Tag Archives: mccain

I Don't Think You Were Listening

These are the last comments that I’m going to be making about Obama’s election for a while.  Yesterday, I made a point of watching a little Fox News, catching some of the daytime programming on WTMJ, and generally gathering a sense of the conservative reaction to the presidential election (which, if you were at or watched a McCain rally in the days leading up to November 4th, you may have expected would have included a military coup by this time).  It seems strange that my reasons for voting as I did really came into focus ON election day; at least now to the point where I feel I can easily verbalize them, and talk a little about what I expect or don’t expect from the incoming administration.

From what I watched or heard yesterday, there seems to be a sense among conservatives that people who voted for Obama think that he’s the second coming of Christ; that we think he’s going to walk into the Oval Office, lay hands on the desk and fix everything by January 21.  Obviously, I can’t speak for everyone, but in my case, this is not even remotely true.  And sure, I must grant that there are plenty of people who are going to not like the next president no matter what happens, or no matter what he does.  They’re not interested in hearing what he says or figuring out the sort of leader he will be.  For anyone else, let me highlight some of my reasoning:

  • Obama is a fresh voice on the national political stage that hasn’t had the time to be absorbed into the “establishment.” In my mind, that is a good thing.  Obama doesn’t owe anything to an interest group or a lobbyist, or even really to his party as he enters office.  People on both sides wanted to vote for “change” in this election, and Obama’s background is certainly that.  At the same time,
  • Obama is a genuinely intelligent, articulate, charismatic, and even-tempered person. I did not get that vibe from Senator McCain; and I never had that sense from him, even though, as I mentioned the other day, I hope we can get “the old McCain” back now that the campaign is finished.  The method with which I expect Obama to address the issues he’s presented on a daily basis is one of thoughful examination, careful consideration, and intelligent consultation.  These are opposed to the current administration, which seems much more pig-headed, single-minded, and easily influenced.  I think that the new president’s more intellectual or academic nature is going to be extremely beneficial, because
  • Obama has a number of ideas that I think are good, some that I think aren’t great, but he seems open to reasonable and logical argument. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he discusses the policies and perspectives of It’s my hope that this quality will help him to wrest some control over the members of his party, many of whom I imagine want to get drunk on the power that they saw their political adversaries enjoying early in the Bush administration.  I think it’s been demonstrated that that’s the wrong way to serve one’s constituents, and a sure way to get voted out of office.  Moreover, I get the impression that Obama’s platform and the ideas that got him elected are not set in stone.  I don’t expect every promise to be fulfilled or every idea he put on the table to be picked up again.  But those ideas demonstrated to me that this was a candidate who thought our nation’s issues through and wants to do what’s needed to make things better.

So that’s what I thought about as I voted.  I also wanted to take this opportunity to diffuse some of the rhetoric I heard about what I, as an Obama supporter, am expecting, or what I (allegedly) believe about government:

Let me assure you, this was not a trick. What I heard yesterday from the conservative talking heads about “how this could have happened” focused on “the ways in which Obama supporters were tricked into voting for him.”  Not exactly in those words, but the discussion was framed in such a way that they could go over point-by-point: “Well, Obama said [X], which his supporters understood to mean [Y], and what they’re actually going to get is [Z].”  I didn’t hear any talk about what the Republican party needs to do or change or examine within itself to have the most appealing ideas and convey the best message.  For me, it wasn’t like I drank a potion and fell in love with this freshman senator; I considered his views and felt like they were aligned with mine.  You don’t win elections by tearing the other person down, you do it by building yourself up.

I am aware that Obama isn’t Jesus, and that this journey isn’t over. I don’t come in to the next presidential administration with the mistaken notion that every item Obama talked about is going to be pushed through Congress in the first hundred days or the first 4 years of his term.  I don’t doubt that there will be bumps along the way or unexpected detours.  Again, what is different about this man that made me vote for him is that he seems to see that, too, and he wants EVERYONE to have to a stake in where we’re headed.  Like it or not, we are all citizens of this country, and what we do affects one another.  I don’t think Obama wants to do for everyone; he wants us to WANT to do for each other, and to take pride in where we’re going together.  No matter how much you repeat a buzz word, this isn’t socialism; it is restoration of civic pride and responsibility.

And that sort of makes me think about how much of the advertising and commentary that I heard in the days leading up to the election focused on taxes.  Y’know, here is the truth: rolling back the tax code to the Clinton era is not going to make rich people stop getting rich.  If the rich are still making more money, and the poor are not being trampled as hard or as fast, what’s the problem with that?  If you have the notion, you might seriously want to consider reviewing what factcheck.org had to say about both candidates’ proposals.  Truth be told, neither is perfect, and no one’s ever is.

So I’ll leave it at that.  Listening to the commentary over the last couple days really made me feel that I needed to say something about my perspective on what happens next– now I just hope that we can more forward and reconcile.  One thing that the last administration taught me for certain: bullying your ideas through doesn’t endear anyone to you.  We can’t accomplish anything without each other.

Morning In America!

I am traveling to a conference today, but wanted to drop something here quickly before I leave.  Very exciting goings on in the presidential race last night– what a refreshing revelation about the power of individual citizens joined together in a common purpose.  And as for John McCain: a very gracious exit, and like I said to Michelle, “I hope the REAL Senator McCain goes back to Washington now.”  Because Presidential Candidate McCain was not a very appealing figure.

