like me, but he is not, in my opinion, the best Democrat for the job.

He disppointed me with his rejection of his former pastor. I like what the Rev. Mr. Wright says. But I understand why Senator Obama had to reject him. I do not care for Senator Obama's wife. She presents as arrogant and bitter. Maybe she has her reasons, but that does not mean I will reject her husband.

Senator Obama has moved fast. He has not yet had time to define himself as a national political leader. Maybe he will become a great president if he is elected president. President Kennedy and President Carter learned much in the office but at what cost? President Bush H. W. Bush was highly qualified ot become president and he performed well in the office. In his case, being a competent president actually seemed to work against his reelection.

Let Senator Obama mature and let Senator Clinton share her maturity with us and with the world.

I left the Republican Party after being registered as one for slighly less than two months short of forty years because some of the Republican appointed members of the Supreme Court, in my opinion, for what seems to me partisan reasons made the Republican candidate the president of the United States without letting challenged votes be considered or the Congress to do what the Constitution mandates.

During those forty years, I had usually voted for the Democratic Party nominee for president. My party, right or wrong, is not a sufficient reason to support a nominee. I repeat, if the party picks the candiate most voters has selected, I am satisfied. If they select Senator Obama simply by him getting the majority of super delegates, I will have to think about how I will vote. I think that is fair.

The disdain and arrogance of the husband in the interview for anything that did not support his candidate's nomination insulted his wife and insulted me.

Marianne, I am judging Senator Obama the way I judge other candidates. In what sense is he offering change over experience? He seems to offer neither change nor experience. Nothing sounds unique in his presentation or proposals. He sounds as if he is what he is, another run-of-the-mill Chicago politician. The bottom line is not whether I vote for a Democrat rather than a Republican. The bottom line is which candidate is best qualified to be president and also best suited to represent my needs, aims, and dreams in that office. I think that I could vote for Senator Obama and I think that I probably will vote for him if he is the nominee of his party. Still, I resent this relentless charge of racism if I question him as a candidate.

(without the typos): Those who argue for "experience" over "change", Gov Richardson, one of the Democratic candidates could genuinely claim of having the most "experience". We need to face up to the fact of Identity politics and move forward from there. I also question the true nature of some of these voters calling themselves a "Democrat", yet seriously considering to vote for McCain if Obama wins the Democratic nomination. Maybe what is really being revealed is someone's closet prejudice and bigotry, knowing that it's not a socially acceptable way of thinking in the public arena but can otherwise express them more freely in the privacy and anonymity of the internet.

Those who argue for "experience" over "change", Gov Richardson, one of the Democratic candidates could genuinely claim of having the most "experience". We need to face up to the fact of Identity politics and move forward from there. I also question the true nature of some of these voters calling themselves a "Democrat", yet seriously considering to vote for McCain of Obama wins the Democratic nomination. Maybe what is really being revealed is someone's closet prejudice and bigotry, knowing that it's not a socially acceptable way of thinking in the public arena but can otherwise express them more freely in the privacy and anonymous of the internet.

I'm going to disagree with that. I don't find much that resembles integrity in Obama. Integrity involves standing up for your principles and (as should have happened in Obama's career but mostly didn't) voting for something even if you know you're handing a future political opponent a weapon but doing it anyway because you know it's the right thing to do. Obama hasn't done that. He appears to have carefully cultivated a career which wouldn't offend anyone, wouldn't leave an opening for the GOP to use to attack him on.

I don't see integrity when I look at Obama.

I've been listening to all the rhetoric for awhile now and am still trying to find my way thru the hype, garbage and just plain ignorance.
Last night's program was wonderful! I did not think either person was talking down to the other, I saw honest adult conversation from two people who sat on opposite sides of the issue.
IMNSHO, what 'we' as a country are facing is the reality that there are more than one gender and more than one race and all components are part of a very important race. Some panic and try to put a color or gender spin out trying to divert attention from the real issue: who is the better candidate?
Some folks are dumb enough to let them.
Let's be honest, there IS a race problem in this country. There always has been and, I am sad to say, probably always will be. It comes from fear and ignorance.
The true test, for myself, is looking beyond the color and gender and party of the individual and hearing what is said (or not).
Mrs. Clinton had my support until she treated her years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors as less than it was, attempting to divert attention from the fact that she was a member of that board. Depending upon what you read, she either dismissed it as irrelevant or touted it as very important. This told me she likes to play both sides of the fence and get credit for it.
Obama may not have her "experience" but he appears to have what she lacks; integrity.
When you get down to it, very few of our presidents have had "experience" walking into office, but we seem to have survived.
From watching the time Mr. Clinton was in office, it appears to me that the biggest problem any president faces is the opposing party's attempts to bring him/her down at the country's expense.

