Tag Archives: election

“How can you be so mean? Where’s your tolerance?”

It’s a common refrain of late. I hear it a lot; usually uttered in tones of offended self righteousness. “All you Liberals talk about is how enlightened and tolerant you are and look at the way you’re acting!”

My response? Why should I? Really. I’ve tried the whole reaching out thing. Over the past eight years guess what it’s netted me from conservative counterparts? That’s right. Laughed at, jeered at, called names and belittled. So frankly, I fail to see why I should continue to attempt to make inroads and offer a stretched out hand if it’s just going to be slapped away. I’m getting a little bored of my tolerance not being tolerated. The only reason you want it now is because your nuts are in a vice and you stand a good chance of losing congress altogether (NO.  A 30% lead in the house and 49-49 in the Senate does NOT put the Dems in charge) and losing the presidency.

And I tell my compatriates the same. Do not pity. Show no mercy, for it is sure you will receive none. Such is the mentality one needs to face the GOP and its smear machine. I used not to feel this way, back when the GOP actually had some morals and integrity (that would be pre-Bush I). I used to be able to find middle ground with conservatives. Let me clue you in: they don’t want it. They want everything to go back the way it was when they controlled Congress and Monkey boy was re-elected.  The only way they can get it is if they convince us we’re going to lose.

Palin Pregnancy Part Deux; Bristol pregnant (again?)

Gov. Palin released news today amid a flurry of blogosphere rumors (ncluding my own) that her son Trig was actually carried and given birth to by her 16 year old daughter that Bristol is 5 months pregnant. This should go far toward quelling those rumors, provided that the five month estimation actually holds out to be true.

For my own part, I can quite honestly say…this speaks way more to my earlier post than anything else thus far. John McCain has clearly not comprehensively vetted his VP choice. A pregnancy of five months is not a surprise. A VP candidate with this many issues at home…A Down’s Syndrome child, a pregnant unmarried teenager who hasn’t even graduated high school…is too much grist for the mill in an election year in which the Republicans are barely managing to keep pace in the polls. Make no mistake; the question is not “Why isn’t Obama way ahead of John McCain?” The question is “Why isn’t McCain, the elder statesman, the one with all the experience, knocking it out of the park?”

Sarah Palin, for the good of the party, should decline the nomination. She has an excellent reason for doing so, one with which no one would take issue. But to continue and accept that nomination forces John McCain into the uncomfortable position of attempting to continue with a trainwreck of a VP candidate, or rescinding the nomination. Neither are a good option. Should Palin decline the nomination for the reason of “continuing to be governor of my great state while helping my family through a trying time….” everyone would not only understand and accept….they would likely support her and reinforce support for McCain.

Feminism, Republican style

Say what you will about John McCain’s splashy VP choice; she’s not the “safe” pick. While pundits and insiders were whispering names like Romney, Huckabee and Ridge, no one expected the little known, still wet behind the ears governor of Alaska,  Sarah Palin.

There are those among the punditry who are saying that it’s an effort to reach disenfranchised Hillary supporters. They’re right. Where they’re wrong is assuming it will work. Here’s why:

While I respect John McCain’s willingness to go for the unknown quantity in his pick, I have to wonder at his reasoning. His campaign has been hammering at Obama’s “lack of experience” since day one. So his choice of running mate surprised me, to say the least. Considering he’s 72 years old as of today, Sarah Palin taking over as president because of McCain’s death is a very real possibility, should they get elected. Does experience only matter if you’re elected POTUS, as opposed to inheriting the job?

Although she shows a very strong ethical track record (and I DO applaud that), she has had precisely 2 years experience as governor of a remote state with a population of 670,000 (smaller than some US cities) whose chief economic concern is….you guessed it! OIL! Add to this the lowest conviction rate and highest per capita rate of rapes of any US state, no foreign policy dealings, the fact that Sarah is firmly anti-choice, and her own rather shady history (see article), I have to wonder…. Does John McCain really believe that Hillary’s base is so stupid? That they’ll be taken in that easily? That any strong woman with a loud voice will do? If so, then Sen. Obama was precisely right last night. John McCain just doesn’t get it.

Women who voted for Hillary did so not just because she’s a woman (although  I won’t lie; for a lot of women it did factor in). Women who voted for Hill did so because Hillary shares their values. John McCain seems to be under the impression that any pair of x chromosomes in high heels fits that bill. Frankly, I’m insulted. And I encouraged the League of Women voters in an email to express to Mr. McCain just how condescending and out of touch his attitude toward women really is. The days of dangling something shiny in front of a woman to get her favor are long past. Mr. McCain, I’m embarrassed on your behalf.

Republicans in a tizzy over McCain’s “centrist” policies

Color me astounded. No, really. For years, conservatives have told me that Dems need to be willing to work with Conservatives and reach across the aisle, be more centrist, blah blah blah. As it turns out? All horse crap.

Witness the histrionic hand waving over John McCain’s moderate stances on the  environment and stem cell research.

