Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Political Blogging - An Unstoppable Force Hits an Unmovable Object

Up until yesterday the democratic presidential race has perfectly illustrated the paradoxical physics question: What happens when an unstoppable force hits an unmovable object? Until yesterday Obama's political force could not be quelled and Clinton's entrenched political machine seemed to be unmovable. The Super-Tuesday contest two weeks ago proved as much, with each garnering about 49% of the popular vote.

Yet, as the dynamic always seems to overcome the static, the social law of inertia, so too has Barack Obama candidacy seems to have finally overcome the once seemingly intractable Clinton machine.

Last night Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia held their primaries - the so called Potomac primaries. Barack Obama won each all with wide margins; in D.C. he won 75% of the vote (arguably Clinton's home state of 8 years). And while the black voting blocks in each primary went overwhelmingly for Obama, he split the white and over 30 vote.

Hawaii and Wisconsin are next to hold their primaries. Obama is favored to win them both. Clinton's campaign has all but written off the rest of the country focusing only on Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania (a poll yesterday showed Clinton ahead in Ohio by 17pts). Just today Hillary Clinton released a negative television ad that tagged Obama as dodging a debate with her in Marquette. (Though pundits have pointed out that her desire to have more debates is partially driven by constrained ability to purchase ad buys because of her campaign's budget crunch).

Obama's force in unstoppable, at least right now. Super-delegates will slowly start backing Obama over Clinton (they would have already backed Clinton if they were going to; she's always been the known quantity in the race). There is still the chance that Hillary Clinton will demand at the convention the seating of Michigan and Florida delegations, and if that happens McCain will win the day and offer another chance for Republicans to laugh at the self-imploding politics of the left. Hopefully and likely, democratic leaders, not necessarily committed to Obama, have or are going to began to call Clinton and politely tell her to take down the tent and congratulate her on an excellent wage campaign. One can only wonder when Howard Dean and Al Gore give Clinton the call.

There are two end-games in this scenario.
The first is if Clinton heeds the democratic leadership and allows the unstoppable force to move into the general election and win the White House. This would be the case of Newton's second law of motion, the law of momentum to win out, and prove that the dynamic can overcome the static.

If she forces the issue of Michigan and Florida and fosters a riot at the convention she will prove Newton's second law of motion; that the two forces might just cancel each other out.

Either way, when the race is over we will have the answer to the age-old question: What happens when an unstoppable force hits an unmovable object? Seems to me the last eight primary races have already given us a hint at the answer.


Hellernot said...

O voted against the FISA act proving that he is unqualified to protect this country and it’s people. Our Commander in Chief must be ready to use all means necessary to accomplish his primary mission---which by the way is—keep us safe. Without that well---what else really matters?

The Catholic Atheist said...


A quote from Benjamin Franklin:
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

Warrents are an essential protective liberty. Its time that Republicans began acting like Republicans again. You are just as much for big-government as liberals are; as long as it pertains to the military.

Hellernot said...

Our military deserve and need every piece of intelligence that we can collect. Having been in that business at one time---I promise you—it saves lives and maybe even yours! I agree with you that it is anti-republican and goes against the liberty grain but these are incredibly different times and this is an incredibly different enemy. We’ve never really imagined that there are people in this world that will do what these monsters are ready, willing and able to do. You’re just afraid that as soon as we get done listening to Osama, we’ll turn over and tune in to Obama. Wait a minute…

The Catholic Atheist said...


At least you agree that its fundamentally against traditional Republican values.

However, I disagree with your assessment on two fronts: 1) that there is some immediate threat that can only be overcome by such invasion of privacy and restriction of liberty and 2) that such threat is somehow novel.

First, we absolutely inflate how dire the reality of terrorism is (this statement alone with somehow negate any further claim I make on the situation, but nonetheless, I must make the case).

Consider that homicide in this country usually is around 16,000 persons a year. See the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Certainly crime is an ongoing reality, especially in urban areas, and one that ostensibly can be alleviated considering that high murder rates are not present in other comparable countries.

Over 4,000 die waiting for a kidney transplant, in this country, yearly. This number could be mitigated greatly if not completely negated if a monopsony kidney market was formalized and legalized in this country.

I am not suggesting that foreign policy be abandoned, or that efforts to curb terrorism be dropped, but to soberly realize that terrorism is not some ubiquitous and stifling phenomenon that is seriously threatening the integrity of this country.

Second, I see not appreciably way that this terrorism is fundamentally novel. These appropriately labeled 'monsters' are thus, but history has had others monsters and they have been dealt with, too. The nature of war and conflict is always new and always inventive. There has also always been ethical choices in military situations.

As such, I see no need to claim that we need gather as much intelligence no matter the cost. Republicans need to get back to thier base, this demands essentials that limits the invasion of privacy and the constrains of liberty. Murder rates in this country could unquestionably be lowered if certain rights were limited under the promise of protection, but at the cost of certain freedoms. These options of law enforcement could be utilized, but they are not, because more essential issues found this country; namely freedom. Republican know this best, but seem to be doing it worse, recently. This country never promised security it promised freedom, with the realization that true freedom usually led to security. The only way the United States will ever win over the hearts and minds of the East is if the fundamentally values of freedom and democracy are upheld.

Hellernot said...

I believe the threat to be imminent. But that doesn’t matter—those involved in these matters believe it is imminent. We have been told that monitoring phone calls from and to known terrorists have saved thousands of US-Americans lives. (She was cute) I see no reason for those involved to lie to us---what is their motivation?
I once worked in intelligence and of all the people I knew I never found one that had any motivation except to save soldiers and cause harm to the enemy. Why would anyone want to do otherwise?
I’ve gotten to that point in life that anyone who wants can listen to my phone calls but that isn’t what’s going on----we are listening to the terrorists and we are thereby able to pre-empt any horrific plan they may think up. I won’t invoke 9/11 here but because of communication monitoring (Just like we did in WW2, Korea and Nam) another 9/11 becomes much more difficult.
I saw them jump out those windows and at that moment I knew some freedom may have to be sacrificed to keep us safe.
Benjamin Franklin wasn’t God and in fact he never was a soldier and had no idea the kinds of sacrifice necessary to keep us safe.
I agree with your kidney assessment. Not because I know anything about it but because you do and I would defer to your judgment. We really don’t know what our commanders are monitoring but they have told us that they need to do that---I defer to their judgment as their fathers once deferred to mine.

Zenia said...

You write very well.