People who support Hillary do so because she is tougher and smarter than the other candidates, not because she is a woman.

First of all everyone needs to remember that black men got the vote in this county before women did. If Hillary was someone I thought I could stand having “in my living room for four years” and not just another politician, I might vote for her. Personally, I don’t trust her and I am one of those “older white women”. I’ve been known to occasionally vote Republican in years past, but wouldn’t vote for any Republican now for any reason!

As to this particular election – one poster here said they were having a hard choice deciding between “the three quality candidates.” I would like to have the choice of any candidate that just spoke honestly and not as they thought we would like to hear it! That’s what I call “quality”. Oh wait, Kucinich did that and our “liberal” media (description by the doctor who commented here) – refused to let him debate! Don’t you all remember when NBC – a corporation - got their high-priced lawyers to get all the judges out of bed, or wherever, to block him from debating in Nevada because he would be violating their rights as an individual to chose who was on their show? Their show? Hillary didn’t have any comment about that at all. Obama made the comment that he didn’t think that was right, or words to that effect. At least Obama commented on it! And that wasn’t the only debate Kucinich was blocked from being heard in either. Might have been the way the audience applauded when he was finally allowed to answer any question. Threatening to the power base running this whole charade, I guess and that includes the political parties. You do all know that the biggest moneymaker for the media is the presidential elections, don’t you? All those candidates have to pay enormous sums just to be allowed to be seen on “their shows”!

As to the debates here about the health care proposals of the candidates – none of them are worth a plug nickel so far. There is only one honest solution and that is real single-payer for everyone. Health care is a right, not a privilege! Any of the current candidates that says that out loud and means it will win the election because there are so many of us, of all colors that need it - desperately!

Now if Obama would just stand up for what he actually believes and quit backing down like all the Democratic candidates, except Kucinich, are known to do, he will be worthy of my vote! So far, none of the others are even close.

I also plan to vote against my Democratic Representative – that would be Norm Dicks - because he won’t listen to his constituents concerns! At least he has a Democratic challenger. We really need a viable third party in this country.

Maria Echaveste, in explaining latino attitudes towards Obama spoke of blacks in the U.S. as being at the bottom of society. However, she didn't mention that the U.S., as opposed to latino societies, have a good represention of blacks in leadership positions. Maybe, the more relevant point, when discussing whether latinos will vote for a black person as the president of the United States, is the lack of identifiably black people in leadership positions in latino societies and the reason for that lack.

We do not have time for Senator Obama to learna how to be president. For the record, President Lincoln stumbled for years before he figured out how to stop the Southern rebellion and then he ended it with utter disregard for human rights of Southern people. President Franklin Roosevelt did not know how to end the depression. He never learned how to end it. He did only a fair job with managing the war effort. President Eisenhower was a better president than either of those guys but he failed to support civil rights. He delayed advancement of civil rights for at least the interval of his administration.

President Kennedy was not prepared to be president and his record proves that. President Carter failed as president because he was not up to the job.

Gosh, Lincoln stumbled into a bitter civil war. FDR never had any policy ideas that ended the depression, and Eisenhower failed to support civil rights. Lincoln did not learn how to end the rebellion until many years after the war his election caused wrecked the nation.

FDR simply stumbled from one mess to another until the war and, even then, he did not know how to wage it The Americans did not do well in North Africa and took a long time to respond to the problems with Japan.

Eisenhower undermined the Supreme Court and stalled integration for at least a decade.

Thanks for another great program. My mouth actually dropped at the way that husband spoke to his wife. There was no reason for him to speak down to her as he did.

