Tag Archives: McCain

It Isn’t About Leadership. It’s About Perception.

I’ve spent the past 15 hours or so, when not sleeping, watching the talking heads. I’ve even tuned in to Fox news just to make sure their eyeballs haven’t exploded trying to work their poor abused heads around the idea that capitalism is what got us into this mess. Rest assured; Fox News has learned nothing from the current crisis.

It’s been an instructive 15 hours (aside from the sleeping bit).  The pundits all seem to be focusing on

a. Whether or not “The Bailout* ” is a good thing and

b. Whether John McCain rushing back to Washington and suspending his campaign is a gambit or concern.

None of them seem to be able to answer A, and the jury is hung on B. Only one person, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, got it right. Last night while discussing the move by McCain to suspend his campaign and the debate, Chris said “Anyone who thinks that anything a candidate does this close to an election isn’t about politics, doesn’t know much about politics.” And the truth shall set you free.

Don’t think it’s true? Well, let’s take a look at what’s being said by the McCain camp. This morning, John McCain’s spokeswoman Nicole Wallace actually sidestepped the question to both Joe Scarborough and Matt Lauer. She told Scarborough “Is that what you thought? I think the American people will remember the bipartisan message coming from both candidates.” Really, Ms Wallace? Is that why John McCain rushed out to make the first statement? So that everyone would remember the joint statement that came later? Way to underestimate the intelligence of the American people. The reason for that was fairly transparent, and we all know it. It was politics, pure and simple. Ms. Wallace’s remarks to Matt Lauer here. In both cases, she seems reluctant to actually answer the question put to her, namely: “If the joint message about fixing the problem was what was important, what was your guy doing if it wasn’t upstaging?” I’m more than a little annoyed that two seasoned journalists were unable to force an answer to that question and let it go at a ridiculous hand waving justification.

Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama are part of the committee attempting to solve this economic crisis. At this point, the Repugs are dragging their feet against passing anything in order to correct the situation, and there’s no foreseeable solution. If no one blinks, what then? We put the election on hold, too?

Sen. Jim Demint just said that “new thinking” is needed on the issue, and he “trusts the free market.” Okay, Sen. Demint; isn’t that WHAT GOT US INTO THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said infusing presidential politics in the situation will only muddy the waters. Chuck Hagel said last night that everyone in Washington knows the meetings in the Oval Office isn’t where the work gets done; it’s the breakaway meetings AFTER those meetings that actually accomplishes something.

Which leads us right back to: Why the hell are we ONLY focusing on this crisis? We also have TWOT (the war on terror) going on. Should we put government on hold until Sen. McCain comes up with a solution for that as well? And….WHO has a messiah complex again, please?

Ladies and gentlemen, let us buy a clue, if necessary. We cannot simply keep putting things on hold because something comes up. We deserve to know who will be leading us, regardless of which candidate is chosen. It IS our country, after all. We’re the ones making the decision. We deserve to have all the data we can get before we make what may well be the most important choice of our lives.

Senator McCain, step up. Heroes do not run from a challenge, sir.

*I think it’s deserving of Caps. In 75 years, school kids are going to learn about the Great Globalization Crisis of ’08. They’re gonna want to know why we were so stoopid.

McCain Calls for Suspense of Debate; Concern or Calculated Ploy?

So, once again, I’m sitting here watching MSNBC, and they’re talking about how Barack Obama now has a 9% lead in the polls over John McCain. And as they say it, they receive a notice saying that John McCain now wants to put the debate on hold until the crisis is solved, and Barack Obama needs to “come back to Washington to help fix it.”

I must say, it was a brilliant stroke. McCain has been looking for a way to stop the bleeding and get back in front since this crisis broke. I watched Sen. McCain, and am now watching Sen. Obama, who is saying that Sen. Tom Colvin suggested to both candidates that they reach out to each other and make a joint statement. Which I find interesting. He’s now going over his four point demands for the bill, which include that Wall Street execs not get “golden parachutes” for their reckless greed.

Both men seem to be earnest in their sincerity. My question is: How much of it is pandering, and how much is honest concern for making sure this issue gets solved?

Post speeches edit: I think it’s interesting to note that Sen. McCain did not open the floor to any questions whatsoever, and when Sen. Obama opened for questions and was asked about the debate, he said “I think it’s important that we go on with it….the next president is going to have to be able to do more than one thing, and it’s important for the American people to see that.”

Texas Supreme Court Tells Libertarian Candidate to Sit Down and Shut his Piehole.

As reported at this site, Bob Barr, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, has filed an injunction claiming that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama had submitted the necessary paperwork to be considered as candidates for President of the United States, and demanding that they be removed from Texas ballots, thus putting into question the status of Texas’ 34 electoral votes.

And as predicted, the Supreme Court of the state of Texas has told Barr to shut the hell up.

