Friday, October 31, 2008

Did Joe Klein Have An Ephiphany?

Many liberals like me have been tough on Joe Klein during the Bush years. Early last year I even had a post entitled "The Insipid Joe Klein." I and other liberal bloggers were angered by Klein's eagerness to embrace the neocon worldview about national security, terrorism and civil liberties. Even more infuriating, Klein has always been regarded as a liberal pundit while defending appalling policies.

Apparently, Klein is reading the tea leaves and realizes the center of political gravity is about to change in America. His writing and commentary are quite different this campaign season. Today, in Swampland, Klein posted a thoughtful essay about the role of Jewish neo-conservatives and the McCain campaign. As a Jewish American I've been dismayed by how neo-cons have defended Israel's brutal expansionist policies in the name of our national security interests. Hence, I was gratified by Klein's post today in which he specifically addresses the ridiculous controversy of Khalid Rashidi and McCain's slanderous efforts to link Obama with someone they describe as an anti-semite. To his credit, Klein rightfully quotes, Jeff Goldberg, the author of Prisons that being pro-Palestinian doesn't make one antisemitic:

"But about Khalidi -- he's a fierce partisan of the Palestinian cause, of course, and in my conversations with him, and in his writing, I see that his sympathies frequently cause him to distort Middle East history. But an anti-Semite? I don't think so. In fact, Rashid Khalidi is one of the rare Palestinian advocates who argues, as he has with me, that Arabs must study Jewish history, including and especially the history of Jew-hatred, in order to better understand Israel, and to reach a compromise with it."
I especially appreciated this comment from Klein:

"I find the conflation, by some Jewish neoconservatives, of Israel's interests and America's--and their truly dangerous misreading of both--to be appalling. But much worse is their rush to pin the tag of antisemitism on anyone who disagrees with them, including me."
Whether Klein is sincere or merely blowing with the political winds I don't know. I am encouraged however that he felt compelled to post this today.

Since I've started blogging I've received many hate emails accusing me of anti-Semitism. Although personally agnostic I am also proud of my Jewish heritage and identity. My grandfather escaped Nazi persecution in Poland while other relatives perished during the Holocaust. So being accused of anti-Semitism because I disagree with Israeli policy has always ticked me off. For the record I've also received hate email from people on the right and left simply for being Jewish.

Hopefully, Klein's post today illustrates that we're poised for a new era in which we can rationally discuss the Israeli/Palestinian conflict without silly name calling and guilt by association politics. Maybe, just maybe Joe Klein is a bellwether for what's to come after election day. Both America and Israel too would benefit.

Every Vote Matters

The one response that irks me more than any other when participating in get out the vote efforts is apathy. Even more than people who espouse absurd conservative ideology don't bother me nearly as much. Remarkable to me how some people don't believe their vote matters and rationalize not participating in our democracy. We all should have learned our lesson eight years ago.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What If Joe Lieberman Is Number Sixty?

Just a quick post. As we get closer to election day activism must take priority over blogging. Hence, it's been awhile since I've composed a thoughtful essay. I wanted to pose this question however. Suppose the world we wake up to on November 5th is fifty-nine Democratic Senators excluding Joe Lieberman? Like many liberals I am disgusted with Lieberman. He's taken delight in questioning the patriotism of those who have dissented against our military occupation of Iraq. As a secular Jewish American I am especially dismayed by Lieberman's pandering towards the Christian Right. Hence, I'm hoping an enlarged Democratic majority means Lieberman can be removed as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee where he's been a disaster.

Yet what if Democratic Senator leader Harry Reid wakes up on November 5th with fifty-nine Senators and needs Lieberman to ensure a filibuster proof majority? Certainly I would not put it past Lieberman to cynically leverage himself as a player in exchange for supporting the Democratic caucus.

My own view is Lieberman should be jettisoned regardless because he'll only stab the Democrats in the back as soon as it becomes expedient. Better to reach out to specific Republicans for the sixtieth vote on an issue by issue basis such as Maine's Olympia Snow instead.

I suspect however that Harry Reid would rationalize that Lieberman is a "reliable" vote on many domestic issues and overlook the past. And Lieberman would then retain the threat of denying Democrats their filibuster majority. So instead of being marginalized Lieberman could remain relevant. A sideshow issue in the scheme of things but something to ponder.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Has Sarah Palin Ever Watched Schoolhouse Rock?

