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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-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I'd also add that Obama actually has a plan that will address America's healthcare crisis. It uses a mixture of public and private mechanisms to maximize coverage and lower costs. It aint perfect but it's better than nothing.

McCain's answer to healthcare is the typical Republican non-solution to encourage the market to offer healthcare solutions. Given that Health Insurers make money by screening out the unhealthy and paying as few claims as possible, expecting the market to provide healthcare solutions won't work for anybody but the rich and those employed by corporations who have insurance anyway.
-13 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
It's not about the candidates, but who they fill their posts with. Having said that I believe Obama will have better cabinet choices than McCain.
+22 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
If it was any other Republican than John McCain I would probably vote for Obama.

-Supports real immigration reform (not just a bunch of useless fences)
-Can manage the withdrawal from Iraq without it turning into defeat (even if it takes longer than Obama)
-Has fought against earmarks his whole career
-Has sought to reform the political system multiple times (though I disagree with his campaign finance method-I applaud the effort)
-Is not a "moralistic" republican but more of a libertarian republican

Obama would mean a lot for racial progress in this country, but I don't see him challenging his own backers like McCain has done with conservatives. I think of McCain as much more independent.
Jun 6, 2008
Obama, because I value my civil liberties.

Up until recently, this might have left my decision somewhat of a tossup, because McCain in December had made some pretty strong pro-civil-liberties comments. But to quote the National Review blog, "Senator McCain supports the FISA modernization bill passed by the Senate without qualification. He believes no additional steps should be necessary to secure immunity for the telecoms ... neither the Administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and the trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. ... John McCain will do everything he can to protect Americans from such threats, including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect intelligence against foreign threats to the United States as authorized by Article II of the Constitution. "

Well, there you have it. The constitution means that the executive branch can spy on us without oversight, and any potential lawbreaking along the way should be rewarded by immunity from prosecution.

I don't want to live in a police state, hence Obama is the better of the two candidates.
Jun 6, 2008
I like McCain. I think if he were the Republican candidate four years ago I could have voted for him. There are some pretty good arguments here to support McCain; works for the greater good; votes against his party when necessary, etc. He's a good man.

But there is one issue that tips the scales for me toward Obama, and that is Iraq. I am a former soldier (stateside during the first Gulf war) and I have many friends who are or were enlisted in the armed services. I do not believe in throwing away the lives of our soldiers for a war that cannot be won. And I do not believe we can win this war, because I do not believe you can defeat an ideology with bullets.

How would we feel if we were the smaller country, and the Iraq military invaded our nation attempting to force Muslim beliefs upon us? We would do the same thing they're doing: we'd build home-made bombs and do everything possible to make them go away and leave us alone. If history has taught us anything it is that you cannot force your beliefs on a people. Change can only come from within, and only when knowledge is shared in good faith.

We can help with that change, but not by parading our military on their doorstep. That sort of show of force is not a way to win friends and influence people. We have a chance to show the Iraqi people, and the rest of the world, that we can be an example of a great nation once again. But to do that we have to get back to solving problems, both our own and those that affect the entire planet. We need to be educating our children better and putting our greatest minds toward solving the world's greatest problems. We need to be leading by example. I think Obama could be the start of that.
-24 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Obama - Accountability - The Republicans must be cast into the outer darkness for lying to us and invading Iraq. The Dems may have gone along, but they didn't think it up.
-27 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I'm not an American.

If I were, I'd ask if there was a wookie I could vote for.

Then I'd realize Regan was dead.

So I'd ask if Stewie from Family Guy was in the running.

Seriously. He wouldn't take crap. And he's gay, so he wouldn't be impeached when he screwed around with a fat intern. And he's a cartoon, you can't assassinate a cartoon. Friggin perfect.
-10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
With the Revrand wright situation you can say only one of two things about Obama:
1) He is a devious racist willing to say and do anything to become president.
2) He is very bad judge of character and chooses his friends poorly.
Which of these traits do you want in the next President?

