Sunday, October 26, 2008

Election Generalities

I sit here this morning less than two weeks away from the next presidential election. Since I last expounded on the subject, we've seen more debates, new campaign strategies, and perhaps the best political SNL impression in the show's history. At this point, I'd just like to give my general impression of the goings-on in this race.

On one side, we have John McCain. Senator McCain wants me to identify with a tax-dodging plumber from the upper Midwest. It seems he follows president Bush's economic philosophy; mainly, that by spending money on an ever-growing military budget and off the wall mandated programs, then giving massive tax breaks to everyone from large corporations to the lowest of tax brackets, he'll somehow magically create a boom in the job market. Meanwhile, his VP nominee displays basically zero knowledge of foreign policy issues beyond the "Go, America, Go!" attitude that seems to... *ahem* "excite the Republican base." All the while she's running up a bill for clothes that exceeds my lifetime income to date.

Then, on the other side, we have Barack Obama. Senator Obama is a typical Democrat, economically at least. His grand plan is to get my vote by promising to implement more expensive social programs than his elaborate tax plan can possibly pay for. He's going to subsidize everything from healthcare, to college loans, to environmentally sound industry.

I suppose, in this economic respect, this is a typical election, in that both parties want to spend more money than they can afford to fund their parties pet projects.

Personal attacks have taken on an interesting character in this election as well. Obama and Palin are both getting cries of inexperience from the other side. McCain has been decried as out of touch with everyday Americans. The interesting ones, though, come directed at Obama from that excited Republican base (and their fear-mongering FOX news/ talk radio pundits). There is, of course, the accusation that he's a Muslim, which, while being completely false, I somewhat resent. The idea that being a Muslim would make someone unqualified to be president is ridiculous. These are often accompanied by accusations of ties to al-Qaeda. Then there are the assumptions (fueled by the McCain campaign) that '60s anti-war terrorist Bill Ayers is his closest adviser; the two served together on an education reform committee in Chicago and are friends, but Ayers does not work for the Obama campaign. Similar false accusations were made about failed executives from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. The silliest ones seem to be about Obama's race. Apparently there's a rumor going around that Obama isn't actually African American, that he's 1/4 black and 1/2 Middle Eastern (again, the implication that an Arab American is automatically unqualified to be president is disgusting), and is only trying to court the black vote. This, of course, is easily debunked. Obama's ethnicity is a matter of public record, plus, he has been very forthcoming about his family history.

Is my bias showing yet? I guess my point is that there are a lot of reasons to dislike both these guys without making stuff up. Hate them for who they are, not for the names their opponents call them.

BUT! I, again, chose optimism! How can we go wrong, America, in an election year where EVERYBODY's the change candidate? At the time of this writing, we've only got 85 days left of George W. Bush, and that's something over 80% of us can celebrate!
Keep an eye on it! ------------------------>

As always, my dear silent and few readers, I'd be happy to discuss any of this further, but let's keep something straight... I consider my personal politics personal, and neither of these candidates represent them well, so this would be discussion for the sake of discussion. Politics is fun for me, and I'm a firm believer that we can agree to disagree, and still be friends at the end of the day.

In conclusion, boo Republicans for not supporting Ron Paul.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Into the Arms of the Hockey Mom.

Here's a thought: in Thursday's Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden is going to slam Sarah Palin into the ground. His rhetorical victory will be overwhelming on the vast majority of the issues discussed. As a result he will lose.

He will be seen as being too hard on her, too aggresive to this pioneering, family-oriented woman, and will turn a large chunk of swing voters into the arms of the hockey mom.

I hope I'm wrong.