What is it about Republicans and the office of Vice President? Vice President Cheney has attempted to circumvent the law by claiming he was a member of the legislative and not the executive branch. And now we have this from Sarah Palin.

For the record, under Article Three of of the the United States Constitution:
"If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified."
And article Article One of the Constitution stipulates the following:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."
Sarah Palin and myself have one thing in common: we're both members of Generation X. Hence, I have to ask, didn't this woman ever watch Schoolhouse Rock?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin Is A Brezhnev Republican

Remember when conservatives delightfully blistered John Edwards for hypocritically paying $400 for a haircut from his campaign treasury? Well, as many of you know by now, Politico reports that Governor Sarah Palin used donations to the Republican National Committee to spend $150,000 on clothes. All this while accusing Barack Obama for the sin of socialism.

A couple years I ago I started referring to politicians such as Palin as "Brezhnev Republicans." Under Lenoid Brezhnev the Soviet Union stagnated while the nomenklatura enriched themselves at the expense of regular people.

Sarah Palin epitomizes the mentality of Communist elites under the rule of Lenoid Brezhnev. It is the same mentality that allows them to loot while criticizing Barack Obama for daring to value work over wealth. Under Republican leadership the wealthiest have paid the least and horded their capital like lard. Nothing has trickled down to wage earners. This past month Brezhnev Republican George W. Bush nationalized the banking industry.

Yet, whenever Democrats such as Obama dare to address the sort of economic injustice faciliated by George W. Bush, John McCain and fashionista Sarah Palin, they're accussed of "socialism," "class warfare" and wanting to "redistribute" wealth. Well, John McCain who sold out to Charles Keating in the 1980s and Sarah Palin and her shopping spree are examples of Brezhnev Republicans.

Oh Yeah, Health Care

Remember when our callous and reality challenged President noted everyone has access to healthcare through the emergency room last year? The same president whom John McCain supports 90% of the time with a healthcare plan designed to warm the cockles of the Ayn Rand Brezhnev Republicans who regard healthcare as a priviledge and not a right?

Today, the Associated Press reports that Amber Joy Milbrodt claims a hospital without insurance billed her $162 when she didn't even see a doctor! According to the article, Ms. Milbrodt broke her leg and waited nineteen hours before a nurse assessed her injuries at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

The same article noted that prior to Ms. Milbrodt's visit, a 58-year-old man who went to the emergency room of the same hospital with stomach pains also waited 19 hours — and then suffered cardiac arrest and died.

Our market based healthcare has resulted in the rationing of medial treatment in America. And anyone who believes John McCain and the Republican nomenklatura will make it better is a fool.

I want my country back!

Is A Day Of Reckoning For the Bush/GOP Crime Syndicate Coming

A provocative blogger named Gottlieb recently posted a diary entitled "The Reckoning" over at The Wild Wild Left. Among the questions he asks are:

"Will Bush/Cheney get a pass so 'we can all move forward together' or will Obama demand his predecessors face a reckoning for the horror they've perpetrated?

Will Barack Obama prove to be the man he claims or in the tank for the money power?

Does he have the character worthy of the trust of a nation or will he prove just another in a long line of disappointments?"

There were numerous thoughtful responses to Gottlieb's thread. I posted the following comment:

"I don't believe there will be any reckoning. I hope I'm wrong. Rather, I believe upon taking office the system that inhabits the body politic will advise Obama: you can promote your progressive agenda or you can hold people accountable for the past but you won't be able to do both. And since the so-called new order doesn't have clean hands either, most of the Bush-Cheney cabal that have been looting right to the end (Halliburton, the bailout and so on) won't pay a harsh price in proportion to their crimes.

I know both Obama and Biden have suggested otherwise in their public comments. And I very much hope that a reckoning of justice takes place with convictions and jail time. But it won't. The law catches up to OJ but it won't really catch up to Bush, Cheney, or most of their cabal. Some collateral damage perhaps such as Abramoff or Scooter Libby but a wholesale reckoning won't happen.

Remember Ollie North? He ultimately got rich over Iran-Contra."

