Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Very Special Election

Today (3/8/08) the 14th district of Illinois is having a special election to fill a Congressional seat. This is the district that Denny Hastert (former Repub Speaker) held until he resigned last year. The results are promising for Democrats. With 96% of the precincts in, the Democrat is leading 53%-47%. I presume that's a victory. Taking this seat is particularly sweet, and bodes well for the Fall.

This is relevant for another reason. There are 794 superdelegates presently (One congressman died - I can't remember how the other was lost of originally 796). The new Democrat will be another Superdelegate. He has already "pre-endorsed" Barack Obama. In fact, Obama made a campaign ad for him saying "you don't have to wait till November to vote for change." It should be instructive that in a Republican congressional district, a Democrat would choose to run with Obama (not Hillary Clinton) and successfully win that seat (although, of course, it is in Illinois).


Raised By Republicans said...

Some tidbits from Daily Kos. This district includes Reagan's birthblace. It also voted 56% for Bush in 2004.

I didn't know that Obama had campaigned for the Democrat in this race. He's already got coat-tails. Interesting.

HistoryBuff said...

This is a little off the subject, but it seems to me by the articles and comments that y'all support Obama. Please tell me why, I figure you all are informed enough to not just say he's for Change.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Two of us (RBR and LTG) openly support Barack Obama. At least one (Dr.S) supports Hillary Clinton.

HistoryBuff said...

OK, so why though, I'd really like to know. If it comes down to an election between Obama and McCain, why should I vote for Obama?

Raised By Republicans said...


It's hard to tell you who you should vote for if we don't know what kind of policies you want.

I think McCain stands for the following: maintaining the status quo in Iraq (i.e. large scale troop deployments there for the long term - he says 10-50 years); tax cuts as the primary means of economic stimulous; no radical changes in the way we deal with detainees; another two supreme court appointments with right wing views.

I'm opposed to maintaining troops in Iraq for so long. I'm also more convinced that the national deficit (which is related to the war) is the cause of our current economic problems than the tax rate. In short, I think that maintaining troops in Iraq will lead to persistent deficit, increasing oil prices, stagflation and continued economic problems. McCain doesn't see the connection.

Obama on the other hand is a Constitutional Law professor with a background in local community development, state level politics and the Senate. He's on record as favoring withdrawl from Iraq as soon as practical. That alone would do a great deal to solve our deficit problems. His focus on reducing health care costs will help businesses currently plagued by rising labor and production costs largely because of health care and oil prices. He is unambiguously opposed to torture (something McCain has wavered on during the GOP primaries). He would maintain balance on the supreme court. Finally, Obama would review all of Bush's executive orders regarding detainees and domestic spying for their constitutionality.

Oh, and Obama is a moderate on trade. He wouldn't go over to protectionism like Edwards would and he wouldn't be overly pro-big business like Bush has been.

If you like the idea of staying in Iraq regardless of the military and economic costs - vote for McCain. If not, vote for Obama.

HistoryBuff said...

Thanks, very helpful.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I would also add the Supreme Court as a primary reason not to vote for McCain. McCain would appoint more right-wing judicial activists to the bench who would overturn longstanding precedent establshing privacy rights, reproductive choice, and limitations on executive power. Obama, a scholar of sorts on constitutional matters, will not pick judges with such agendas. Rather, I believe he will nominate judges who will honor precedent and, where precedent fails, faithfully try to interpret constitutional provisions to embody the spirit of liberty, in all its fullness, that informs our constitutional republic. We need judges who understand that the President is not above the law. We need judges who understand that the constitutional prohibitions against torture in the 5th and 8th amendments should be read broadly, as the bedrock principles of liberty, not narrowly, as if they were picayune restrictions on a Strong Leader. We need judges who get the fact that liberty and security are not "in tension" or needing to be "balanced" but are, rather, twins. We need judges who reject orginalism as un-democratic. The idea that "cruel and unusual punishment" means only what it did in 1789 is absurd. Think about it - under the originalist view, we could change the meaning of the constitution just by re-enacting the exact same language today (so it would then be "original" to 2008). Nonsense. We need judges who view democracy, liberty, due process, and civil rights as core values, not airy-fairy, ivory-tower principles that hinder practical government (the Republican/McCain/Bush view). We need judges, in short, who do not suffer from what the Justice Blackmun derided as Justice Rehnquist's "stunted conception of liberty." This shit really, really matters.