Count it down, folks.  January will be here before you know it.

Facts Are Nice

Sent this in an email to some, so sorry if it’s a repeat…

I haven’t made my voting intentions a secret during this election cycle.  I think there are a lot of unique, 21st-century sort of problems facing the United States right now, and I really don’t have any faith in a presidential candidate who’s been entrenched as a member of the GOP establishment for 25 years to have a useful perspective or any new ideas (let alone the political freedom from special interests to execute them).

The onslaught of negative advertising from the GOP has been, and will continue to be, relentless.  Here is a nice video summary that I was sent today, poking holes in the half-truths and sniffing out the BS in McCain’s ads to date:

I’ve encouraged people from the start of the primary season to collect the facts, read up on the candidate’s actual positions, and make informed decisions based on the issues at stake.  With that in mind, bookmark this one for yourself, too:

Whatever you choose to do in the voting booth in November, I hope that you won’t just *think* you’re doing the right thing, but be knowledgeable enough to KNOW you are…

Sifting Through the Static

This is the time of an election year when it gets the hardest to sift through soundbites and 30-second ads and mudslinging in order to get at pertinent materials that deal with issues.  I was saying to Michelle last week that I would really like to get more policy specifics from Barack, because it seems like the only things I see on TV from him are defensive reactions to the McCain camp’s relentlessness.  I’ve watched some of those McCain ads, too.  Just ridiculous.  Regardless of who you want to support in this election, you have to agree that an ad whose thesis is “all of that candidate’s supporters are fickle dipshits that just like rock concerts” is pretty weak.

Instead of just repeating over and over that your opponent has no plan (which is patently false), let’s talk about some actual voting records positions on issues.

So with that in mind, here’s a little shortcut to Obama’s page on new energy and the plan for combating global warming and dependence on oil.  You’ll jjust see summarized info on that web page, if you want more details, you should download the PDF that’s linked from there.

Also remember that factcheck.org is a good resource for getting the stories of the candidates straight.  This is an important election cycle, and I hope we can all make informed decisions about these folks.

Oh and a little PS — sorry for dearth of new info, between working on school and working AT school, it’s a helluva month.  Stick with me, folks, there’ll always be more to tell…

Don't Be Fooled By the Fear-Mongering

The Republican Party’s best hope for winning elections ever since we invaded Iraq in 2003 is to make a certain segment of malleable voters too afraid to pick a candidate OTHER than them. It is going to be a long, long, election season, and this will not even come close to being the last you hear about it:

McCain criticizes Obama over Iran comments

McCain’s camp is counting on people hearing buzz words like “reckless” and “inexperience” and “terrorism” as a means of planting doubt about any possible course other than guns-blazing and unconditional deference to the United States. There was another very successful international superpower in world history that operated the same way– The Roman Empire. They’re not around anymore, but…

When sifting through these stories, it’s important to get all the details and sift down to the facts of the respective arguments. When Obama says he’s willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, he’s not saying that Iran is awesome, or even that they’re no threat. He’s saying that the American President should have the courage to look the leader of an adversarial nation in the face and say, “let’s settle our differences peacefully.”

It’s not going to be easy to keep standing up in the face of the constant GOP beat-down on this issue. They will do everything they possibly can to make it seem crazy, illogical, and impossible to support Obama’s position on foreign affairs.  I feel like if you really think it through, it’s easy to see that Obama is looking to be more inclusive of all nations, while remaining vigilant as to the risks.  McCain, meanwhile, is more vested in the infallibility of the United States, and conducting diplomacy through the barrel of a gun.

It Would Be So Groovy Now

So Howard Dean is lamenting the state of affairs in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, while Mitt Romney is showing John McCain around Utah.

I think Dean’s concerns about the contest between Obama and Clinton are valid–no matter how much broad-based appeal a candidate may or may not have, the core of your party has to be behind you. I have to admit, I don’t classify myself a Democrat, even though I’m an Obama supporter. If Hillary wins the nomination, I don’t know if I’d vote for her. I might end up voting for a 3rd party candidate in that case, who knows?  Meanwhile, I’d say that Chris Dodd is freaking out a bit early.

Obama was right– this is a long, tough road.  I hope the best candidate emerges on the other side with a legitimate chance at victory in November.

Still Extremely Close

I think the way that CNN is tracking the primary delegate count is probably the easiest to digest.

I think the race for the Republican nomination really came into focus last night– John McCain is looking like the front-runner, with the others remaining (Romney and Huckabee) splitting up a portion of the leftovers.

I haven’t tried to hide the fact in this space that I’m a lot more focused on the Democratic race up to this point. Hillary is hanging on to her lead, but it continues to be pretty slim. Obama is still racking up more ‘pledged’ delegates (the ones that are decided in these primaries), and he continues to pick up more and more financial support (and from people like me, if you can believe that).

I have some friends in Minnesota and California who I know went out and voted for Obama yesterday, and now I’ve got a chance to do the same thing in two weeks. When the primary season started, I didn’t think Wisconsin would matter much, coming after this ‘Super Tuesday’– now it’s clear that the campaign is going to go down to the wire, and if we want a change, a fresh perspective, and a person in the White House who can bring people together, we have to get out there and make it happen.

Take a look at this, too, and make sure you get the polls on the 19th, or whenever you have the opportunity to vote.