So what do readers here think about a so-called day of reckoning for the Bush crime syndicate? Are you expecting one? Do you believe the body politic can support the pursuit of justice against the criminal perpertrators of the Bush years as well as health care?

Personally, I'm inclined to demand both and believe it's a matter of will and leverage. Actvists and truth tellers such as the progressive blogosphere must insist on accountability should Obama prevail in November. However, as I wrote on Gottlieb's thread, I don't believe a true reckoning will take place just as Bush and Cheney were never impeached while in office.

Instead, we will be given a choice between promoting progressive policy such as health care reform and infrastructure development or justice. If forced to choose then I pick the economy over frog marching Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. But damn it we shouldn't have to choose. Our country needs accountability for redemption.

Al-Quaida Prefers McCain

The Associated Press is reporting that an Al-Quaida linked website suggests in a message to their supporters they prefer John McCain over Barack Obama.

Here is a quote from the Associated Press's report:

"The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, 'impetuous' Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier,' the message said. 'Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.'

SITE Intelligence Group, based in Bethesda, Md., monitors the Web site and translated the message.

'If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests,' the message said, 'this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it.'"

Of course none of this is news to those of us who protested the post 9/11 policies of President George W. Bush and his merry band of corporatist theocratic neocons. Electing John McCain will only continue polices that profit plutocratcs and help facilitate Armageddon as those who subscribe to endtimes are praying for. That is the real John McCain coalition: people who exploit war to fleece America and religious nuts hoping Armageddon will bring about the Kingdom of God. And Al-Quaida knows it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

About That Colin Powell Endorsement

Personally, I have little use for former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He didn't put his country first five years ago and prevent our calamity in Iraq. Powell was the only person in the world who could have prevented it, knew Bush's course was wrong and remained silent. Powell's endorsement yesterday is the act of an old Washington elitist seizing an opportunity to salvage his tainted legacy and ensure access to the next administration.

And yet Powell retains considerable prestige as a symbolic representative of America's "vital center." Powell does not deserve this prestige. After his despicable presenation to the United Nations five years ago Powell secured his dishonorable place in history as a man with the blood of both Americans and Iraqis on his hands. Nevertheless, most Americans regard Powell as statesman.

Ironically, the "vital center" that Powell supposedly represents also endorsed George W. Bush's horrofic post 9/11 foreign policy. And like Powell, they're eager to turn the page. Hence, if Powell's endorsement is the reassurring pat on the head that remaining undecided voters need to pull the lever for Barack Obama, I'll take it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

WAPO Endorses Obama

Today's Washington Post endorsement of Barack Obama is worth reading. Here is the money quote:
"Any presidential vote is a gamble, and Mr. Obama's résumé is undoubtedly thin. We had hoped, throughout this long campaign, to see more evidence that Mr. Obama might stand up to Democratic orthodoxy and end, as he said in his announcement speech, 'our chronic avoidance of tough decisions.'

But Mr. Obama's temperament is unlike anything we've seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view. He has inspired millions of voters of diverse ages and races, no small thing in our often divided and cynical country. We think he is the right man for a perilous moment."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Impressions From Obama/McCain Three

When it comes to tax policy, health care and the economy we already know what both candidates will say before they say it. On that front we didn't learn anything new about either one. Grading on a curve last night was easily McCain's best performance yet he was still off putting. Ultimately, I am left with the following impressions:

  • Obama is as cool as the flip side of a pillow. He was never rattled no matter what outrageous incoming fire McCain sent his way. Obama smiled quite a bit while McCain spoke which may be his way of maintaining composure. Some might find that arrogant.
  • Increasingly, McCain reminds me of a typical villain from the old Scoobie-Doo cartoons. Last night I could almost feel McCain thinking, "I would've have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids.!"
  • McCain was rather flippant about the health of the mother when it comes to exemptions for late term abortions. To me he seemed callous.
  • Obama remains evasive about what specific programs our current economic crisis may force him to cut.
  • Joe the Plumber worked initially but McCain's obsessive references to him as a crutch was off putting.
  • McCain's has a serial habit of interrupting which is quite off putting. It bothered me when Al Gore did it too and he's someone I admire. Interrupting people is insecurity disguised as arrogance.
  • McCain's line about not being President Bush was good but a day late and a dollar short.
  • One way or another I've seen nearly every presidential debate since primary season for both parties this year. Even though I'm a political junkie I'm glad they're over.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Research About America's Electoral Flaws

As we're all painfully aware following the elections of 2000 and 2004, our electoral system is severely flawed and notoriously disenfranchises millions of voters - especially minorities. A non-profit organization called IssuesLab has compiled some fascinating and alarming data about this subject. Specifically, IssuesLab aggregates and disseminates nonprofit research on social issues and culls work from nonprofits nationwide who are addressing topics related to free elections.