[But}…the Democratic and Republican state parties had filed official documents with the Secretary of State stating their presumed presidential candidates. The Democrats threw in Joe Biden’s name and the Republicans said they would report back with the name of their vice presidential contender, which they did.

Apparently, the Supreme Court felt that was sufficient, especially in light of the catastrophic alientation of voters if neither of the major party candidates could appear on the November ballot.

C’mon. Let us be honest. It’s not surprising, sure, but it isn’t about the “alienation of voters” nearly as much as it’s about the fact that McCain can’t win without Texas. He needs us BAD, as badly as Obama needs California. I don’t doubt, though, stubborn as the citizens of my adopted state seem to be, they still would’ve shown up, and still would’ve written McCain’s name in on the ballot if such was necessary.

McCain Lies at 54 and Counting….

A rather industrious website has sprung up called “McCainpedia.” It has a fact checker showing how many lies and distortions John McCain has told about himself, his running mate, and Barack Obama. It’s currently at 54. When it reaches his age, should we throw a party?

Elitist!! or: I LIKE that Obama’s Smart

Look out, it’s the Kerry Catch Phrase, wielded by a terrified neocon near you. But this time…it doesn’t seem to have the sticking power it did when John Kerry was the Dem candidate.

Maybe it’s because it’s hard to pin that tag on a man who owns one house while attempting to support a man who admits he doesn’t know how many he owns. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t seem to fit a guy who worked his way up from blue collar roots through school on a scholarship and succeeding beyond all expectations, just like every “pull yerself up by your bootstraps” conservative says people SHOULD do. Or just maybe people are finally recognizing that “a guy you can have a beer with” doesn’t necessarily know a whole hell of a lot about foreign policy. Or the economy. Or infrastructure. Or governing wisely. Maybe it’s finally sinking through that what you need in that particular case is someone who is known more for his academic accomplishments than for his father getting him into Harvard after squeaking through Yale with a C average. Who knows?

If it makes me elitist that I want a president who won’t make me cringe with anticipatory embarrassment every time he opens his mouth to a foreign dignitary…so be it. If it makes me elitist that I want a president who knows more about the economy than I do, I’ll happily take that label. And if it makes me elitist that I care more about whether or not a candidate is in the deep pockets of more lobbyists in Washington than Rick Santorum instead of what his religions really is? Then guilty as charged. I’m elitist. When it comes to my country, you bet I’m elitist. Because I think my country deserves better than “regular people” in the driver’s seat. I think my country deserves the best. Isn’t that what we’re constantly saying we are? Put up or shutup.

I’m Offended!! The culture of Palin

Sarah Palin gets offended a lot. She got offended by Barack Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment. She got offended by Joe Biden pointing out that Bush & McCain’s policies are a step backward for women, and that by following them, she is not helping women. Not only is Sarah Palin offended, GOP women are offended, and are expecting “all American women” to be offended as well.

Okay, couple things here.

  1. I don’t care if Sarah Palin is offended. That’s right. I said it. I just. Don’t. Care. Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden are discussing the issues. If Gov. Palin is offended NOW, about two comments by her competitors, how’s she going to react when she’s under the kind of scrutiny Dick Cheney has taken for the past eight years? Gov. Palin, if you get offended that easily, you went into the wrong line of work.
  2. “It’s SEXIST!” Grow up. It’s not sexist, it’s fact. “Lipstick on a pig” is a saying Sen. McCain used last year about Hillary Clinton’s healthcare program. Was he being sexist, or was he addressing the issue? You can’t have it both ways.

All this hoopla has made one thing perfectly clear to me. Sarah Palin isn’t interested in arguing the issues. If she were interested in the issues at all, she’d quit looking for things to be offended about and start arguing about why her policy stances are superior. She can’t, so she’s attacking the only way she can. By getting offended. Because if she argues issues and policy, she will lose every time.

To Sarah Palin’s followers: You want to be offended? Fine. I’ll give you something to be offended about (wow, shades of my mom). Alaska has the highest per capita rape rate of any state in the nation, and it’s only gotten worse since Sarah Palin became governor. It also has the highest alcoholism and suicide rates of any state. What has Sarah Palin done to address those issues? Her idea of “fiscal responsibility”? Accepting the “bridge to nowhere” money and plugging it into other projects. Despite her self congratulatory insistence that she turned that project down. She didn’t. She took taxpayer cash and spent it on state projects. Hmmmm….what do Republicans call it when Dems do that? Oh, yeah. PORK BARRELL SPENDING.

