Print Story Fear and Loathing in Voting
By Gedvondur (Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:08:23 AM EST) politics, Obama, McCain (all tags)
Some Political Thoughts

With the US Presidential Election coming up, there are some things to think about and some hope.


I used to have some respect for John McCain.  In some ways, I still do.  I respect him as a veteran.  I can even give him credit for long service in the senate.  But the man I considered possibly worthy in 2004 is no longer with is.  The Maverick is dead, killed by the Republican machine.  John McCain sounds like every Republican to run for office since 1994.  Fear, Divisiveness, and political chicanery are his tools.

I think the man that was John McCain was murdered in 2004 by G.W. Bush's re-election campaign.  in 2004 McCain ran on change and military experience.  The Bushies actually managed to turn McCain's military record into a liability.  In the course of doing so, they taught McCain a valuable lesson:  Only losers run their campaigns with honor and integrity.  Slander, slaughter, lie, deceive, mislead and create issues out of nothing all avoiding any substantive discussion of policy.  Feel the news machine crap until it leaks from the very seams.

The latest example of this is Sarah Palin.  She was poorly vetted and given the concerns about McCain's age, a damn poor choice overall.  There were women with better qualifications as well as a number of other governors who happen to lack a vagina.   Lets make this clear:  McCain picked Palin because he thought that middle-aged women across the country, particularly stay-at-home moms were stupid.  The logic seemed to be "Well, if they liked Hilary, damn, they are gonna LOVE Sarah."  This is political douchbaggery at its height.  In my estimation, this sad little political trick fooled no one.  It is astounding in its audacity.  Those of you that think that there was some greater logic or secret strategy here are just kidding yourselves.  There isn't anything like that.  McCain's pick of Palin was a cheap trick.  Vaginal VP for Vaginal Votes, as it were.  And its not working.  Women are not stupid, regardless of what Republicans think.

I know some of you are pointing to her speech in Minnesota last night.  Don't believe the hype, kids.  I know that the press are saying that Palin resonates with small-town America.  Small-town America might be a bit thick in the head, but even they are nervous that a Palin presidency hangs on John McCain's weakest breath.  McCain is heading for a drubbing in November.  He's trying to divide and fool us again, with the same old fear and lie formula.  If we elect another Republican after eight years of Bush, agreeably the worst president ever, then we are truly the sheeple that the Republicans believe we are.


Barak Hussein Obama scares the hell out of me.  There.  I said it.

Does he scare me because he's black?  No, I don't think that's a big deal.

Does he scare me because of worries and rumors about his religious background?  Again, no.  I wouldn't care if he was Muslim or a Baptist or whatever the hell religion he is.

Does he scare me because he might be a radical liberal?  No, I don't think he's a radical liberal.

Why does he scare me then?  Well he scares me because he gives me hope.  That's it.  Hope.  Hope that we can have an intelligent, articulate, reasonable man in the White House.  If or when he proves to just be another political jackass, it's gonna break my heart.  He speaks the words I remember hearing as a child, about how things can get better, and about how we can move forward.  He makes me think that we can make things better.  He makes me believe in the promise of the future, that humanity can eventually break all of its dark and self-destructive habits.  Oh, I know, not in my lifetime, but some day.

Obama makes me think that maybe America can regain a little respect around the world.  That we can be civilized leaders, rather than brash, cowboy hat wearing warmongers.

In America we are passing our adolescence as a country.  As children, we fought the British and then later ourselves.  Then the awkward pre-pubescent years before World War I where we practiced bullying and imperialism on the Spanish and others.  Then the two World Wars.  At the end of these wars our chests had begun to sprout hair, we got a cheezy thin mustache.  The world was in awe of the young America, brash, bold, and many times unthinking in its stances.  Oh, but the promise.  The promise of the adult that America would become.  Today, the cowboy and brash adolescent tactics are getting old.  America is meant to be an adult now.  Yet we act rashly, go back on our promises and strike out in fear like a frightened child.  Instead of proving that a free society can survive an attack and menaces from abroad, we are retreat into the very civil liberty restrictions we have so long castigated others for.