In one report, compiled from a non-profit called the Sentencing Project it was found that,
"Racial disparities in the criminal justice system translate into higher rates of disenfranchisement in communities of color, resulting in one of every eight adult black males being ineligible to vote."
Overall, IssuesLab is doing very important work and they're a useful resource for information with respect to social science data. It's worth taking the time to check them out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reminiscing About the Future

Watching McCain/Palin rallies it seems as if Republican Party jihadists are praying for a bullet, a bimbo or a bomb. They know only a catastrophic event will prevent Senator Obama from becoming president while the Republican Party is poised for disintegration from coast to coast. In my home state of New York, Democrats finally outnumber Republicans in Nassau and Suffolk Counties! Nassau County was home to the vaunted political machine of Al D'Amato and bastion of GOP money and patronage. No more and Democrats are poised to capture the New York State Senate for the first time since 1965 as a result. I realize most regard New York as the bluest of states but that's a big deal and symptomatic of the political terrain nationwide.

Memo to Republicans: Obama's ascendancy does not mean the "end of days." However, the combination of George W. Bush's two mismanaged military occupations, crony capitalism and the resulting economic calamity mean even Jesus Christ will not save the GOP's rotting corpse. Republican salvation will only come from repentance of their failed corporate theocratic ideology and cultural contempt for intelligent secular people.

Republicans eminently deserve the pasting they're about to receive. More importantly, Republicans have thoroughly demonstrated how incapable they are of competent governance; especially during times of crisis. For the moment, America and the world can't afford to have the GOP anywhere close to the reigns of power beyond a few state and municipal governments. Republicans also need this beating as an impetus to reform themselves.

Ultimately, I hope judicious Republicans rise above the mob that their party has pandered to. Democrats do not have a monopoly on wisdom and will not be above hubris with one party domination. Progressive Netroots activists like myself will do our best to keep Democrats honest but what's really needed is the competition of strong adversarial parties (note I didn't write party singular) engaged in the intellectual marketplace of ideas.

The years ahead will be challenging and tumultuous. Americans will be tasked with creating a new economic social/paradigm on the fly that works in the 21st century while too many of us are struggling to survive and avoid destitution. Our country will be further challenged because we can no longer effectively sustain an empire and that will require a major adjustment as the world is experiencing both shortages of oil and water. Indeed, a large dose of humility will be needed after the hyperpower post Cold War presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Culturally, we Americans have never done well with humility so that too represents a challenge.

Senator Obama is far from perfect but he appears to have the right stuff for the challenges ahead. Initially, however, should Obama become president Democrats will largely be debating with themselves as the GOP is poised for irrelevancy after November 4th. In the short term that is necessary and good. In the long run that will be a recipe for disaster. Even Franklin Roosevelt had Republicans he could reach out to during World War Two such as Indiana Senator Arthur Vandenberg. As of now though virtually the entire Republican Party establishment is discredited.

It takes more than one party to govern a country especially during times as challenging as these. Hopefully, a landslide down the ticket on November 4th will facilitate the emergence of a new generation of Republicans who are part of the "reality based community" and ready to vigorously compete in the marketplace of ideas. Otherwise we'll all go down together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

America the Beautiful

The people you see in this terrifying video would no doubt have been fans of Father Charles Coughlin in the 1930s. During the 1930s Coughlin's supporters scapegoated Jews for the Great Depression and reviled Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Sadly and tragically they represent the Republican Party's core supporters. They are dangerous and will never accept a President named Barack Hussein Obama.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cultural Ethos 2008

Last night's debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama illustrated a stark cultural contrast with previous presidential campaigns. There wasn't a single question about abortion, guns, race, crime, the death penalty, gay rights, religion, patriotic symbols such as flag lapels, family values or the Supreme Court. The Vice Presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin last week contained far more wedge oriented questions. Last night's debate however with its town hall format was more reflective of the mindset of 2008's silent majority.

