I have been ruminating on this issue for the last couple of days. I knew it was coming, but I wanted to see just how it played out.
The attacks on Sarah Palin are horrendously sexist and wholly unfair.
I have been ruminating on this issue for the last couple of days. I knew it was coming, but I wanted to see just how it played out.
The attacks on Sarah Palin are horrendously sexist and wholly unfair.
In the third and final part of my series explaining why this Democrat is voting for McCain and not Obama, the discussion will center around issues of character, encompasing not only personal character but social policy beliefs as well.
This is a very simple subject to discuss when it comes to John McCain, but a very long and involved one when it comes to Barack Obama, so let’s get John McCain out of the way.
John McCain is very obviously a good, generous, straightforward, honest and honorable man. He is a man that has dedicated his entire life to the service of his country. John McCain the image is exactly the same as John McCain the man.
Country First is not just a campaign slogan for John McCain, it has been the over arching theme of his entire life. John McCain grew up in a Navy family, followed his father and grandfather’s footsteps and entered the Navy as well. He has stood up for what he believes in at every turn… even when it was to his disadvantage.
John McCain stood up to his party when it came to putting the marines in Beirut, when it came to recognizing that global warming is a real and pressing issue, when it came to the execution of the Iraq war, when it came to the creation of the prison at Guantanamo, he is against the use of rendition as a tool, he is against the use of waterboarding and views it as torture… and those are just a few of the innumerable examples of situations in which John McCain has stood for what he believes in even in the face of intense pressure.
Does John McCain have his faults? Of course.
There are basically 2 situations that the Obots tend to point out…
1. He left his first wife for Cindy. This is a fact, and his first marriage not working out is one of the great regrets of his life, but I think that some understanding should be given to John considering the situation he was in at the time.
John spend 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton, facing unbelievable amounts of torture, solitary confinement and dehumanization. He returned from Vietnam to a wife he had not seen for 6+ years, most of which he spent being tortured, only to find her paralyzed. Having a wife that is suddenly paralyzed is a difficult thing for any marriage and a significant number of these end in divorce. Add this to the recent trauma of spending over 5 years as a POW and is anyone really surprised the marriage did not work out?
The most important thing about this situation is that John always took care of his children. Always. And he and his first wife are still on very friendly terms. As a matter of fact, John’s first wife is one of his biggest supporters.
2. Keating Five. For those of you that are not familiar, the Keating 5 is a term that refers to a group of 5 Senators that were accused of corrupt dealings with a banker named Keating during the “Savings and Loan Crisis” of the 80’s.
The group of Senators was comprised of 4 Democrats and 1 Republican… John McCain.
Only problem is that John McCain (as well as John Glenn) was completely exonerated of any wrong doing what-so-ever by the Special Prosecutor Robert Bennet and recommended removing John McCain from any further investigation. So why was McCain kept in the group of those accused of wrong doing? Well, removing John McCain would remove the only Republican from the corruption case and politically the Democrats in power could not afford to have 3 of their Senators sit up there alone, going down in flames for shady dealings.
Against the wishes of the Special Prosecutor, the Democratic Chair of the Ethics Committee kept McCain’s name on the list and gave him what essentially amounted to a scowl and a wagging finger because McCain had done nothing wrong. The committee decided that McCain’s actions “were not improper nor attended with gross negligence,” about which McCain said… “I see it as a full exoneration”
This is usually the part where the Obots chime in with “But Cindy and her dad were in business with Keating!” Well, the first problem with this argument is that John has ZERO to do with his wife’s families business endeavors. ZERO. This is the reason that John didn’t know how many houses they owned… because he has nothing to do with his wife’s investments. The second problem with this is logic… The McCain family is one of the biggest real estate investors in all of Arizona, and Keating’s bank was one of the largest banks in all of Arizona. These two parties would almost have to work together on some level, and it’s not like they were wrapped up together in multiple projects. They were co-investors in one shopping center. One.