I think Obama is the beginning of what could be American adulthood.  But I still fear that I have been fooled again.  I fear that the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Washington D.C. will defeat and corrupt him, if he isn't already corrupted.  I fear that the last eight years of will full mismanagement and poll-based policy decisions have left behind a wreck that no mere President can fix.

I want to believe.  I want to have hope.  I will vote for Obama, because he is the only hope I have seen in years.  I voted for Kerry, but I didn't believe in him.  Strike that, I voted against G.W. Bush in 04, not for Kerry.  But I want to vote for Obama.

< Suck it up. | Pizza Cutter of Doom >
Fear and Loathing in Voting | 56 comments (56 topical, 0 hidden)
Good article by cam (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:32:35 AM EST
 Wish my divorce was faster so I could naturalise and vote. 

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic
We are going to have an election too ... by me0w (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:33:42 AM EST
 But it's with all the same losers as last time. Sucks really.

My thoughts exactly by theboz (4.00 / 2) #3 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:39:48 AM EST
If there was a more powerful way to say, "what he said!" I would say it.  You hit the nail right on the head.

- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
Heh by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:53:34 AM EST
Thanks a lot.  This was a bit of an emotional outpouring on my part.  This has been building up in my head since Obama became the clear Democratic candidate.  I had to get it out.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
I agree by theboz (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:55:57 AM EST
I tried to not like Obama and I tried to stay cynical, but after I started looking into his record and what he has to say, the hope unwillingly started to creep into my mind.  Like you, I'm concerned that he will be a miserable failure in some way and disappoint me, but hopefully that's just conditioning from the past years of political stupidity.

- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
we're in different places on this by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #34 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:52:17 AM EST
but thank you for the emotional outpouring. it is nice to see passion in politics.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Damn you. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:50:08 AM EST
Now I know why the guy scares me also.

"It's the abstract I deal in; software, and donuts." MohammedNiyalSayeed
Ya by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:58:28 AM EST
It was so easy to see after I wrote it up, but so hard to think about before that.  I want Obama to be Superman and that just isn't going to happen.  It's not fair for me to think of Obama as Superman.  He can't live up to that ideal.  I just hope that in the end I can say he did his best in a bad situation without regretting getting emotionally involved in the whole thing.

I do know one thing, however.  No matter how bad he lets me down, he will be a hell of a lot better than Bush or McCain.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
Why can't Superman just run? by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #26 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:27:02 PM EST
They should just ignore his alien status.

"It's the abstract I deal in; software, and donuts." MohammedNiyalSayeed
[ Parent ]
He had an accident. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #28 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:24:23 AM EST
And then he died.  Sorry about that.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:02:57 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

Well by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:24:17 AM EST
Lets hear your metaphor then.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
Tigh/Roslin '08 by wiredog (4.00 / 3) #9 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:20:26 AM EST
Really, the concurrences are stunning.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

The by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:19:42 AM EST
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Why are you dismissing identity politics? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:33:12 AM EST
Dark-skinned people will be voting for Obama because of the color of his skin. Look at the poll numbers!
White mommies who see themselves as rich/pretty/successful (all of them) will be voting for Palin in unprecedented numbers.

Like it or not, THIS IS YOUR AMERICA.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I hate to agree with you. . . by nightflameblue (4.00 / 2) #13 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:23:18 AM EST
but I've heard a RIDICULOUS number of otherwise intelligent women jump from not wanting to vote for Obama because it should be Clinton's race to wanting to vote for McCain because he's gonna die anyway and leave a woman in office.

It's a really dumb, dumb, DUMB reason to vote for someone just because they have a certain color skin or a vagina, but there's a huge number of people who will do exactly that.

I too feel a silly kind of hope with Obama. It doesn't scare me yet though, because I'm still almost completely convinced that he's gonna drop the act at some point and turn out to be just one more asshole in office. I'm protecting my own emotional investment by saying it'll happen the day after he takes office so I'm not completely shocked if it happens before hand.