Indeed, Presidential campaigns are momentary snapshots of our cultural ethos. For example, while volunteering for the Dukakis campaign as a college sophomore in 1988, I was called terms of endearment such as "communist" and "nigger lover." Fast forward to early summer in 2004 and I had my first hint that John Kerry was in trouble. While phone-banking I spoke to an unemployed laborer in the mid-west who had a good paying union job under President Clinton. He told me he was voting for George W. Bush because he believed that Kerry was going to take away his gun. This gentleman also expressed to me that he thought Vietnam war veteran Kerry was a "pussy." And that was weeks before Kerry was "Swiftboated."

However, while phone-banking recently, I spoke to an unemployed gentleman in Youngstown, Ohio who actually said to me,
"You know it occurs to me I have more in common with blacks who know something about tough times than white millionaires on Wall Street."
This is not your father's presidential campaign.

My attitude going into last night's debate resembled what I feel about NASCAR racing. Watching cars drive around in endless laps is not remotely interesting but I might watch because there could be a crash. Similarly, I didn't expect to learn anything new in last night's debate about either candidate that I didn't already know. I expected both to basically deliver the same scripted lines. I did wonder if McCain would be impolite enough to engage in character assassination in the town hall format. He didn't. As for McCain's "new" proposal about the housing crisis, the bailout plan that McCain voted for already gives the Treasury Secretary wide discretionary power to address the issue.

Hence, the debate itself to me was only memorable about the questions not asked. America is a somber country these days and swing voters have little patience for issues that distract from their economic insecurity. Yes, I realize Governor Sarah Palin will make news speaking in front of partisan wing nuts.

But the political terrain of October 2008 is entrenched due to economic calamity. Only a catastrophic event will prevent Barack Obama from becoming our next President. Gods, guns and the flag will not save Republicans this year.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sarah Palin & Heaven

Political debates are an excersise of vapid talking points, quips and body language. Substance is irrelevant. Candidates are programmed to hold the attention span of people that watch American Idol and read tabloids while sitting on the toilet. Yet even these over scripted, dumbed down, brain massaged events have revealing moments.

Yesterday, like most political bloggers, I posted my analysis of the Biden-Palin debate and referenced Palin's most memorable sound-bite:
"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?"
I focused on Palin's rhetorical attempt to distract from McCain's culpability as an enabler of George W. Bush's pathetic record. The "say it ain't so Joe" line was obviously scripted and delivered well enough. I neglected however to focus on Palin's most revealing sentence of the evening:

"Her reward is in heaven, right?"

I can't prove it but I doubt that line was scripted. Watching it again as well as reading the transcript, Palin's heaven line feels quite spontaneous. Hence, I am compelled to ask, does Palin truly believe that a teacher's sole reward will be in heaven? Why isn't teaching itself a reward? Perhaps if God decreed that a teacher's reward awaits in heaven, one can believe a union advocating for better pay and benefits for teachers is superfluous. As long as teachers are rewarded in heaven, why should it matter if they keep up with the cost of living?

In that one sentence, Palin illustrated a medieval pre-Enlightenment mindset that regulates the Republican Party's base. In previous campaigns, Republican corporatists humored this mindset and earned the support of religious zealots by nominating conservative judges, delivering "values" oriented rhetoric and passing homophobic legislation. Even as the religious zealots were humored, the GOP's corporatists and traditional conservative nationalists retained the real power in their white rich man's party. As we've seen the previous eight years however, these people are no longer just being humored. They have joined the Republican Party's ruling class.

How many of these neocons share the Palin mindset and are pushing for war in Iran to facilitate the Apocalypse, bring about Judgment Day and establish the Kingdom of God? John McCain in my opinion does not share this mindset. Rather, McCain is merely a garden variety crazy war monger with an impetuous temperament. In Sarah Palin he selected a running mate that shares the George W. Bush delusion of religious zealotry. A religious zealotry that resembles the crazy Jihadists who believe seventy-two virgins await them in heaven if they successfully execute suicide terrorist missions.