So those are McCain’s downsides… not too shabby. I mean everyone has skeletons in their closet and if this is all John has… I’ll take it.
As for Barack Obama… holy god. I am not even sure where to start…
One of the problems in evaluating Barack Obama and his character is his lack of a record. While John McCain has a multi-decade record we can point to and say, regardless of rhetoric, this is what this man believes and these are the decisions he would make, Obama’s record is razor thin.
We do have his voting record from the 143 days in the US Senate, and his voting record from his years in the Illinois legislature, but there are issues with those as well. On many of the harder and more controversial votes, Obama was either absent, voted “present” or voted but claimed he “pressed the wrong button.” All the records from his legislative office have mysteriously been lost as well, so we can’t even peruse through those to gain insight.
He has also sealed all his school records, so we can’t even take a look at his grades, what classes he took, his papers/disserations, anything. (Michelle’s either btw.) So that is not a help either.
And so what are we left with? We are left with two things… What Obama says he believes, and since every politician lies, that doesn’t do us any good. Or we can look at the people he has surrounded himself with over the years, which is pretty much all we have left since everything else has been seal, lost, walled off or shut down.
The thing about Obama and his associations is that, individually, they are no big deal. The problem starts coming in when you start taking a look at them as a group, what all of their philosphies are and how they all interconnect. Then we are left with a decision… is Obama the only person that doesn’t fit in the picture or is he the one that ties them all together?.
So let’s take a look…
1. Ayers and Dohrn – This couple led a group known as the Weather Underground which bombed several Federal Buildings (Pentagon, Capital Buidling, etc) and is responsible for the deaths of a few police officers as well as several of their own members. Ayers and Dohrn went on the run for a decade and were finally apprehended in 1980. Both of their cases were dropped because of technicalities, and they admit they are both “guilty as hell, but free as a bird.”
As Wikipedia puts it: “The Weatherman group had long held that militancy was becoming more important than nonviolent forms of anti-war action, and that university-campus-based demonstrations needed to be punctuated with more dramatic actions, which had the potential to interfere with the U.S. military and internal security apparatus. The belief was that these types of urban guerrilla actions would act as a catalyst for the coming revolution. Many international events indeed seemed to support the Weathermen’s overall assertion that worldwide revolution was imminent, such as the tumultuous Cultural Revolution in China; the 1968 student revolts in France, Mexico City and elsewhere; the Prague Spring; the emergence of the Tupamaros organization in Uruguay; the emergence of the Guinea-Bissauan Revolution and similar Marxist-led independence movements throughout Africa; and within the United States, the prominence of the Black Panther Party together with a series of “ghetto rebellions” throughout poor black neighborhoods across the country.” There are a number of quotes from Ayers and Dohrn talking about how youths will have to kill their parents and the genocide of capitalists.
The political philosphy that these people ascribe to is communo-fascist and both of them are totally unrepentant and freely admit that they wish they had done more at the time of their insurrectionist activities. Bill Ayers is the type of man that screams, yells and tramples on the US flag, calling the US an oppressor and murderer, and yet lives in his insular academic world with his cushy job and lives in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chicago with a multimillion dollar house. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are still the 60′s radicals they were 40 years ago. They never grew up. He sees white people as evil oppressors of all african americans, he sees America as evil oppressors of the third world and he sees Israel as the oppressors of the Palestinians.
Barack Obama has attempted to minimize his connections with Ayers and Dohrn, saying that Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood… and yet, Michelle’s first job at a law firm had her working with Dohrn. Obama was promoted to president of the Woods Foundation… By Ayers. Obama sat on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an organization intented to improve education but instead focused on increasing the “political awareness” of inner city youths, with Ayers. Obama lives a block away from Ayers. Obama has done a multitude of speaking engagements with Ayers. Ayers dedicated a book to Obama, and spoke about him in another book. Ayers helped Obama write “Dreams of My Father.” Ayers babysat the Obama’s children. And the first time it was announced, unofficially, that Obama was running for political office, it was at a party in Ayers’ living room.