[ Parent ]
Obama's supporters here concern me. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:43:01 AM EST
I'm stocking up on food, water and ammo, and voting by mail, so I don't have to go out for a few days around election day.
They'll be looking for blood here, I'm afraid to say.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Gotta say. . . by nightflameblue (3.33 / 3) #15 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:51:02 AM EST
there seems to be some SERIOUS nastiness in the air on both sides of this one. I mean, more than the usual amount of "anybody not voting my way is a dumbass." More along the lines of "anybody not voting my way is anti-American and wants this country to fail!" Only, more serious and angry than I can muster up in mere words.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:50:40 PM EST
I don't get that feeling this time.  I live in a blue state, but the county I live in is deep deep red. 

The Republicans seem to me to be demoralized and out of sorts.  Some of them are even pissed and not voting for McCain. 

They feel betrayed that the legacy of Goldwater has been left in the dirt and the lies of less spending and smaller government keep getting repeated.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
That actually may have something to do with it. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:10:17 PM EST
But, then again, I live in a rather odd place with some very invested folks in both parties around me.

[ Parent ]
bathe in walnut shells by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:52:51 AM EST
the dye will last long enough for things to settle.

[ Parent ]
I'm flying to NewZealand on Nov. 3 by MillMan (4.00 / 2) #22 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:11:07 PM EST

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
He scares me too by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:53:25 AM EST
The fear is that he'll be another Jimmy Carter.

Still better than the alternative, especially given that if McCain kicks off, not only will we have a president as inexperienced as Obama, but it'll also be a creationist, militia member, speaking-in-tongues authoritarian nutbag.

Which you have to admit is a lot worse than another Jimmy Carter.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

I've always thought Jimmy got a bad rap by gzt (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:40:46 PM EST
I like the man and had secret fantasies that he would come out of retirement in 2000 or 2004 to lead this country again to greatness. I think he was a victim of a bad storm and not many people would have weathered it in a better fashion, but he still got blamed for the hurricane.

[ Parent ]
America is middle aged by Scrymarch (3.00 / 2) #20 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 01:29:38 PM EST
Confucius said: "The Chun-Tzu [gentleman] guards against three things: (1) When he is young and his physical energy is unruly, he guards against lust. (2) When he is mature and his physical energy is vigorous, he guards against being aggressive. (3) When he is old, and his physical energy has declined, he guards against holding desperately on to things." [16.7]

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Can I get a Chinese person here to explain this? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 12:05:08 AM EST
I'd settle for a Confucian.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Well I'm not Chinese by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #30 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:25:27 AM EST
... and I'm a pretty lousy Confucian, but I can give you another translation. Here's D.C. Lau, from the Penguin edition:

Confucius said, 'There are three things the gentleman should guard against. In youth when the blood and ch'i are still unsettled he should guard against the attraction of feminine beauty. In the prime of life when the blood and ch'i have become unyielding, he should guard against bellicosity. In old age when the blood and ch'i have declined, he should guard against acquisitiveness.'

Note from the introduction: "Throughout this book 'Gentleman' is used as an equivalent for shih while 'gentleman' is used for chun tzu. Shih was the lowest rank of officials while chun tzu denoted either a man of moral excellence or a man in authority.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

[ Parent ]
it seems pretty straightforward to me. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:54:46 AM EST
Obama scares me too by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #21 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:38:22 PM EST
but way less, and in a different way, than McCain scares me.

if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Women are certainly not stupid by Clipper Ship (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:51:26 PM EST
But they seem to like her, anyway, propaganda aside. I hope Obama wins, FWIW. Canada needs someone slightly similar to our version of Far Right.

We have an election coming too. I'll vote Green or Conservative. Polarity FTW.


Destroy All Planets

Y'all have the most interesting election in ages by marvin (4.00 / 1) #25 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:47:24 PM EST
I didn't pay that much attention to the past few elections of yours. This one has the potential to be very entertaining.

As a Canadian, I'm hoping for two things out of the upcoming elections in both of our countries - an American president dumb enough to want to reopen Nafta, and a Canadian Parliament (all parties) with the testicular fortitude to tell the US to stuff the existing energy provisions of Nafta where the sun don't shine. Along with a few other selected sections of the agreement.

I'm all for an open energy market. Right after we actually have an open lumber market, and the return of all US lumber import tariffs collected over the past decade, with interest.

