This blog has a comment ranking system. Let's have some fun with it by having our own presidential debate. Pick a side, either Obama or McCain, and leave a comment explaining why your pick would be the best president.

Then be sure to vote for the best other comments that aren't your own. Let's see which arguments float to the top.

You are not required to be brief, but my guess is that people will vote you down if you can't make your case in a paragraph or two.

The challenge is to support your argument. For example, saying one candidate will vote for some particular treaty is just a fact, not an argument, unless you can include a link to an article saying most experts disagree with the treaty.


Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +13
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-26 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 7, 2008
This sort of system only works when you have a large number of subscribers to begin with.

At present the top vote getter is only 20 votes., compared to Digg which gets 500 diggs for good comments.
Jun 6, 2008
There is strong evidence that Obama is actually muslim. Of course, he will deny it in order to get elected. I don't know about you people, but I think it would be scary to have a president who follows a religion as violent as Islam.

McCain may be oldER, but he is by no means incompetent. He is perfectly healthy. Most young people hate him for the same reason some children hate their parents: he is wiser. He is not reckless. Young (Obama) often means naivity and being easily deceived.
Jun 6, 2008
McCain owes our country 4 more years of his life dammit! In fact, he owes this country 8 more years, I don't care if he does go senile with old age and start dropping A-bombs on Santa Clause in the North Pole, he has a lot of making up to do for crashing 5 airplanes on 5 different occasions!

+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008

John Mccain has proven himself to be a craven pursuer of political power in the last few years, and has abandoned many positive positions he previously held, such as campaign finance reform, to get ahead with conservative cronies.

Many people here mention concern that Obama will disrupt the economy. Oil is ludicrously expensive, the housing market is in shambles, and the economic stimulus package has done anything but. We NEED something to shake the economy out of its slow, dismal slide to recesssion. Like it or not, periods of economic growth have occured primarily when taxes were at reasonable levels, not bare-bones like today.

American men and women die every day in Iraq. I don't think anyone really knows what to do about that, but I do know what won't help - Invading Iran for reasons that are just as trumped-up and silly as the ones for Iraq. Mccain will get us in a war with Iran, Obama will not.

I appreciate that conservatives dislike taxes and government regulation, but we are nearing the slipperly slope of eternal war and fiscal collapse. We tried it your way, now lets try it our way.
-17 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008

1.) He seems like an actual person
2.) I'd like some change, and an old white man isn't change
3.) McCain is old, being president ages the crap out of you...he'd probably die in office
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
> Unlike the Democrats, John McCain is a FIERCE free-trader. He genuinely believes that restricting trade and not embracing new agreements will harm the future of our economy.

Trade policy is about the only position of McCain's that I prefer to Obama's position. I suspect (but of course can't know) that Obama's not a protectionist at heart, that he's only been bashing NAFTA in a misguided attempt to win votes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other "rust belt" states. (I live in Texas, which is a clear net winner due to increased trade related to NAFTA.)

However, economic policy isn't going to be the deciding factor when I vote in November. Health insurance and energy policy -- plus civil liberties and getting us the hell out of Iraq -- are why I'm going to vote for Obama. Not that it'll matter -- I'm sure Texas's electoral votes'll go to McCain.
+18 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I'm voting for Obama:

1) He's smarter than McCain
2) Supreme Court Nominations, we need some balance.
3) Young and Energetic. Wants to make America stronger and not just status Quo.
4) Serious about getting us out of Iraq.
5) Understands we need to rebuild our reputation around the world.
6) More serious about creating a solid energy policy with alternative energy source, not just more drilling.

Only downside, taxes will be going up. Hopefully, he won't go crazy about spending.
Jun 6, 2008
Democrats promise you the world, fail to achieve it, and then over-tax you for their pathetic attempts. Republicans promise you lower taxes, then spend like coke-fiends and rack up tons of debt, also getting nothing accomplished and wrecking the economy too. To me the only difference is which aspect of the process they lie about.

The only true solution is to trash both candidates and elect someone completely different--do away with the two-party system entirely. But since there are too many sheep in the world to make that happen, I guess you should pick the one at least pretending to want to change things. That means Obama. Provided he's not lying, which is pretty much a universal given in all politics, no matter which nationality or time period you wish to refer to.

As a side benefit though, electing Obama means that the majority of American's voted for a black guy, thus ending racism in America forever. (Well, not really, but it might wipe out white-man's guilt, which is a good start...)

P.S.--good way to get people to register for your website, Scott!!!
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Ultimately, the presidential election is a multiple choice test. You don't have to love McCain to think he's the best available answer. If I could "fill in the blank", I would pick someone else. But a choice between McCain and Obama... That's an easy choice for me.

McCain is a true centrist. He puts pragmatism first, party second. He has worked well with many democrats, and he's angered many in his own party, including the current president. Obama has never worked with a Republican on any meaningful project, in spite of his rhetoric.

McCain votes with his head and heart, not the polls. He stood up for "the Surge" back when it was unpopular and nearly cost him his career. He stood up to Rumsfeld on the right and Kennedy on the left. Obama's already backtracked on his words and his relationships as soon as the political winds shifted in the past year alone.

McCain's experience is simply not comparable to Obama's. Hillary said it best... Other candidates would bring a wealth of experience to the role. Obama would bring a speech he gave in 2002.

