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MarekNYC:

I got the impression that there was a lot of wishful projection going on. I guess charisma really matters.

He's a Democratic preacherman, which is always a big hit role in the US. You can say anything as a preacherman and you'll always have people worshipping the ground you walk on.

We don't have the same thing in Yurp to quite the same extent. Not that we're immune, unfortunately - we had Blair who, entirely coincidentally, turned out to be an evangelical in disguise.

In the UK we like our leaders to be mean and spiteful - like Thatcher, or Anne Robinson, who would surely win a seat if she stood for one.

It gives us a nice warm glow to elect someone who's every bit as angry and vicious as we'd like to be.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:05:34 PM EST
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The last full blown SOB Dem was LBJ. Not coincidentally a great president on the domestic side. Hell, in spite of Vietnam he still easily takes first in my ranking of US postwar presidents. And he wasn't just an SOB in political style. He was also corrupt, racist, sexist, dishonest, did special interest deals with corporate interests. But overall, in spite of all that, accomplished a great deal of good.
by MarekNYC on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 02:12:52 PM EST
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racist, sexist

He was a product of his times.  But he genuinely wanted to improve the civil rights situation and improve the lot of the poor, amongst whom he was raised.  He was very persuasive in person, both as Senate Leader and as President.  It is easy to forget how much has changed since those times.

In 1965-66 I felt betrayed by him on Vietnam.  White House tapes have revealed that he went to war so as not to have Barry Goldwater beating the Dems over the head with "Who Lost Vietnam" and "Being Soft on Communism."  The disease of that dynamic is still in full effect in the US body politic.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:43:50 PM EST
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A lot of the American left's continuing backfoot stance can be traced back to what might be called the "Goldwater moment". Counting in the '68 assassinations, no doubt.

A line was drawn then in the sand, and the tide hasn't come back to obliterate it yet.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 03:50:42 AM EST
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Which is why I say we need a President who knows how to do business with a knife, a la LBJ's famous quote: "The art of politics consists of knowing when to hold a knife to a man's belly and when to stick it in."  We need someone both with principles and with a ruthless determination to do what needs to be done to erase that line in the sand and then some.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 06:35:21 PM EST
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