Be grateful for that hope by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #29 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:25:21 AM EST
Because here in UKia we have the choice of voting in the fuckwits who have ruined the country in the last 11 years, or the fuckwits who will ruin the country for the next 11 years.

Whoa by marvin (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:28:05 AM EST
Sounds like Canada, too.

[ Parent ]
I'm a bit curious . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #32 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:29:43 AM EST
. . . as to why you are not more jaded about the state of your country's politics and political selection, Ged.

Is it the speeches? Use of the word hope? I know you're a smart guy, and you should be able to see through the smog of rhetoric and propoganda that is the basis of any political campaign . . . but based on recent history, how can anyone have such optimistic views of these politicians? Do you really think Obama, if elected, would have the superhuman will to risk his life, stand up for his principles, and go against the wishes of the enormous federal agencies, lobby groups, and corporate and bank interests, all headed by people who have the will and power to manipulate him like a marionette?

I am astounded that anyone has any "hope". I blame TV . . .

being jaded by aphrael (3.00 / 2) #36 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:55:41 AM EST
is a form of hiding; or worse, a form of denying responsibility.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Or, you know. . . by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:06:43 AM EST
noticing what's actually happened.

[ Parent ]
if you give up because you can't win by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #38 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:07:24 AM EST
Who said I gave up? by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #40 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:18:11 AM EST
You make it sound like being jaded is the same thing as just shrugging your shoulders. It'd be tough to look at the political landscape of the US over the past fifteen years or so and NOT be jaded. That doesn't mean I completely give up on it. I just know better than to expect sunshine and flowers from any candidate at this point, no matter how hopeful their speeches are.

[ Parent ]
how is having no hope by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #41 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:25:51 AM EST
not giving up?

maybe this is a semantic thing; "being jaded" doesn't necessarily mean having no hope. but it's pretty clear that slozo meant it that way, and so did I.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
No hope != little hope. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #43 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:45:30 AM EST
It's a fine line, but apparently I'm walking on the other side of it.

[ Parent ]
Jaded is an emotion . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #49 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:15:53 PM EST
. . . and I like to take emotion as far away from rational thought as possible.

Choosing one of two bad options instead of demanding a third, fourth and fifth is denying responsibility.

Your forefathers mass-murdered millions of natives, for chrissakes, to give you the freedoms you hold today! Your military machine has subdjucated countless third world countries, and created misery the world over while blaming others so that you could sleep soundly in bed, knowing that you have TWO SOLID CHOICES for leadership. Hiding? Responsibility? How the heck is calling a spade a spade cowardly?

Why dost thou mock me with doublespeak?

[ Parent ]
what? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #50 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:17:03 PM EST
i've voted for minor party candidates before, and will likely do so again.

But in this particular election they're worse than the major party options. McKinney is a nutcase, Nader is an opportunist who stands for nothing, and Barr is a fascist.

(And no, this isn't rhetorical dislike of them because they're not major party candidates).

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Fine then, vote for change . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #51 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:34:36 PM EST
. . . I hope Obama, if elected (and still alive), attempts to make good on his many bright promises.

I, on the other hand, will prepare for more wars, bigger gov't, more taxes, and the bottoming out of the USdollar - all of which will affect me asa canuck indirectly. I suppose that could be termed as change of some sort . . .

[ Parent ]
were you an american, what would you do? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #52 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 11:34:12 PM EST
not vote because none of the options are good enough for you?

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Were I an american . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #53 Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 05:23:44 AM EST

. . . I would have voted for and still be supporting Ron Paul.
And yes, if no good options are left, I would demand other options, in one of the many different ways that's possible. I am fairly certain that the votes are not counted properly anyways, so the point of voting or not voting is moot in my opinion.

The trite answerI is I might move to Canada.

[ Parent ]
ron paul? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #54 Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 05:26:25 AM EST
i'm no fan of returning to the gold standard, and i kinda like the benefits of the welfare state.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Gold standard . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #55 Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 05:42:22 AM EST
. . . smaller gov't, no more wars of agression, dissolution of the Fed. It would have probably required a bloody, popular revolution to make those changes.

I've heard you americans can't buy gold - or is it just that there are heavy restrictions?