I support Senator Clinton but was open to Obama until about six weeks ago when he gave the finger to Clinton in a speech to his admirers. That was very childish I thought, and dismissed him as an inexperienced but lucky Chicago politician. Imagine my surprise that some of his supporters like that crudeness about him.

He'll have to grow up quickly if he becomes our next president, or will we be watching as he gives the finger to one of the female world leaders he will have to meet with? Haven't we had enough of the stupid college kid stuff over the last eight years?

Just look at Senator Obama's record. There is not much to it. That a vote for the incompetent Republicans is the only alternative to this fellow with the meager resume angers me. I do not see why politicians like Senator Kennedy see in this fellow a great opportunity for us.

With the failure of health care and failure of American imperialsim, what really does Senator Obama offer voters? As someone here notes, his health care plan makes little sense.

What does he propose for American foreign policy? I do not yet see much that defines policy. I am not saying that Senator Obama will not get my vote. I am saying that he does not have a record of creative responses to fundamental problems.

Choosing not to vote for Clinton really has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman. It's because she's Hillary.I remember prefering Shirley Chisholm, back in '72, to all other candidates--too bad back then that she was both black, and a woman. But times change...The Hillary Clinton turn off has more to do with the obvious fact that she lies, (Bosnia snipers) moves the goalposts constantly, (seating Michigan and Florida delegates) and will say just about anything to get elected--even at the expense of the Democratic party winning in November. Most voters are pretty sick of her scorched earth rhetoric.(obliterate Iran?) Also, the "experience" criteria for being President is really a bogus issue. Abe Lincoln had the exact same credentials as Obama when he was elected, FDR little more, and Eisenhower had absolutely no public service experience before he was elected President. Most would agree that these were great Presidents--and many see in Obama at least the potential for greatness as well.

Instead of a dream team; what we need is a winning team. Sexism and racism is a seperate issue that can only be resolved when people can get it straight in their heads that we are all people and all have the same needs and expectations.
Without male and female, we would go extinct without race; we would all be boring clones. With our world history of cultural inter-marriage due to wars and occupation; we are all some kind of mix. We have a desparate situation with the state of the union at risk. We need to work together to get our nation back on the right track.

Choosing not to vote for Clinton really has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman. It's because she's Hillary.I remember prefering Shirley Chisholm, back in '72, to all other candidates--too bad back then that she was both black, and a woman. But times change...The Hillary Clinton turn off has more to do with the obvious fact that she lies, (Bosnia snipers) moves the goalposts constantly, (seating Michigan and Florida delegates) and will say just about anything to get elected--even at the expense of the Democratic party winning in November. Most voters are pretty sick of her scorched earth rhetoric.(obliterate Iran?) Also, the "experience" criteria for being President is really a bogus issue. Abe Lincoln had the exact same credentials as Obama when he was elected, FDR little more, and Eisenhower had absolutely no public service experience before he was elected President. Most would agree that these were great Presidents--and many see in Obama at least the potential for greatness as well.

My brother David gets angry with me, but he surprised me that both he and I like Senator Clinton. My former wife and I differred in our political outlooks. We were together for 21 years.

I find that I often change my opinions.

About Senator Obama, I resent the implication that I am a racist if I oppose him, when he received the vote of almost every black person I know even among those who think that Senator Clinton is a strong candidate.

I have decided that I will vote for Senato Obama if he wins the majority of votes from regular voters, If gets the nomination simply and only because he carries the super delegates, then I might consider supporting a third party candidate. I feel that he won many primaries because of black block voting. While I understand that black voters might easily want to support Senator Obama, I also believe that he was not the best candiate in the Democratic primaries.

What I want for our country is not another standard Chicago politician.

I am white, 67, PhD math/computer, working, very liberal and support Clinton because she is better on the issues. Obama’s health insurance plan would leave on third of America’s uninsured behind. 27,000 Americans die annually for lack of health insurance; 9,000 would die annually under Obama’s health plan. That is more than twice the number of Americans that have died in Iraq over the last five years. Obama is very sloppy policy wise, or doesn’t really care that much about American death in Iraq or hear at home.

