Thursday, October 16, 2008

LAST DEBATE: THREE THOUGHTS

1. I’m tired of too many pundits and too many of the voters interviewed after debates saying the candidates are not being specific or explaining their policies or answering the questions directly and specifically.

Not always, not necessarily consistently, but in general, they are. They did last night. Obama more than McCain, but that’s partly because McCain’s proposals are less detailed in general, and he’s changed his positions on major issues a few times since the campaign began.

But anyone who has paid attention to the campaigns, or even just to the debates, or even just the debate last night should have come away with several specific differences in the candidates’ proposals for how they will handle tax policy, health care, the issue of abortion, and Supreme Court nominations, as well as energy policy, jobs creation, and the federal budget. Among other issues.

And in previous debates their foreign policy proposals, especially concerning the two wars the USA is fighting, but other foreign policy issues as well, were made clear and are distinctly different (they were briefly referred to last night as well).

This is a stark choice between two very different approaches to governing and to the policies the executive branch has any power over, even if just the power of persuasion.


2. Which leads me to the obvious superiority of Obama’s policy proposals, unless you are a major corporation or big business and are more interested in tax cuts than in sustaining your business’s viability and profitability.

Under a McCain presidency, it is clear there will be some minor changes from Junior’s administration, but not many. Under an Obama presidency, there will be major changes. So it is perfectly fair to portray McCain/Palin as representing more of the same (especially in the case of Palin whose handlers are all from the Bush/Cheney circle of advisors).

Obama has won every debate because his ideas are better for the country and the average citizen, and he has stated them more clearly and specifically. And because he has displayed the temperament, the intellect and the resolve we need in a president, now more than ever, while McCain has appeared temperamental, often intellectually at a loss, and more sarcastic than resolved.

3. Which leads me to renewed fears.

Liberals, by definition, are humanists. They believe in equal rights, solving problems with reason and compromise, intellectual curiosity and openness, etc.

Moderates, by definition, believe in a balance, a middle way, a repudiation of ideology in favor of practicality and, obviously, moderation.

Independents can have varied beliefs, but again, they do not succumb to the ideology of either major party, though they may adhere to another ideology (libertarianism e.g.), and have never had the power of controlling any branch of our government so have no history of schemes and tactics to maintain power.

True conservatives, of which there are few these days, believe in fiscal responsibility, smaller government, personal responsibility, and generally in ideals that have been better represented by Democrats in the past several decades than Republicans (e.g. the most fiscally responsible administration in most of our lifetimes was Clinton’s, the least fiscally responsible were Reagan’s and the present one).

Rightwing Republicans, so-called neo-conservatives, the ones who have been dominant in the Republican Party since Reagan, and on the rise since Nixon, and entrenched in the past eight years in all branches of government (it continues to be one of their big lies that the Congress is controlled by Democrats for the past two years, when they know that because of the almost even split in the Senate, the Democrats cannot override Republicans in Congress to get bills passed the Bush administration objects to, etc.) have demonstrated clearly they are only interested in power.

If it was the ideology they profess to believe in, then why didn’t they move to overturn Roe v. Wade in the first six years of this administration when they controlled the Supreme Court (witness the stealing of the 2000 election), the White House and the Congress. Especially after Roberts became the Chief Justice, a man who is anti-abortion.

They didn’t even attempt it, because they are not interested in that, they are interested only in getting and keeping power. Which is where the fear comes in for me.

When LBJ was faced with the possible loss of power, he chose not to run again. When JFK was faced with the rightwing faction of the federal government wanting to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro as well as escalate the war in Viet Nam, he was assassinated (no, I’m not defending conspiracy theories, I’m just stating the circumstances).

When Carter told the country the truth about our dependence on foreign oil and the measures needed to detach from that dependence, and for the first time brokered peace between Israel and one of its Arab state neighbors, and healed the rifts in this country caused by the Viet Nam war and by a corrupt administration (Nixon’s) bent on gaining and maintaining power by any means necessary (i.e. their “dirty tricks” team, Watergate, et. al.), the rightwing elements in the CIA in conjunction with the ones Carter had purged (the so-called “shadow” CIA and other rogue elements of the various intelligence agencies) sabotaged Carter’s policy initiatives through various secret and often illegal methods, while the rightwing propaganda machine ridiculed Carter’s seeming powerlessness in the face of these rogue elements (leading to the hostage crisis becoming a negative—despite the fact that the Carter administration managed to keep them alive etc.—and only being resolved when Reagan was inaugurated because of the eventually exposed secret deal these rogue elements made, Iran-Contra, etc.)

What I am saying is, just because it looks like Obama may indeed be elected president, rightwing Republicans will not just accept that reality. As we have seen in every election since 2000, despite the scientifically proven accuracy of exit polls as conducted up to that time, in cases, and only in cases where Republicans have lost in key districts, have those exit polls proved inaccurate because voting machines have failed or been suddenly faulty or polling places have delayed opening or not had enough machines etc. etc.