Offended yet? No? This should put it over the top. Despite her anti-woman stances on abortion, her do-nothing laissez-faire attitude toward important state issues like rape, alcoholism, and suicide (they’re just not glamourous enough, I guess), her pro-censorship and her blatant anti-science stance, you superficial airheads still support her. ‘Cuz she’s a mommy with a Down’s Syndrome baby and she’s pretty. and tough. And when actual issues are pointed out and discussed, I see absurd comments like this in response:

I get soooo irritated with people belittling Palin’s foreign policy experience. Palin is the commander-in-chief of Alaska’s Coast Guard and during the months she’s been commander-in-chief last I checked the aggressive bordering country of Russia has not attacked to get it’s territory back. I don’t think this is just a coincidence.

as seen here. It’s comments like this that further entrench the idea that women don’t have the grasp of politics that men have. And if I have to explain it to you? That makes it even worse. Comments like this embarrass me on behalf of my gender.

Women have more to offer than being “hot,” or being a baby factory or a beauty queen. But we’re never going to shake that perception if we don’t start ignoring the superficial and concentrating on what’s really important. If we don’t stop making our decisions based on appearance and start making our decisions based on issues, all we’re going to get is more of the same. Time to wake up, ladies. We have the national stage. We have what it takes to make the right choices. Just this once, let’s base that choice on what’s really important. As for being offended….well….I’m going to use one of my mom’s favorite sayings. “Get up, you ain’t hurt.”

Texas out of the electoral process?

I’m not sure whether to be amused or impressed.

According to this story, the Bob Barr presidential campaign faxed the Texas Secretary of State office yesterday citing Texas Election Code § 192.031, which requires that filings must be submitted “before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential Election Day,” listing the “names of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”  Neither the Obama nor the McCain campaign submitted ther paperwork prior to August 26, 2008, 5pm, and it looks as though Mr. Barr is going to be a stickler about it.

Now…don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the RNC and DNC will find loopholes and all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well. But….what if they dont? Does it mean Texas’ electoral votes for Obama and McCain don’t count? Does it mean the popular vote will decide and voters will have to do a write in? Both possibilities are intriguing; without Texas, McCain can’t win the general. And what if it’s decided to go with the popular vote? Despite being a “red” state, there are plenty of Obama supporters here…the vote would be split.

I’ll be watching this story with interest….

John McCain whines about the Ebil Librul Media(tm)

In a statement earlier, the McCain campaign accused…you guessed it! … the liberal media of bias. Yes. I nearly fainted of shock myself. BBC news reports on the statement:

Ahead of the address, a written statement from senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt said the “nonsense” over the vetting process for Mrs Palin should end.

“This vetting controversy is a faux media scandal designed to destroy the first female Republican nominee for vice president of the United States who has never been a part of the old boys’ network that has come to dominate the news establishment of this country,” the statement said.

Mr Schmidt said there would be “no further comment about our long and thorough process” in checking Mrs Palin.

Well….perhaps just a bit more, Mr. Schmidt. You go take your Lexapro. I’ll take over from here.

Gov. Palin has barely scratched the surface of withstanding a “media scandal.” Compared to the women she’s trying to emulate…Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton….she’s pretty much been handed the keys to the city. The firestorm is not coming from the mass media. It’s coming from the internet. From liberal bloggers (yes, like me) and alternative news sources. From Jon Stewart and NPR and journalists that usually don’t get much attention.

Mr. Schmidt, you should be a good enough student of human nature to know that the more you try to cover something up, the more people are going to want to know. Sure, some will come off as conspiracy theorists, but some will be asking rational questions. And those rational questions will persist until answered.

As it turns out, prior reports of the lack of vetting of the Republican VP candidate were in error. Not for lack of investigation on the mass media’s or blogosphere’s part; plenty of informational requests were made. No, the vetting process was kept intentionally quiet because of the company that did the actual vetting on behalf of John McCain.

The Council for National Policy is an ultra-right wing networking group formed by religious nutball Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind books and Christian extremist extraordinaire. Not only was Gov. Palin vetted by this group, she was found to be the perfect VP candidate. That’s right! Religion deciding on national policy. They just do it behind the scenes now, where they think we can’t find out about it.

The group’s committee is comprised of such members as Donald Paul Hodel, former president of the Christian Coalition and T Kenneth Cribb, Jr.; both men who believe creationism should not just be taught as a theory equal to evolution, but should supplant it.

Per the NY Times, the group is so secretive, one of their rules is that: “The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.” No wonder these people want to legislate the internet to the point that people only see what the government thinks they should see. The Freedom of Information Act must make them twitch.

This, then, is the group that vetted Sarah Palin. A group that is not just religious, but ultra religious…in order to put forward a candidate who will forward their agenda. In a way, this is almost as bad as no vetting at all. And this is the woman that the Council for National Policy and John McCain are trying to pass off as a surrogate for disenfranchised Hillary Clinton voters. Everything that is the antithesis of the principles for which Hillary Clinton has fought. Can we now agree that, no matter what Sen. McCain’s ad says, no, it is NOT okay for Hillary voters to vote for him?

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.