I am so tired of hearing supporters of Sen. Clinton say that people are voting for Sen. Obama because they hate women. I can only speak for myself, but if Madeline Albright could run for President, I would happily consider voting for her rather than Hillary Clinton.

I do support Sen. Obama, and some people have suggested that the only reason people are supporting Obama is because he is black. Again I can only speak for me, but if Al Sharpton were running for President, I would not support him even though he is black.

It is not about race, and it is not about gender.

I know that idenity voting is a reality, but why do so many people assume that although their own vote is issue based, other people's voting is based on race or gender?

For the record, I am a 52 year old white male that grew up in Alabama and Texas.

The Media elite: Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann. Ed Schultz, Stephanie, Randy Rhodes seem to be putting it:
- better a black male Democratic candidate than a white woman Democratic candidate, and
- better a black Democratic candidate than a Democratic president.

Hillary supporters like Maria Echaveste appear incapable of reasoning in a manner that comports with the evidence and facts.

The question was raised why Mrs. Clinton has not already graciously bowed out of the race given that she has no chance of overcoming Sen. Obama's lead in pledged delegates. Ms. Echaveste had the nerve to say that the real issue now is not the delegate math, but who "can best compete against John McCain in the fall." That's not what the issue is at all. The issue is whether the candidate who has lost will have the grace and the class to acknowledge as much, and get behind the de facto nominee.

She also said that Obama "can't take a punch." What nonsense! This is a man who was maligned for things his pastor said, whose words on the campaign trail were picked apart endlessly, who was the object of the Clinton campaign's smear tactics. And yet, he came back strong, trouncing Mrs. Clinton in North Carolina and nearly beating her in conservative Indiana.

All too often this campaign season I have seen women express an affinity for Mrs. Clinton that is based on nothing more than a desire to see a female become president, rather than a desire to see someone get ahead whose positions on the issues mirror their own. To me this is rank sexism.

There's something about somebody not arguing in an honest way -- a way in which the salient facts are taken into consideration -- that totally puts me off.

Professor Edley said that Democratic voters in West Virginia demonstrated themselves to be racist [because the broke for white Hillary by 68$%]. How are we not to conclude, using the Edley’s measure, that black Democratic voters are racist because they have broke for black Obama by more than 90% across the country. Edley demonstrated naiveté and/or disingenuousness on this point. Sorry he was not challenged.

RandyJ

It's not about politics for me anymore. Everything is about the Obscenity known as the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. I cannot bear discussions like this that ignore the most significant reality of our lives, the fact that we are responsible for the deaths of 10s of thousands of innocent people. It's called murder and we're here blathering away about sexism and racism. I must live and work with war supporters, not by choice. If I could have my choice I would surround myself with only those who really do care about and practice Peace. I guess that eliminates all of those who care about or practice sexism and racism.

Maria said exactly what I've been thinking. Obama is unqualified for the position he's trying to fill. The fact that he either knows he's unqualified but trying for it anyway or doesn't know he's not qualified indicates bad judgment on his part. I see a lot of thing wrong with Obama that have nothing to do with skin color. The country is in pretty sad shape thanks to Bush. What we really need is experience not experiment. Instead we are apparently going to have the least experience person who ran as the candidate. I think I'm going to sit this one out rather than cast a vote that I will regret.

Mr. Edley came across as soft spoken but arrogant; also somewhat naive in that he seems to think Obama will be doing what they (his advisors) tell him to do even though Obama, like every other candidate who has ever run for president has to have a pretty large ego to consider running in the first place. Again, Mr. Edley showed himself to be naive. I didn't particularly care for his attempt to sling mud at the Clinton presidency either. My family did quite well while Clinton was in the White House.

Bottom line, I don't want the hope and change that Obama is promising. I want plans; plans that are solid and tangible. Plans that will work. My choice for the office is already gone. If Hillary quits, I will have to give serious thought to McCain.

Just watch Maria Echaveste body language and the amount of lies coming out of her mouth. She kept looking toward the left.

Experience. That is laugh. When is husband's experience is shifted to the Wife.
If she had so much experience how come she didn't plan her campaign. Using Republican talking points to attach Barak is the main clue that any one needs to see that the Clinton hack have no honor.

Is this the new power couple. No matter who wins. they win anyway. What a joke.