McCain has not yet signaled the changes he plans to make in the GOP platform, but many conservatives say they fear wholesale revisions could emerge as candidate McCain seeks to put his stamp on a document that currently reflects the policies and principles of President Bush.

“There is just no way that you can avoid anticipating what is going to come. Everyone is aware that McCain is different on these issues,” said Jessica Echard, executive director of the conservative Eagle Forum. “We’re all kind of waiting with anticipation because we just don’t know how he’s going to thread this needle.”

Can you imagine?! The HORROR! John McCain, the Republican nominee, actually trying to be centrist during an election year! Much as I’m sure most Republicans would like to forget this, it should be pointed out that George Bush ran on a centrist platform his first term as well. “Compassionate conservatism.” Remember?

Here’s the thing. Conservatives have got to get over the idea that they get to put a candidate into office who doesn’t reach across the aisle. The last four years have completely hosed it for them. And John McCain is going to need those centrists to have a hope in hell of being elected, because short of asking Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee to be his running mate, the religious base is going to take a pass on this one.

Republican special interest groups are acting like spoiled children throwing temper tantrums:

“That is the one issue that we’re always ready to fight on,” Echard said. “We will never take that plank for granted. We want zero changes in it. We don’t want a comma changed. We don’t want a word inserted.”

(this in regard to the anti-choice platform, of course. We can’t have these women thinking they have control over their own bodies! Make ’em raise that baby as a punishment! That’ll larn ’em.)

Okay, I’m obviously being less than objective, but quite frankly, I’m flabbergasted at the sheer refusal on the part of conservatives to recognize that some re-tooling of their platform is not only advisable, but necessary. We’ve spent ourselves into a major recession. The dollar is worth bupkis. When the peso starts to look better against it, it’s time to panic, kids. The bitter and divisive war of entitlement waged by the religious right is getting less and less easy to ignore. Our infrastructure is falling around our ears. And while Nero plays on in the Oval Office, an aging conservative tries to rally the troops back to a sane position. But the troops are having none of it, because they want what they want.

Remind me again…Dems should be more like conservatives….why?

John McCain & campaign finance ethics.

Republican donors are getting nervous about how much money Barack Obama is raising. So nervous, in fact, that they are finding loopholes to work around campaign finance laws that John McCain helped set up. The irony is so delicious I could just cry.

This morning, the Wall Street Journal (what, liberals can’t read the WSJ?) reported that several donors are bypassing the presidential election fund and donating through the Republican Governor’s Assn., which has no limitations on donations.

The brain child of this ethically questionable technique? McCain’s new campaign director, Nick Ayers.

The contention of Mr. Ayers and the group’s fund-raising head, former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour, is that helping Republican gubernatorial candidates in key states with advertising and voter outreach will help put the McCain campaign over the top in those states as well.

Yeah, and Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff were just good buddies with similar interests.

I was under the fervent hope that the end of the Bush administration would also be the end of this ethically corrupt semantic game, but apparently with the Republicans, it’s the same old story.

Considering how loudly Sen. McCain has been deriding Sen. Obama for his campaign finances, I will be very interested to see his reaction.

He doesn’t have enough experience!!

It’s about all the Republicans have in their arsenal against Barack Obama. Okay. Let’s discuss “lack of experience” as it applies to the job of President of the United States.

Job experience prior to becoming POTUS means precisely dick. Yes, I said it. It’s worthless. The only people who can arguably be said to have any experience are presidents running for re-election. Certain jobs simply cannot be guaged by previous experience. President is one of them, as are police officer, fire fighter, soldier and surgeon. Because until one is in that position, it’s impossible to predict what reactions, what decisions one will make.

Let’s see:

Bill Clinton had no experience as a Senator or Representative prior to being elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978.

George H.W. Bush had 4 years of experience as a Representative before being plunked on the ticket as vice-president in 1980.

Ronald Reagan had 8 years experience as governor of California prior to becoming President. I don’t believe he held an elected political position prior to becoming governor.

Jimmy Carter had 4 years experience as a governor of Georgia before becoming President.

Gerald Ford was a Representative for 24 years.

Let’s not forget our current president, whose years as governor of Texas led to the biggest presidential fail in modern history.

What executive experience has John McCain had? If “being governor” is the acid test, what was McCain governor of? Lack of executive experience applies to both candidates here, and to attempt to assert otherwise is to attempt to ignore certain rather important facts.

Let’s move on to the next issue, then. “He’s ELITIST!”

OMG! You mean….he can read? And believes in education? Look, call me silly, but I don’t care if he’s someone I can have a beer with or not. What I care about, and this may sound a bit arbitrary to you, is whether he understands the economy. If he understands foreign policy. Has ideas on how to fix our crumbling infrastructure, bring our troops home, and how to fix our national health care crisis. Maybe I’m elitist too, but I think those things are a hell of a lot more important than whether or not a candidate would be seen at an Applebee’s salad bar (when they get around to actually having them in their restaurants).

Why Obama must not choose Hillary Clinton…no matter what Tim Russert says.

