Thursday, January 24, 2008

Barack: Prince of the Land of Confusion

Homer: Do we want old-man Patterson here with his finger on the button?
Patterson: WHAT BUTTON!? What the hell are you talking about?!
Homer: (mocking) Wha..wha..what button? Where am I? Who took my false teeth?

No wonder Barack has such an affinity for Ronald Reagan- they both have no business anywhere near “The Button*”

From the L.A. Times and an article titled “Obama said oops on six state senate votes

During his eight years in state office, Obama cast more than 4,000 votes. Of those, according to transcripts of the proceedings in Springfield, he hit the wrong button at least six times.

The rules allow state lawmakers to clear up a mishap if they suffered from a momentary case of stumbly fingers or a lapse in attention. Correcting the record is common practice in the Illinois Legislature, where lawmakers routinely cast numerous votes in a hurry.

But some lawmakers say the practice also offers a relatively painless way to placate both sides of a difficult issue. Even if a lawmaker admits an error, the actual vote stands and the official record merely shows the senator's "intent."

Four of Obama's admitted flubs drew little controversy.

On March 19, 1997, he announced he had fumbled an election-reform vote the day before, on a measure that passed 51 to 6: "I was trying to vote yes on this, and I was recorded as a no," he said. The next day, he acknowledged voting "present" on a key telecommunications vote.

He stood on March 11, 1999, to take back his vote against legislation to end good-behavior credits for certain felons in county jails. "I pressed the wrong button on that," he said.

Obama was the lone dissenter on Feb. 24, 2000, against 57 yeas for a ban on human cloning. "I pressed the wrong button by accident," he said.

But two of Obama's bumbles came on more-sensitive topics. On Nov. 14, 1997, he backed legislation to permit riverboat casinos to operate even when the boats were dockside.

The measure, pushed by the gambling industry and fought by church groups whose support Obama was seeking, passed with two "yeas" to spare -- including Obama's. Moments after its passage he rose to say, "I'd like to be recorded as a no vote," explaining that he had mistakenly voted for it.

Obama would later develop a reputation as a critic of the gambling industry, and he voted against a similar measure two years later. But he was clearly confused about how to handle the issue at the time of his first vote, telling a church group on a 1998 campaign questionnaire that he was "undecided" about whether he backed an expansion of riverboat gambling. And, months earlier, he had voted in favor of a version of the bill.

The senator who led the opposition to the gambling measure, Republican Todd Sieben, said he took Obama at his word that the initial vote was an error. But Sieben also said the thin margin of victory was a sign that perhaps there was more to the vote than met the eye. "He was obviously paying attention to this vote. It was a major, major issue in the state, and it was a long debate," Sieben said. "The inadvertent 'Oops, I missed the switch' -- I'd be kind of skeptical of that."

On June 11, 2002, Obama's vote sparked a confrontation after he joined Republicans to block Democrats trying to override a veto by GOP Gov. George Ryan of a $2-million allotment for the west Chicago child welfare office.

Shortly afterward, Obama chastised Republicans for their "sanctimony" in claiming that only they had the mettle to make tough choices in a tight budget year. And he called for "responsible budgeting."

A fellow Democrat suddenly seethed with anger. "You got a lot of nerve to talk about being responsible," said Sen. Rickey Hendon, accusing Obama of voting to close the child welfare office.

Obama replied right away. "I understand Sen. Hendon's anger. . . . I was not aware that I had voted no on that last -- last piece of legislation," he said.

Hendon said "it happens" that senators press the wrong button. But he was quick to add: "I've never done it."

Illinois has such a screwed up legislature- I mean you can just vote “present” without making a decision and then if you actually do make a decision you can take it back by calling it a “whoopsie”Though I must say that I thnk that article had the first instance of Barack ever admitting he's made a mistake

And on this occasion, in a kinda related note, I don’t totally agree with JRE in some of his off the record remarks in New York this week- I think that Barack is more unfit to “have his finger on the button” than John McCain, I mean what if he’s about to press the button to “end all war and make unicorn’s burst over the rainbows passing hugs and kisses and candy to everyone on earth” but he accidentally presses the “End of the World” button; you can’t just take that back

(though I do agree with John that Barack and Hillary don’t like each other. I never bought into the argument that Hillary would have Barack as her running mate or vice versa and I give that theory even less weight now, even though I’ve been hearing it thrown around a lot recently)

*I really feel this video frightened me a lot when I was small. Kinda scares me a lot now as well. It is a great song though

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: