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“We are the change we’ve been waiting for…” Part II

(We’re in Seoul this weekend shopping and EATING. More when we get back!) Here is part II…

Old Mac…

I’ll spare the typical preface of “he’s a hero and honorable and has served the country for 800 years” bit because we all know I’m not questioning that. I’m not upset at McCain’s record, I’m upset at McCain NOW. More accurately I’m upset at people who believe everything he says. Much of his candidacy has been based in lies (especially the past few weeks); all this after a pledge to rise above the Republican playbook, to run a clean campaign, and a previous record of honest leadership. He is using trick tactics to try to win the election. I was listening to The New Yorker’s election podcast the other day and someone was drawing a metaphor between the economy/stocks and McCain/Obama. Obama being the long term investment, his campaing being carefully calculated months in advance. McCain being the ultimate day trader only looking for the buy/sell of the day. I’ll just start with a few weeks ago…Sarah Palin. Who?! For someone who’s main attack on his opponent for the entire campaign has been Experience, to appoint someone with even less experience and more controversial views just because she will shock and awe the American people is a pretty backwards move. I was never the biggest fan of Hillary but at least she earned the right to be center stage and had to fight to get there. Palin had no struggle, no tests, and seemingly no vetting, before being thrust into the limelight on America’s Next Top President. I have no problem with women in seats of power, or women in politics — but I do think anyone who is in that short list should at least have the capacity to answer a few questions with Katie Couric before being considered a viable candidate to run the country. People make the same case against Obama — “he has the same or less experience than Palin…” — The past 18 months have been a constant uphill battle for Obama and he has prevailed at every step. Beating the strongest political machine of modern history (The Clintons) along with other “seasoned veterans of Washington” is proof of his political chops and I think his ability to lead. He’s got a movement behind him and I don’t think much can stop that. And contrary to conservative attacks many of those people can actually think for themselves. Remember… “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.”

More than the issue of experience, I disagree with 99 % of everything Palin says and in some ways McCain does too. So why did he pick her? It seems to me it was merely a sly political hail mary. A “Maverick” Move. Let us not forget that Beau Maverick was a gambler – who bluffed, and lied to win his hands. Palin believes that the world was literally created in 7 days, 6,000 years ago, Women who were raped should not be allowed an abortion (and even charges rape victims money for rape tests in her own town), M-16s and assault rifles are every citizens right for protection and “hunting”, homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed any civic rights, Christianity is the only religion in America, stem cell research is a crime, and that “thanks, I’ll take 453 million dollars in ear marks for my state” means “Thanks, but no thanks”. Garrison Keillor wrote this a few weeks ago for Salon.com, “And a former mayor of a town of 7,000 who hired a lobbyist to get $26 million in federal earmarks is now running against the old-boy network in Washington who gave her that money to build the teen rec center and other good things so she could keep taxes low in Wasilla. Stunning. And if you question her qualifications to be the leader of the free world, you are an elitist. This is a beautiful maneuver.” He then followed it up with… “When you check the actuarial tables on a 72-year-old guy who’s had three bouts with cancer, you guess you may be looking at the first woman president, a hustling Evangelical with ethics issues and a chip on her shoulder who, not counting Canada, has set foot outside the country once — a trip to Germany, Iraq and Kuwait in 2007 to visit Alaskans in the armed service. And who listed a refueling stop in Ireland as a fourth country visited. She’s like the Current Occupant but with big hair. If you want inexperience, there were better choices.”

As if that wasn’t enough, people are actually buying into this. McCain and Palin have distorted everything Obama has said or stands for in the past few weeks and people actually believe it. Even when they know it’s not true…(Their odious social stances should sound the alarm for all Democrats and right-minded Republicans. (and luckily it seems to be… in some circles.) There are many reasons that the Democrats aren’t perfect either… Obama has only publicly supported Civil Unions between homosexuals – not marriage (a good step, but come on!). Democrats have trouble acknowledging that completely universal health care is practically a pipedream. Obama has changed his mind on issues like offshore drilling, and supports another stimulous package that I feel is just a distraction from the bigger tasks at hand. Dems have inconsistant stances on foreign policy and in this election in particular they have pandered to the center on a lot of social issues to get votes. But the Democrat’s demons lie predominantly in public policy differences, not social – different ideas on how to best manage the country – not ideas on how repress, revoke, or reject people’s human and social rights. Even if Democrats have all the wrong answers for global terrorism, the economy, health care, and education – if it means more open social pluralism and awareness around our country and the world I can only support their cause. Granted, I happen to believe that more of the 2008 Democratic policies are what we need right now, but that’s neither here nor there.

(Next post… Why I’m thrilled…)

1 comment

1 Marty { 10.05.08 at 10:25 am }

Amen. You have your absentee ballots, yes?