Barack Obama has been looking to the general election for some weeks now. The nomination secured last night…he will now be considering a running mate (I tend to take articles like this with a grain of salt. Of course they’re saying he isn’t thinking about it yet. But I doubt that’s true. If he isn’t then he’s nuts. Thinking at least five moves ahead is imperative).

A recent post to my blog asked why I feel it would be so incomprehensible for Hillary to be Obama’s running mate. So…without further ado…here’s why:

  1. Republicans hate her. No. I mean, they really, REALLY hate her. They would turn out in droves to see her defeated, even if their nominee is a turnip. They’ll do anything to keep her away from the White House, even as second banana. Not to mention, plenty of independents dislike her as well. She’s too partisan, too rigid, and just plain rubs people the wrong way.
  2. If he takes on Sen. Clinton, he takes on her baggage. That includes Bill. I love the man. I do. But dammit, he will torpedo the campaign just as he helped torpedo his wife’s. There was just an article last week speculating whether or not he slept with Gina Gershon. My response? “Who cares?” The rest of the US? Not so much. Yes, yes, we can act all enlightened and self righteous and say it doesn’t matter. But to lots of people it does. Go figure.
  3. There was plenty of talk when she was First Lady that she was the one running things behind the scenes. That pissed a lot of people off, even if I do disagree. Any world leader is still a human being. Do they listen to their spouses? Sometimes. Sometimes not so much. But the implication was still there. Think people won’t remember that? Think again. An ex-President and a VP with that history? How will he be able to convince any undecided voters that it will be his presidency and not theirs?
  4. Politics is perception. If Obama is perceived to be knuckling under to pressure  from others to put her on the ticket instead of making his own decisions as to who his running mate and cabinet will be, he will lose respect. Hence the whole “We haven’t really thought about it yet…” article.

Obama’s run an almost dirt free campaign. Everything that can be dug up about him of note already has been. By the Clinton campaign. Frankly, I think she did him a favor in that; it pulled the Republican smear machine’s teeth. But it would be suicide to choose her as a running mate.

Ah, I love the smell of Swiftboating in the morning…

How can we tell Sen. Obama is the presumptive nominee? Not because of Sen. Clinton’s hinting at concession (see my post here), or because the superdelegates are dominoeing over to Sen. Obama….no, no. Those are all positive steps leading toward the convention and a united Democratic party.

No, I can tell we have a presumptive nominee by the sheer amount of shrill, vitriolic hate aimed at Sen. Obama’s wife Michelle coming from the right wing pundits. “She’s RACIST!” screams Larry Johnson, claiming she said “whitey.” Le Gasp.

  1. Taken out of context (from a speech about Pres. Bush)
  2. Intentionally mis-heard “Why’d he…” cut Medicaid [benefits] etc, & ran with it.

“She’s only NOW proud to be an American!!” Ohhhh, NO!!! Really?! Well, no. I had to wade through a lot of frothing blogs to actually find the content of the statement (one of which contained an ad for Ben Stein’s film “Expelled”…really, not a nice thing to do to a lover of science…) Mrs. Obama actually stated that: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.Bolded, underlined and italicized for those who may have difficulty putting that into context. Hm. Did she say she’s only now proud to be an American? No. She said, essentially (if you actually force your knee to NOT jerk and listen to the entire speech) that she is proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Because for the first time in her adult life, she is seeing what hope can do for us. Essentially, it’s the antithesis of what these bloggers are spewing. It’s positive. It’s affirming. It’s heartfelt. Could it have been said better? Possibly. But anyone watching it (for any reason other than to pick it apart) could not have mistaken it for anything but a positive message of hope. And really….anyone who can honestly say they have always been proud of everything their country has done in their adult lifetime, regardless of which country, then you are not looking at your country’s actions with any amount of realism.

I suppose I can say this for the right wing pundits: At least there’s no (or at least, no overt) racism. If you’re the spouse of the presumptive Dem nominee, they’re gonna slam you. Regardless of color or creed.

(Psst? Anyone remember the howls of outrage over news stories and blogs about the Bush twins? How families should be kept out of political smear campaigns? No? Ah, well…as a Republican friend of mine is wont to say: “It’s always different when it’s them [Dems] doing it…”)

Sure sounds like a concession to me….

In a call today with other New York legislators, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would be open to accepting the running mate spot were Obama to offer it.

She went on to say she fully understood the delegate count simply wasn’t there to overtake Sen. Obama, but “deserved some time to get this right,” and has said most emphatically she would not concede in her speech tonight.

The question now remains: If she is aware the delegates are not behind her….if she is aware Sen. Obama has effectively taken the nomination with the votes currently in from S. Dakota and Montana….how can she possibly refuse to concede and expect the good will of the party? It looks like nothing so much as a temper tantrum from a spoiled child.

It has been rumored that Sen. Obama would offer Sen. Clinton an important seat on the cabinet; that of HHS secretary to continue with her work toward universal health care. The question of running mate has been up in the air for some time, but it would seem almost incomprehensible to choose Clinton.