And when the rightwing “dirty tricks” fail to accomplish their goal of getting and keeping power, they will stoop to any means necessary, (e.g. attempted impeachment even after the most expensive government investigation in history turned up no crime on Clinton’s part, other than keeping an affair secret, the original investigation about Whitewater cleared the Clintons of any involvement in any crime involving that minor investment).

There will be many voting irregularities. The rightwing push against ACORN already shows their strategy, questioning the registration of voters only in those districts that seem liable to swing from Republican to Democratic.

The reality is that many more cases of voters being disenfranchised at the polls have been recorded in the past several elections than cases of “voter fraud” i.e. voters not being who they say they are. The disenfranchisement has always been, historically and more recently, cases of probable Democratic constituents being turned away and kept from voting or their votes not being counted, ala Florida 2000, Ohio 2004. Cases bought against “fraudulent” votes cast over the past decades add up to so few you can count them on two hands, while cases of disenfranchisement, the rightwing preference for keeping Democratic votes from being cast or counted, have numbered in the hundreds.

If Obama wins and the vote count is so overwhelming they cannot turn the election results around through voting irregularities or a close decision being decided by the Supreme Court again, etc. I do not put it past them to try some other means of maintaining power.

While the most thoughtful Republicans lately have been saying they intend to vote for Obama, or at least accept that an Obama victory might be for the best and they’ll regroup and come back in four years or in the mid term Congressional elections, the more strident rightwing Republicans have been making it clear an Obama victory will be a victory for terrorism, socialism, communism and gangsterism, all legitimate targets, in their minds, for vigilantism.

Let’s hope they’re too busy dealing with their own financial problems to actually do anything extreme. But I do not put it past them.

10 comments:

John M. Lally said...

Thanks for another great post.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lally said...

Jim, I erased your last comment, not just because you are spreading more lies, including once again referring to the Democratic Party by another name, but also because you are spreading hate. Liberals—which I denigrated in my radical years but now aspire to be, in the mold of my father and his generation—aim for tolerance, except when it comes to lies and hatred.

JIm said...

FINALLY!!!! The trajedy is the election will be over and the damage done well before anyone is charged and convicted.


Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud

Oct 16 01:25 PM US/Eastern
By LARA JAKES JORDAN
Associated Press Writer Write a Comment


WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election.
A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday. A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.

JIm said...

It is not surprising that your brand of tolerence is to censor but not refute with facts. Calling an opponent a liar is much esier than disproving the argument. So much for a belief "in equal rights, solving problems with reason and compromise, intellectual curiosity and openness, etc."

John M. Lally said...

Deleting offending posts is the only way to deal with a troll. If you engage them in "debate", they drive you crazy with increasingly outrageous claims. If you ignore them, they are pleased with themselves for having the last word. You can call them liars, or call them on their hatred. They thrive on that kind of attention. The only thing that bothers them is having their posts removed.

Another Lally said...

As we all know two people can have the same experience yet come away with two different perceptions.

Reality says that the two perceptions are 'right v. wrong'.

In our political world, our main ideologies are

1) Conservative - rigid maintenance of the status quo

2) Liberal - the search for Utopia

3) Democratic - Constitutional government

4) Republican - an idealistic view of the Declaration as the guiding principles of our nation.

Regardless of party, our government is of the Democratic principle. The Constitution is the rule book for the nation.

Our differences come into conflict when either the Supreme Court over-rides the Legislative Branch or when the Court injects the federal government into state and local affairs.

We have become a nation ruled by the Supreme Court in many areas of life. This causes the constitutional structure to break down leading to strife, intolerance and tyranny.

When the Supreme Court is once again countered by the two other branches of government, our nation will have a chance to progress further in this wonderful experiment of rule by the people.

The Congress has become less of a Legislative entity as compared to a fiscal entity. Their main functions have become taxation and spending.

The presidency has become a whipping post. The powers of the presidency have been diminished little by little. We have reached this point where the president is blamed for the failings of the other two branches while trying to perform the constitutional duty within the shrinking limits of the office.

Our government is indeed broken by all the tampering that has been done to it.

No matter who is elected, this broken system will continue.

John M. Lally said...

David Letterman (of all people) makes McCain eat the Ayers smear. It is fun to watch McCain squirm when it's pointed out that he "pals around" with Watergate burglar

G. Gordon Liddy

Typical McCain. First he lies about Liddy and says he might have met him.
Dave won't let him off the hook. He says McCain attended a fundraiser at Liddy's house.
McCain is stunned and panicked. Cut to a commercial, where McCain consults with his advisers. He comes back more confident-looking and now he says he is friends with Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, that he's proud of his friendship, and that Liddy has paid his debt to society.
Dave delivers the coupe de grace: Couldn't the same thing be said about Ayers?

The Ayers smear is dead. Long live Letterman.

Another Lally said...

There was no Ayres smear.

Truth is not smear.

If not for Ayres, Obama would be nothing. No chairmanships on education or hospital boards. No political connections.

To this present day Ayres preaches the overthrow of our government.

Anarchism is insanity.

John M. Lally said...

Anarchism is insanity?

"[G]overnment is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Ronald Reagan
Inaugural Address
West Front of the U.S. Capitol
January 20, 1981