This man is much more than just a guy in the neighborhood. He is a close personal friend and colleague.
Then we have Reverend Jeremiah Wright… wow. This guy is hard-core. A true black power movement figure that still sees the world in terms of black and white without recognizing how far the world has come. He has called the United States the “US-KKK of A” and called for God to “Damn America!” He made horrendously disparaging remarks about both Hillary and Bill Clinton, and has made even worse comments about white people in general. He is the type of man that screams, yells and tramples on the US flag, calling the US an oppressor and murderer, and yet lives in his insular world with his cushy job and lives in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chicago with a multimillion dollar house. Jeremiah Wright is still the 60′s radical he was 40 years ago, except now he is a “Christian” instead of a member of the Nation of Islam (yes, Wright was a member of the Nation of Islam.) He sees white people as evil oppressors of all african americans, he sees America as evil oppressors of the third world and he sees Israel as the oppressors of the Palestinians… even going as far as visiting Libya’s Khadafi with his friend Louis Farrakhan and calling Khadafi one of the great freedom fighters for African independence!
Obama claims that, in the 20 years of attending the church, he never heard any of the “controversial” comments played in a virtual loop on television, a claim which I find very hard to believe. When asked about his attendence, he said not every Sunday, so I think to myself… maybe. Ok, maybe he is like a Christmas and Easter church attender, so maybe he has been 30 times or so over 20 years… no, when he clarified, he said a couple times a month. This means that he has attended services at this church hundreds of times, and the phrases that so offended much of America are part and parcel with the theological philosophy that the Rev Wright preaches, Black Liberation Theology. This is also a church that has published manifesto’s from members of the terrorist group Hamas. This is the Reverend that brought Obama to Christianity. This is the man that mentored him, married him and baptised his children. I HIGHLY doubt he knew nothing about this stuff. In addition, as with most churches that are not the traditional Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian variety, you don’t just go to the church closest to you. These are the types of churches that you actively seek out and choose because of the message of the preacher… because of the theological philosophy of the church.
And then there is Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi is currently a professor at Columbia. He was a professor at U of Chicago. He worked for WAFFA, a front organization for the PLO, as the press officer from the early 70′s to the early 80′s. He has called the creation of Israel one of the biggest crimes in history and called for its destruction. He has been more than sympathetic to the Palestinian terrorists, and was one of the reasons Ahmedinejad was invited to speak at Columbia University.
Khalidi and Obama were friends. Khalidi was a political supporter, personal friend, and regular dinner companion. The Los Angeles Times has a video tape of the goodbye party for Khalidi, which both Obama’s and Ayers/Dohrn attended. It is also reported that a variety of very anti-Israeli comments were made during this party, and that a dance troop that regularly performs a re-enactment of “infidel beheadings” as a part of the repetoir was in attendence. Because of the censorship perpetrated by the LA Times, we do not know what exactly happened at the party or exactly what Obama said during his speech.
And so now we turn to Tony Rezko. Here are 8 things you need to know about Rezko
1. They met in 1990. Obama was a student at Harvard Law School and got an unsolicited job offer from Rezko, then a low-income housing developer in Chicago. Obama turned it down.
2. Obama took a job in 1993 with a small Chicago law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill, that represents developers — primarily not-for-profit groups — building low-income housing with government funds.
3. One of the firm’s not-for-profit clients — the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., co-founded by Obama’s then-boss Allison Davis — was partners with Rezko’s company in a 1995 deal to convert an abandoned nursing home at 61st and Drexel into low-income apartments. Altogether, Obama spent 32 hours on the project, according to the firm. Only five hours of that came after Rezko and WPIC became partners, the firm says. The rest of the future senator’s time was helping WPIC strike the deal with Rezko. Rezko’s company, Rezmar Corp., also partnered with the firm’s clients in four later deals — none of which involved Obama, according to the firm. In each deal, Rezmar “made the decisions for the joint venture,” says William Miceli, an attorney with the firm.