The post from Marianna (May 16, 11:07PM) echoes my sentiments exactly! I do have an additional comment. The husband in your interview was trying to emphasize a point that so many Obama-supporters are saying...that if you are not supportive of Obama for the nomination, then it MUST be because he is black. This is playing the reverse race card. It is similar to the Bush Administration a few years ago not allowing any dissenting voices about the Iraq war to be heard, calling such people un-patriotic. In similar vein, it is incredibly belittling to those of us not supporting Barack to be described as "not ready to vote for a black man". I cannot tell you how exasperated this makes me. This does not even enter into my decision process!! I do not feel negatively toward Barack, I just happen to believe that he is too immature, politically and socially, to be president at this time. Barack has shown us time and again throughout the campaign and his time in the senate that he is very tentative and slow in his initial approach to problems. It takes him too long to find his footing and to put his views forward. Hillary is a person with incredible courage, intelligence, experience and true grit. She faces adversity like no one I have ever seen. She has spent many years thinking about the America she wants to lead and creating a vision of how she would do this. Barack is still formulating his vision. It consists of "change", but not much else, yet. This country is in too dire a crisis in so many areas, we don't have the time for Barack to figure out what it means to him after taking the seat in the Oval Office. From the simple political and social gaffs (flag lapel pins and "Sweetie" usage) to more significant policy issues (talking with other leaders without pre-conditions, lack of understanding about corporate contracters vs union workers). Barack is gaining a long list of superdelegate supporters, but how many are doing so in order to gain entry into his administration or to gain other political favors? Hillary is more well known, so these delegates are choosing sides to make their own prospects better. My support for Hillary is on her merits of personality, experience and ability for effective leadership and negotiation. My non-support for Barack is based on his lack of experience, his lack of details with regard to his over-arching goals for his administration and our country, his immaturity in knowing how to negotiate with the public, politicians, and world leaders. He has a good heart, but it is also a politician's heart of the garden variety kind. Barack speaks eloquently and has a strong future in politics and I will happily support him for president in a few years. But Barack's current candidacy is based on political opportunity not on experience. We need a president with experience in many areas right now...foreign policy, economy, health care, and especially how to work in an environment of political adversity. Hillary has worked hard and has demonstrated her ability to lead us and deserves an opportunity to go to the convention floor to make her case to all the delegates.

I found this an upsetting interview. I am sorry that West Virginians seemed to be hung up on race, and that Mr. Moyers seems to be as well. He certainly doesn't seem to be very fond of Senator Obama, referring to him constantly as black, black, black. I didn't fine either of the interviewees to have intelligent things to say - for example: "It's a little too easy to talk about the things that unite us..."

No, it isn't! It is too easy to speak divisively, and that, it seems to me, is how the interview came across. We have had eight years of division, and I for one am tired of it. Senator Obama is not a black candidate - he is a person like me, only much smarter than me politically speaking. He is a person with a political agenda for the country, and THAT is what we ought to be talking about.

I didn't answer the questions - they don't have any importance for us at this critical time when we badly need to focus on what the country needs.

I am sorry for West Virginians. They have a very hard life and they are suffering greatly as our economy tanks. Highlighting racial divisions doesn't seem to me to be the best way to reach people living in poverty. I wish Mr. Moyers would stop doing this - it seems unfair to me.

Congrats again to Moyers and the Journal on yet another great hour. What would we do without you, Bill? I am a Clinton supporter and found Maria Echaveste's pov to echo my own. Her husband's comments manifest once again the lemming-like race to the edge of the cliff that has characterized so much of the blind rush to support Obama in this campaign. In this, of all election years, why are the democrats so intent on fulfilling their death wish? The pundits talk as if Barack Obama has a mandate in this primary campaign...riculous! Close to 50% of registered Democrats want Hillary Clinton as their candidate. No matter what attempts are made to "unite" the party before November, I sincerely fear that Obama cannot win the general election and I would think that the savvy politicos would recopgnize that. I can actually foresee the possibility in November of a strong write-in campaign for Hillary. I do admire Obama, but he has yet to show us any substance behind the rhetoric of change. (Is anyone seriously suggesting that Hillary Clinton does not represent change?) Obama's resume is much too short and his administrative ability unproven. Let him stay in the Senate for 8 more years and demonstrate his ability to bring disparate parties together to enact change at the legislative level. By 2016, he may be ready to be President...but, then, so will Cory Booker. Now, THERE will be a candidate for the future!