In a very brief career, Obama has managed to associate himself with some unsavory characters that are crooks (Rezko) or race-baiters (Wright). In contrast, McCain's integrity is perhaps the best in Washington (by far).

Obama talks a good game, but his policies are solidly on the far left without a single exception. I don't always agree with the McCain, but I respect his integrity and his judgement more than the alternative.

On spending, McCain is one of the only fiscal conservatives left in the senate. He refuses to support pork barrel projects. Obama's profligate campaign promises already cost hundreds of billions more that our current silly spending levels.

In summary, Obama is not a bad man, and he might not be a bad president. McCain is certainly not a Messiah. But McCain seems the lesser of two evils, and he might even do some good.
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Whatever else happens, we will have a solidly Democratic congress. With that in mind, voting for McCain is the only logical choice because only a divided government would be capable of controlling its own excesses. McCain will moderate the Democrats plans and they will moderate his proposals. Obama will only lead to a feedback loop between congress and the Whitehouse magnifying each others worst instincts, and we will all suffer as a result.
Jun 6, 2008
(I added a comment before, but I'd like to make a second argument.)

*** John McCain, a practical presidential choice ***

Let's first remember that we have a system that includes federal, state, and local governments and authorities.

We are electing an individual that will preside over the FEDERAL government. Thus, it is important that the candidate address the key federal concerns. We can all argue about what the main concerns should be, yet I think a fair way of determining the categories is by looking at our federal budget. Using a graphic found on the Washington Post that shows budget by functional category (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/budget07/category.html), here are our concerns:
* Social Security (21% of the federal budget)
* National Defense (13%)
* Medicare (14%)
* Income Security (13%)
* Health (13%)

These categories can cut across each other, and thus I see the "Big 3 Budgetary Concerns":
- National Security
- Health Security
- Retirement Security

I believe that McCain's policies will keep me safer and help me live a longer and happier life.

I want a strong LEADER that will defend America... John McCain has proven this. He understands national security and has seen the threats facing our nation. I believe that he will continue to invest in making sure we have the best military in the world. I do not deny Obama's patriotism and love of this country -- but I do believe that he may damage our defensive infrastructure through budgetary cuts.

I want to have CHOICE in my health care plans and systems -- and McCain's plans seek to bring control to patients. I have zero faith that the government can create a fair and just system. Obama has been better here than Hillary, but I fear that he may re-position to the left now that the campaign for the general election has started.

Sadly, neither candidate has created proposals to reform (and save) Social Security. So the Retirement Security “concern” is a 'wash' in my view.
-9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
1) Almost all laws are ill-conceived and even more poorly executed. The last thing this country needs is more laws.

2) Due to the Republicans making a total hash of things when they controlled congress and the presidency, the Democrats are likely to control congress for most of the next president's term.

3) Due to #1 we want to make sure that the fewest possible laws get passed, which means we need a balance of power to guarantee inaction.

4) Vote McCain.
Jun 6, 2008
Those aren't the only choices for President, Scott.
Jun 6, 2008
I think we're all Bozos on this bus!
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
"Ask not what Congress can do for corporate lobbyists; ask what Congress can do for you."

Obama's ability to inspire via the spoken word is his most valuable asset as a candidate, and it will be his biggest strength as president. His two most urgent priorities, judging from campaign rhetoric, will be health insurance reform and energy policy reform -- primarily efficiency gains and development of renewable energy sources.

Obama won't be able to do it alone, of course. Congress will have to stop doing the bidding of corporations and start representing the people again. Who better than Obama to inspire Americans to *demand* fundamental change?
+20 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
As long as the Iraqi parliament thinks they can get us to provide stability for them, they're going to depend on us to do so. The only way we can put enough pressure on them to make the compromises they need to make to achieve stability is to provide a credible threat of withdrawal. The only candidate offering to do that is Barack Obama.

Barack Obama's chief advisor is a smart guy named Austan Goolsbee, who even managed to earn the grudging respect of the highly conservative George Will; John McCain's is Phil Gramm, who pushed for a lot of the deregulation that got us into our current economic mess. McCain once called the Bush tax cuts a shock to the conscience, but he seems to have gotten over that; I see no reason to believe he would be an exception to our thirty year pattern of Republican presidents who inflate the national debt.

Obama doesn't think he's above the law, nor is he going to allow telecom companies to get away with breaking it; McCain has asserted that he will continue warrantless surveillance and will give those companies amnesty, even though that does nothing to improve our national security.

The only position McCain hasn't flip-flopped on in the past ten years is his staunch opposition to abortion. Do you really want him appointing more Supreme Court justices? I'm voting for Obama.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
> 1) I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, so it is always good to have a president from your home town

Oh, yeah? Well, I live in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, it hasn't been so great having a president from my home town/state.
Jun 6, 2008
McCain is a hopelessly retarded hasbeen.

Obama is a visionary that has the right stuff.
-12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008

1) You boomers had Kennedy.

2) Obama inspires (many of) us younger people in the same way.

3) You wrecked social security and medicare, you F'ing owe us this.
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
My most important issue is Iraq War and the amount of money we are spending there. If we stop spending that money now, we would be able to improve schools, improve the economy and create more jobs here. Not to mention the over-stretched armed forces would be able to improve.

Based on that alone, Obama is my candidate of choice.
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