4. In 1995, Obama began campaigning for a seat in the Illinois Senate. Among his earliest supporters: Rezko. Two Rezko companies donated a total of $2,000. Obama was elected in 1996 — representing a district that included 11 of Rezko’s 30 low-income housing projects.
5. Rezko’s low-income housing empire began crumbling in 2001, when his company stopped making mortgage payments on the old nursing home that had been converted into apartments. The state foreclosed on the building — which was in Obama’s Illinois Senate district.
6. In 2003, Obama announced he was running for the U.S. Senate, and Rezko — a member of his campaign finance committee — held a lavish fund-raiser June 27, 2003, at his Wilmette mansion.
7. A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko’s wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood — a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million — $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko’s wife paid full price — $625,000 — for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko’s wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it “boneheaded” because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor.
8. Eight months later — in October 2006 — Rezko was indicted on charges he solicited kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business under his friend Gov. Blagojevich. Federal prosecutors maintain that $10,000 from the alleged kickback scheme was donated to Obama’s run for the U.S. Senate. Obama has given the money to charity.
I would add only two things… since the article was written, Rezko has been convicted of fraud and that the money that Rezko used to “help” Obama buy his house very likely came from a man named Nadhmi Auchi.
Now, Auchi… there is a character… here is an incomplete blurb from Wikipedia:
Auchi was a member of the Baath Party in Iraq before Saddam Hussein came to power. While he denies any ties to Hussein’s government, British media reports indicate he sold naval ships to Hussein’s government in the 1980s.
He is one of the largest shareholders in BNP Paribas, a French bank involved in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq.
In 2003, Auchi was convicted of fraud, and given a 15 month suspended sentence and a £1.5m fine for taking illegal payments from French oil company Elf Aquitaine.
In recent years he has entered into several partnerships with Chicago-area businessman Tony Rezko, effectively coming to his rescue as his various investment schemes began collapsing. Auchi bought about 15 of Rezko’s pizzerias in Wisconsin, according to court records. In 2005 he took a stake in Rezko’s South Loop development at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street, a deal estimated by observers familiar with the details at $170 million.
In 2008 Stuart Levine, the U.S. government’s star witness in the corruption trial against Rezko, asserted that Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were among the guests at party in Auchi’s honor that took place at Rezko’s residence on 3 April 2004. While Obama has acknowledged his ties to Rezko, a spokesman said that the senator responded that “Sen. Obama does not recall meeting Nadhmi Auchi at any time or on any occasion, and this includes any event that may have been held for Mr. Auchi.”
In 2008 The Times of London reported the discovery of state documents in Illinois recording that a Panamanian company by the name of Fintrade Services lent money to a fund raiser for Obama in 2005. Fintrade’s directors included Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Spokespeople declined to answer when questioned about whether he was linked to this business.
The Times also reported that Auchi’s company loaned Tony Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Rezko’s lot and Obama’s new home were purchased in 2005.
I would add that Belgian officials accused Auchi’s bank of laundering money for both Saddam’s Iraq and Khadafi’s Libya during the Oil For Food programs. And the claims that Auchi had no ties to Saddam are paper thin at best.
And now we turn to Khalid Al-Mansour…. Al-Mansour is a black-muslim lawyer that is a rags-to-riches type who mentored the founders of the Black Panthers and is suspected of supporting and arranging for support from a member of the Saudi Royal family for Barack Obama’s collegiate career at Harvard.
And then there is Obama’s “other pastor,” Rev. Meeks, who is also a State Representative. Meeks is a preacher in the same vein as Wright and has been cited as one of Obama’s mentors, though Obama denies it now. Meeks has been known to say such lovely things as “We don’t have slave masters. We’ve got mayors but they are still the same white people who have presided over systems where black people are not able or to be educated…. They do the same thing. They preside over systems where they have the control of the lives of African-American and Hispanic people.”