[ Parent ]
neither by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #56 Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 06:36:10 AM EST
we couldn't buy gold from 1933 through the early 1970s. now, it's trivial (if expensive, and kind of pointless; the ROI on a gold investment is generally pretty small, unless you happen to have timed things exactly correctly).

dissolving the Fed would be a disaster; absent the Fed, the current bank crisis would have been a meltdown. *In general*, except for the Great Depression, banking crises have been much milder since it was established than before; it's not perfect, but it does its job very, very well.

i agree with rep. paul on wars of aggression; i disagree with him on just about everything else. but even so, i might have voted for him, because his agenda would never have gotten through Congress, and what he could do by executive fiat would just be undone by a bipartisan majority changing the law.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
There is no choice by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #42 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:43:23 AM EST
I choose to be hopeful because the alternative is to weep.

For eight long years I have been negative.  For eight long years I have known nothing but despair when it comes to the American government.  I am realistic about Obama.  I know he won't be able to change even a significant percentage of the problems out there.  What I need him to do is convince both myself and the public that it CAN get better, with enough work.  

Sadly, its been so bad that I'll take anything I can get in the form of hope.  I'll take it even if it is false.  It's that bad.  When I see the President on TV, I want to be at least mildly interested, rather than having to turn the channel to anything else to keep from throwing a beer bottle through the screen.

Because I am a secular humanist, to quit believing that we can get better one day is the equivalent to the death of God to me.  To lose all faith in people, regardless of how futile or tempered that hope would be would for me be literally losing my religion.  Then its compound in Montana time until oblivion takes me.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
But dude . . . by slozo (3.50 / 2) #48 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:56:49 PM EST

. . . blind hope is assuring your powerlessness. You are basically saying you have given up, and like a beaten dog will gladly accept the morsel of bone you are allowed after only a light beating.

Being realistic about the amount of pressure, bribery and political blackmail which controls candidates surely doesn't preclude the thought that there are good, moral people to believe in. Hell, I believe, for instance, that you would make a great president!


[ Parent ]
some responses by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #33 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:51:43 AM EST
I have been <em>angry</em> at John McCain ever since his vote on the Military Commissions Act. Torture is the one thing I thought I could depend on him never to endorse; I do not like that whether or not a candidate endorses torture has become an issue, and I am livid that he endorsed it.

I think he'd clearly be a better President than President Bush has been ... but I can't vote for him, because if he'll endorse torturing prisoners of war, what can I count on him to not betray?

That said, I think you're misreading his reasons for chosing Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin is a hero to conservatives; they've never been excited about John McCain, but they are excited now. She's a hero to them because she's a small-town housewife who took on a political machine and won; she's a hero to them because she's so pro-life that she chose to have a child with down's syndrome rather than abort the fetus.

Better yet, moderates and independents don't have the negative association with her that they have for certain other conservative idols.

So Sarah Palin energizes the base (who otherwise might have sat out the election) without pissing off the moderates ... and she baits the liberals into overreacting. I think it was a <em>brilliant</em> tactical move.


I've avoided having my heart broken by Obama by not believing; I don't believe that he's anything other than a politician. I don't believe that he can bring about the change he speaks of; I don't believe he even knows what change he wants to bring about.

I think he's an intelligent, articulate, reasonable man. My Contracts professor was on law review with him and is gushing with praise for him; I'm sure he's a smart guy, and it will be nice to have a thoughtful decider instead of an instinctive emotional decider. But he ain't gonna solve all the nation's problems, and he isn't going to bring us together as a people and bridge the partisan divides of our era; only <em>we</em> can do that.

But he still scares me ... because he really doesn't have much of a record, and I can't be sure that he isn't all oratory and no performance.

It's been wierd, watching people on the left fall in love with him, and believe. I wish I could believe. But I can't.

I have hope; my political worldview was cemented in the years 1988-1992, and I think it's impossible for anyone whose political views were formed at that time to not have hope. But belief is stronger than hope, and belief I do not have.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
one small point by R343L (4.00 / 1) #39 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:10:13 AM EST
But he ain't gonna solve all the nation's problems, and he isn't going to bring us together as a people and bridge the partisan divides of our era; only we can do that.