Jun 6, 2008
Get the cost of fuel down. Drill for oil in Anwar, in the Rockies, off the coast of FL, wherever. That's the short term. Long term, develop new sources of fuel/energy.

That is all that matters. If we don't get control of that, it will impact EVERYTHING.

Obama has indicated he will do everything he can to raise fuel costs (more taxes, no drilling, but maybe some new source in 10-20 years). Clinton might have been a good choice, but I guess we won't have that chance. So I am left voting for McCain or risking the dangers of an Obama presidency.
-9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Obama represents what America SHOULD be, McCain represents what America IS RIGHT NOW

Obama represents 21st Century, McCain represents 20th Century

Obama is the Future, McCain is the past.

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I hate politics. A bunch of special interests and lobbyists controlling the conversation. I hate politicians who will change their fundamental views on a dime.

One politician right now seems to be somewhat different. He has refused to take PAC money or lobbyist money for his campaign and now that he is in charge of the DNC, it too is not taking PAC and lobbyist money. This is big! Everyone on all sides of the political spectrum (except the people who the lobbyists represent) want to fundamentally change the way politicians are elected and the way agendas are set. If we elect Obama as president, he wont be owned by anyone and so real change has the possibility of taking place.

-13 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Both will End the Battle in Iraq, McCain in Victory, Obama in defeat. Both will raise our Taxes, McCain will go along with the Democratic Congress but may be able to hold the Cap Gains Rate below 20%. Obama will give us at least 2 of the largest tax increases in History, leading to a major recession and near Jimmy Carter level inflation (18%) and Unemployment levels also in Double Figures. And each time he raises taxes, revenue to the IRS will decrease.

Obama is a smoother speaker, but I think McCain will keep us safer.

Nonetheless, I am voting for Bob Barr. We need a smaller less intrusive government or we will soon be living in the world of Atlas Shrugged.
Jun 6, 2008
I think you should support Obama for two reasons. The first is that he is very far outside of the political mainstream, which means that very little will be accomplished during his single term as president. This is a good thing, as the federal government as currently comprised tends to create ineffective or detrimental legislation. The last thing we need is huge new programs, but all the programs Obama supports won't ever be enacted.

There is a risk Obama may really screw things up a la Jimmy Carter, especially with support of a Democratic congress, but that risk is worth reason #2.

Your second reason for supporting Obama is that he alone can do the country a great service - disillusioning an entire generation en masse. Too many young Americans think that some politicians can be good and true, idealistic and well-meaning. Older Americans (mostly) know this to be untrue, and the younger generation needs to learn that politicians - especially smooth talkers - are not to be trusted.

99% of politicians are egomaniacs possessing only the skill to get elected (and laid) - not to think critically or govern effectively. With so many people thinking Obama is the "new kind of politician" (or messiah!), this is a great opportunity to show people that hope and faith in politicians is poorly invested and sorely misplaced. Watching Obama twist, lie, flip, and cast away all his closest friends in his ultimate power grab should provide such a lesson (at least for those who possess the ability to learn).
-18 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Oh, here come the smugs....

Stop thinking that you are so intellectually superior that you are too smart to participate in "the establishment".

Put down the books, hang up your iPhone and stop your Prius and make a friggin' choice.

There is/was/never will be the perfect candidate.

Just remember, without national security, we have nothing. Money in your pocket, health care and social harmony are fine and dandy but mean little when someone wants to annihilate and terrorize us to the point where we cannot live our lives without fear.

Obama has idealistic words, opinions and hopes for "change" - so does the homeless guy outside of my building.

McCain has the military and political experience to get it done. Thinking that ALL Republicans freely drink the Bush/Cheney/Rove cool aid is an insult to Senator McCain.