Casey Chapple is correct in claiming that the political discussion on the Journal for 5/16/2008 was 'infuriating and embarrassing.' Maria Eschaveste's remarks were intelligent; her husband's, in the main, were not. Moreover, her husband appeared unctuous, pompous, and condescending when he spoke--particularly when he interrupted her, as Chapple notes. I admire all three of the candidates who are running in this year's election, and I have not yet decided how I will vote. I will, however, make the following prediction: Americans, particularly men, will vote for a tin can before they will vote for a woman.

I was very naive growing up, and I thought everyone my age was as disenchanted as I was (during the horrible horrible Reagan years) and I was so surprised to find out that in fact most of my friends and classmates all supported Ronald Reagan. I could not square it. Now I think I know better, and wouldn't make that mistake again. But the point is, I made connections first, and only afterwards, realized that we did not agree politically on many things afterall. It was ok. I kind of like the mix. It gives me and the four remaining Democrats in my state something to really connect about and bond over.

On another perhaps more serious note, tonight's discussion with the married couple and their analysis of results in places like NC, Indiana, and W.Va., made me say out loud, "But all states have their own personalities!" Indiana is not West Virginia, though demographically they might have more in common than either has with some place like Alabama or NC. The election is in many ways an expression of each state's personality or psyche. That is what W. Virginia was feeling. They wanted to send the rest of the country a message. That is what I feel like all these individual state's elections are about, telling the rest of the country who THEY are.

I am about to sever my ties with one of the best friends I have ever had because of her unenlightened conservative political attitudes. When I tell your readers that she thinks The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group, they may get some idea of what I mean. I cannot understand why someone as educated and intelligent as she can hold such antediluvian beliefs. Finally, as I have said when I have posted before, I GENUINELY do not understand the meaning of the terms 'liberal' and 'conservative.'

Almost all my fellow physician friends are super liberal Democrats, like yourself. I consider myself an independent with right (security, illegal immigration, biased media, etc) and left (abortion, stem cell research, etc)opinions. We have a truce. We no longer discuss politics with each other. If we did, our friendships would suffer greatly.

Afro-Americans make up about 13% of the US population, while more than 50% are women. That should tell you something about Nov., as should a state-by-state Electoral College analysis of the primaries vs the last election. Many of the states Obama has won will be in the Republican column in Nov., I'm sure. McCain may be too old, but Obama is surely too young and our experience with previous such is not good. If the Obama camp isn't careful in the next few weeks they will further alienate women, too. Last, I am not sure that thoughtful voters will want to again place control of both the Congress and Presidency in the hands of one party, particularly one that I think will be just as unlikely to be able to control its own interests as the last. While we do need solutions to problems from the next administration, I am not sure that we will be able to get anything more than more Band-Aid compromises, if that, because it seems everyone in the party has an axe to grind. And I'm not sure, considering health care prices, we can afford the Band-Aids, either.

around 2 years ago The New England Journal of medicine published an article that said that the data that comes from drug companies about the safety of their drugs cannot be trusted. An interview on Canadian Public radio said that studies conducted decades ago revealved that HRT dramatically increases a woman's chances of getting breast cancer but the studies were surpressed

Sorry for the duplication. The system's glitchy now and told me the post didn't take.

Wow, what a question. Answering it truthfully has made me question myself. In anything approaching "normal" times, I uphold tolerance and open-mindedness as prime virtues. In this exceptionally horrible time, though, I can't bear the ignorance, superficiality and sheer laziness of those who still allow themselves to be deluded by our dominant culture's main script, which is patently evil. I could no more be friends with an apologist for Shrub and his Thugs than watch Fox propaganda.

Wow, what a question. Answering it truthfully has made me question myself. In anything approaching "normal" times, I uphold tolerance and open-mindedness as prime virtues. In this exceptionally horrible time, though, I can't bear the ignorance, superficiality and sheer laziness of those who still allow themselves to be deluded by our dominant culture's main script, which is patently evil. I could no more be friends with an apologist for Shrub and his Thugs than watch Fox propaganda.