No, he's not. He may not even get a tenth of his specific policy positions remotely implemented.

But the "only we can do that", is the small point: I think Obama knows this. At least in the two books of his (both of which I've read), he has a strong belief that government can't solve all the problems we have and that people have to change in their communities.

Furthermore, I think his effort in speeches (e.g. his acceptance) to not question his opponents patriotism, love of country or even to talk about personal issues -- very much largely he sticks to the issues and a person's position on them -- is him attempting to change the political climate by example. No, he likely can't win without his campaign sometimes getting into the dirt (this is reality), but he at least can choose to not say them himself. For example, saying McCain doesn't support the troops because he voted against a funding authorization bill (which McCain's campaign has said about Obama) is part of that unfortunate political climate because it doesn't let there be a real rational debate about why you wouldn't vote for such a bill.

My point is: I think Obama knows he can't change everything or even as much as he hopes, but he does believe that if he acts a certain way, being in his hopeful role (the President!), the culture may change a little. Since I believe this is true in my personal interactions with people, I can believe that someone in such a huge role can help nudge the country in a bit better direction culturally.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Could be by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #44 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:51:04 AM EST
As to McCain's reasons for Palin, your list of them, if you will pardon me please I mean no offense, seems to be the line the press is taking to day.  All of this energizing the base is horseshit.  The neanderthal conservatives might like Palin, but they know they are electing McCain.  Even they aren't that stupid.

I honestly feel that the press and the Republican operatives are putting out this "hockey mom" and energizing the base nonsense because it is the ONLY way you can justify McCain's pick of a completely inexperienced, unvetted woman from a state that has no real bearing on the election.  It's hard to accept that McCain's choice was simple gender politics, considering the stupidity of it.  Thus, many excuses we are hearing.  Nobody wants to believe that McCain and his staffers are that cynical.  But they are.  

As far as moderates taking a liking to Palin, its the same thing as the far right wingers.  Unless they are plotting to kill McCain, they can't get Palin even if they do want her.  They would have to vote McCain, and they don't trust him.  As VP, Palin will be put in the VP mansion and like many other VPs, told the shut up and speak when spoken to.  Cheney and Gore's access to the white house is nearly unprecidented, and I doubt McCain is going to want to have Palin hanging off his sleeve.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
i talk to many conservatives online. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #45 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:54:31 AM EST
*Every single one of them* swooned when Palin was named, and several of them had named her as their favorite potential VP pick *more than a month ago*.

I'm not just repeating operative talking points here; I'm observing the reaction I've seen among conservatives I know.


My point about moderates isn't that they're going to like Palin or be swayed by her; it's that they won't hate her the way that, for example, they would have hated Huckabee. The moderates are going to look at McCain and go "oh, he's a maverick independent Republican who says he'll listen to Democrats and independents" and they're going to look at Palin and go "who is she? does she really matter", whereas other people the base would have loved would have caused moderates to go "he's scary and he might become President."

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
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Wow by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #46 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 11:50:43 AM EST
I have to say, if they swooned over Palin then they are bigger idiots than I thought.  I can't imagine anyone with a brain would want that woman to be that close to being President, let alone be President.  There were better conservatives available than her, with more experience, some of them even female-equipped. 

People who are swooning over Palin are not living in this world.  I'll come right out and say it.  BEING A MOTHER DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU TO BE PRESIDENT.  Nor does raising a family.  They are nice resume highlights, but nothing more.  Palin may have some positive points, but damn.  She doesn't have any more business being President or even close to it than I do.  

As to the moderates, if they don't hate Palin now, they will learn to.  "Guns, Lower Taxes and Jesus" is her mantra and she will soon prove herself to be a child bearing form of Ann Coulter.  She is being handled very closely right now.  Wait until they take their eye off of her and she says something asinine.  She will, in my opinion, alienate the moderates sooner rather than later.



"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
i think they look at her by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #47 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 12:00:39 PM EST
As a small-town girl who successfully defeated a corrupt political machine; and there's something to that.

I think in four years, she would be good VP material; six years of a governorship is probably qualification enough to meet the entry criteria for the competition.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Fear and Loathing in Voting | 56 comments (56 topical, 0 hidden)