Republican Jihadists like Palin believe that a holy war against Muslims is a means of carrying out God's plan. Republican nationalists like McCain believe in a reckless concept of American exceptionalism as justification for an American empire and he's more than willing to shed blood for it. Simply put, the McCain/Palin ticket represents a coalition of nationalist nuts and religious nuts.

In my phone-banking activities the economy is the dominant issue on voters minds. But the presidency is more that simply a catalog of public policy positions like the economy. Otherwise we could just program liberal, conservative, libertarian, moderate, nationalist and green androids and let the voters decide which political philosophy they wanted.

The office of President however is a stewardship and the decision making stems from the core value system, life experience, intellectual acumen and temperament of the occupant. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are far from perfect. But they're both intelligent, with their hearts in the right place and neither is crazy.

Governor Palin's, "Her reward is in heaven" line has further motivated me to work for the Obama/Biden ticket. We have enough crazy leaders in this world. And eight years of crazy people in the executive branch is enough.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Biden-Palin Debate

Sarah Palin comfortably exceeded the soft bigotry of her low expectations last night. The rigid debate format worked well for Palin. Unlike her recent interviews with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric, Palin was able to feint and dodge effectively with her personality and folksy colloquialisms. One on one interviews do not enable subjects to run out the clock or distract from their lack of knowledge with honed talking points. Last night however, Palin was able to stay on message and reassure the Republican's Party conservative base.

Senator Joe Biden delivered a solid and graciously pugnacious performance but was overshadowed because of Palin's low expectations. Mostly Biden diligently draped the Bush Administration's record around John McCain's neck.

Palin valiantly attempted to re-focus the debate on the future with her "say it ain't so Joe" sound bite critique of Biden's constant refrain about the Bush years. She delivered her sound bite well and McCain will no doubt try to build on the refrain about looking forward instead of backwards. However, it's doubtful McCain-Palin will be able to escape blame for the Bush Administration's as well as the entire Republican Party's mismanagement since 2001.

To the extent anyone cares about substance I was struck by two things. First, the Biden-Palin exchange about gay rights. Both agreed they didn't support gay marriage however Palin seemed to concede she didn't want to deny homosexual couples access to hospital visitation rights as well as the insurance benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Yet when moderator Gwen Ifill attempted to press Palin that she agreed with Joe Biden about these sorts of civil liberties, Palin instead retorted that she agreed with Biden about not re-defining traditional marriage. In effect, Palin ignored the question and Ifill opted not to follow up and moved on.

The other issue of substance that struck me was the cognitive dissonance about Afghanistan. Biden quoted America's commanding general in Afghanistan in noting that an Iraqi type surge wasn't likely to work. Obviously, Biden wanted to illustrate the Bush Administration's failures in Afghanistan. Yet Biden also simultaneously suggested that we needed more troops in Afghanistan. That would seem to be an irreconcilable contradiction.

Palin of course also had her own cognitive dissonance in that she simultaneously supported more oversight while promoting the traditional Republican meme of getting government off the backs of the people.

Overall, the trajectory of this presidential election remained unchanged. John McCain has conceded Michigan which means that among the remaining battleground states he will have to draw the equivalent of an inside straight to win.

Palin, has stopped the bleeding on her Vice Presidential candidacy and conservatives are no doubt relieved. She can now be permitted to campaign without adult supervision in the conservative districts of swing states to ensure the GOP's base turns out.

However, last night's debate will quickly be old news. Once again attempted legislation for the Wall Street bailout will dominate and the focus will turn to Obama-McCain for October 7th's debate and stay there until November 4th. Hence, this remains Barack Obama's election to lose.

As for Sarah Palin, let's just say that in 2012 both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney will have stiff competition for the support of evangelical caucus voters in Iowa. So while Palin may not be a heartbeat away from the presidency after November 4th, I would not be surprised if the same ignorant country that put George W. Bush in the White House eventually makes her husband America's "First Dude."

Publish Post

Thursday, October 02, 2008

America's Underside

I know the polls are encouraging for Obama supporters like myself. But when phonebanking it often seems I have to convince someone Obama isn't a Muslim. This Youtube video below illustrates why I will remain nervous until election day. Hat tip to Nelson M of the Liberal Journal.