Jun 6, 2008
Scott, if we vote for you, will you make your site "Remember Me" checkbox ACTUALLY WORK? Also, I didn't click the "Notify Me" checkbox, yet I'm getting notifications every time someone posts . . .
-9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
Scott did a piece a couple of months back on “experience” as a determining factor for your choice for President. Who has the best qualifications? A great leader is one that inspires people. A great leader surrounds themselves with “the best and the brightest.” Let’s not forget, neither candidate is trying to sell their ideas….they are trying to sell themselves, their ability to inspire you, to you. Their ideas are only as good as the people that make the laws and that’s out of their control. Their term of office will be judged by how well they played with others in the sandbox. In the end, experience means little. This is not a job you can train for. The fact that neither candidate is walking lockstep with the rest of their party on all issues intrigues me. In the end, watching his organization and his ability to move a crowd make Barack Obama the choice for me.
Jun 6, 2008

Yep, I'm a member of the DNRC.
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2008
I am in agreement with many that there is only so much a President can accomplish. But a great thing that a President CAN do is to set a tone and inspire. Bush set a tone of secrecy, a tone for 'the end justifies the means' (even though he never accomplished the end he intended and the means were despicable), a tone that individual liberties could be sacrificed for the greater good.

Anyone who has listened to McCain knows that inspiration isn't his strong suite. He doesn't even do repetition well, but currently it's all he has done. His discomfort with communicating transfers to his audience far more clearly than his message. But when you get the message, it's often foolish. He spoke at a cancer center about people taking charge of their own health care, and how they should buy their own insurance because company group policies provide unneeded extras and are wasteful. The irony is that only people in a group policy can get insured once they have cancer. You cannot buy it - private policies exclude pre-existing conditions.

Obama, on the other hand, is all about inspiration. He is a terrific speaker and as for motivating people, he's done it like no one I've heard in decades. He is confident and while he may not have the in depth knowlege to solve our major problems, he only needs to be smart enough to identify those who can, provide them with inspiration. He has that skill in abundance.

Now, to completely finish off the pro-McCain arguments, I need only reference the post by 'ben=catbert' - Obama is 6'1" and McCain is 5'7". And Obama has much better hair.

Jun 6, 2008
For the most part, I'm left of center with strong math skills. But there are some things I remember liking about McCain alot which makes it tempting to vote for him over Obama. He was for campaign finance reform, improving the immigration system, and concerned about climate change so most likely be for alternative and efficient energy research. He's also voted against his party when he felt it necessary, worked with Democrats on legislation, and not opposed to seeking compromise - so that indicates he listens well and at times acts for the great good over his party's agenda. And I don't have a problem if he wants to stay in Iraq a while to help fix what needs fixing there. I'd trust him to find a way to get that done at the least expense to soldiers' lives and welfare because he's a Veteran. He's very familiar with the military and its ways. With what I have to go on right now, McCain seems to be the guy who can best help get good things done at home and abroad with the least amount of irrational opposition.

That's the Vulcan inside me talking. Personally, I would love to find that also in a woman or minority candidate because dammit - I'm tired of being offered up the old white guy for the office of President. :P
Jun 6, 2008
McCain...albeit reluctantly.

Obama gives a great speech when he's on teleprompter, but he's completely clueless off-the-cuff. Being president is a job where you have to be able to think on your feet constantly. (The buck stops there...and if Obama can't think on his feet, we'll wind up with another Jimmy Carter presidency!)

Sorry to say it...but Obama is just not ready yet. Maybe in 8 years...but certainly not after about a year in the Senate. (Yeah, I know he was elected over three years ago, but he started campagining for the presidency after about a year...and that leaves little time for conducting the Senat business for which Illinois voters elected him.) Plus, in his short Senate career, he's become the most liberal one in the joint. When there's a liberal in the White House...hold on to your wallets!

McCain is a genuine American war hero...and that's gotta count for something during war time. I think he's soft on illegal immigration and he's made a number of questionable moves in the Senate in the name of "bipartisanship", but I think he's got the best interests of the country at heart.

It all comes down to this: Who do you want selecting the next two ((or possible three) Supreme Court Justices?

That's an easy choice. McCain.

Peace and Long Life...

High Commander
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