The discussion this evening was infuriating and embarrassing. I am sorry that Maria Echaveste had to endure the insult her husband hurled at her half way through the program - about saying so much that was so wrong in so short a period of time. I credit Moyers for not editing it out. Decent people don't abuse one another like that in PRIVATE, much less in public. It indicates to me that Ms. Echaveste has compromised too much to coexist with this clod.

The campaign has allowed me to separate the wheat from the chaff among liberals. Obama, STILL uninformed about the difference between "elite" and "elitist", just cannot see what white West Virginians are saying. He DOES think they are slobbering racists. Hillary, while certainly elite, is able to relate much better, perhaps because she is a woman and is closer to our sameness from the inside out, having borne a child and knowing all the juices and smells and pain and fear of our humanity.

In Obama we have the un-Negro. Bill Clinton was more black that Obama is. There are tremendously powerful emotional forces driving blacks toward Obama, so that 90 percent of blacks support him is to be accepted. In the future, when economic power is more evenly spread among the races, such unanimity will disappear - as it should.

But we must ALWAYS question the qualifications and intentions of people who want to be president, since such aspirations are, by definition, driven by ego and ambition which have too often led to disaster.

I don't need the people in my life to share my political beliefs, but I do need them to have political beliefs.

I have a variety of close friends who run the ideological continuum from the right of Genghis Khan to the left of Karl Marx–what is important is that they are engaged in the process, and they believe that active involvement in our political systems is our sacred duty as Americans.

Generations have fought, and bled, and died for our freedoms (and for the right-wing's right to be wrong). What is important is that you pay attention – no matter what your conclusions are! Republicans are just the opposition, apathy is the enemy.

The end of a long-term, long-distance relationship ended in 2003 when he said, "You haven't been any fun since Bush won." Well, if he had stuck with me until 2008, he would have really seen my disappointment in the track this nation is taking downward. And this comment was from a person who wasn't even registered to vote. He just couldn't understand where a yellow-dog democrat was coming from.

Troubled by the barely-veiled racism I've been hearing over the past year, I finally confronted a friend. She worked hard to convince me that Obama was not a candidate who should be supported. Finally, an email she forwarded from a pro-Israel, anti-Obama source was more than I could take. End of friendship.

She sees herself as liberal politically, proud of her red-diaper-baby legacy. If the angry older women who support Hillary Clinton had been active feminists over the past 40 years, American would be a much better place for all than it is today.

I lived for 17 years in a place where virtually no one thought as I did. As long as I kept my mouth shut, it was OK, until the political season rolled around, then it became unbearable. Now I live in a place where I can actually have a political conversation and not feel like "a left wing nutjob". Having lived in both worlds, I think it's very important to be where others share your opinions! There's a lot less danger of developing apoplexy...

I like to think that I am neither a left wing nutjob or a right wing hard case.
There should be a golden mean on any issue. Ye is the Chinese symbol for the best action for the situation. Extreme left and extreme right are both a path to disaster. Choices should be made from as much correct information as possible. It is necessary to be aware of possible consequences. The effect on Human life is the most important consideration.

Voted "somewhat important," but people who are open to the same kinds of ideas tend to group together naturally it seems.

"You are indifferent" and "Not important at all" mean the same thing.

This is perhaps not a legitimate question. If you surround yourself with people who don't share your political beliefs, then you tend to be left in the cold. If you surround yourself with the like minded then you are not necessarily required to think. I suspect it is the balance of having those that challenge as well as those that reinforce your political thoughts that will require you to actually evaluate what you think. Is seems that too many people don't.

I live in a strongly conservative community. If I expected my friends and associates to agree with me politically, I'd never get to talk to anyone.

When I married, my husband voted republican but wasn't aware politically.

Now, this man is going to vote for Obama and announced that fact to me last summer. To say I was proud and equally floored would be an understatement. He now watches political shows and avidly listens to speeches by all the candidates. We debate issues and he actually listens to me and asks questions.

I, on the other hand..am a leftwing nutjob and have been since the age of 13. :)

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