And, though I could keep going, I will close with Larry Walsh. A close friend of Barack Obama and poker buddy, Walsh is currently under investigation by the FBI about a possible lobbyist kickback scandal.
As I said, taken individually there is a plausable deniability to each one of these characters… an ability to minimize the connection between Obama and the other person, but taken all together, it begins to look like a pattern at the very least.
Roe v Wade is the biggest issue that has been beaten over the heads of America’s women… and while John McCain is pro-life and thinks that Roe v Wade is a bad decision on tenuous legal grounds, he does not think that the Federal Government should make it illegal. He believes, as a Federalist, that the decision should be up to the states. End of story. And while Obama claims to support Roe, he nearly voted to confirm John Roberts and may nominate a man named Cass Sunstein to the Supreme Court, a man that also thinks that Roe is a bad decision. Also, the likelyhood of Roe getting overturned is slight. Even Antonin Scalia, the courts most conservative judge, is loathe to take the subject on and considers it to be a founding principle of law at this point.
Either way, both McCain and Obama have promised that neither will use a litmus test when picking SCOTUS appts. In addition, with a massive majority in the Senate, it is unlikely that any strict Pro-lifer would make it to confirmation.
GLBT rights… McCain and Obama basically have the same stance on this issue. Domestic Partnership, no marriage. EOS.
Equal Pay. While Obama supports equal pay legislation and McCain opposes it, it is interesting to note that in Obama’s office, women make $0.79 for every $1 the men make, and yet in McCain’s office the women make $1.07 for every $1 the men make. McCain also has many more women in higher level staffer positions than Obama. Add this to the fact that Obama risked splitting the Democratic party in order to avoid choosing a woman as a Vice President, while McCain… well, he picked one hell of a woman, and one that challenges the very foundations of liberal feminism.
So… after that whole long thing… who do you think has the better character to be President?
Let me start off this discussion with a preface. I am, politically speaking, a dyed in the wool Democrat. I cast my first ballot at the age of 18 for Bill Clinton and I have cast every single ballot since for a Democrat. I voted for Gore and I voted for Kerry.
Not only have I always voted Democratic, I despise George Bush and believe he has been a horrendously bad President with only one thing nice I can say about him… he has done wonders for disease in Africa. That’s all.
George Bush’s foreign policy has been terrible. The war in Iraq was wholly unnecessary, and I opposed it from the very beginning. I think that the war in Iraq could have been successful, but it was mismanaged horrendously by the Bush administration, as has the war in Afghanistan. Instead of uniting the world in the singularly most unique and best chance for that to happen in more than half a century, he divided it… perhaps irrepairably for a generation.
George Bush’s economic policies have been mediocre. Instead of using his political capital to push through the good long term notions he had, like increasing the oversight on Fannie and Freddie, he instead used it on total crap… tax cuts for the top 5% of wage earners and the energy bill, which contained TONS of giveaways to the oil industry only to be followed by record high oil prices that put a nail in our economic coffin.
On healthcare, George Bush also helped block the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and the ability of Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies just like every private health insurance company does, which could potentially have saved the Medicare system a staggering sum of money. He also help pushed through a Medicare reform bill that was nothing but a crap sandwich in disguise, handing even more money to business and taking it out of the pockets of our retirees.
Let me also say that, for an undetermined amount of time, I have chosen to leave the Democratic Party…. or, more specifically, to quote an old phrase… “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.”
So, knowing that I believe all of the above, why would I support John McCain and not Barack Obama.
Well, the answer in it’s most simple form: John McCain is not George Bush.
In reality, it is more complicated than that. In the words of Bill Clinton,
For example, you’re a voter, and you have Candidate X and Candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything. But you don’t think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that, on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom will you vote?
This is a pretty good summary of what is going on here… I would add something to that though. I also believe that Candidate Y will at least listen, and I mean really listen, to what I have to say on the half that we disagree on.
So, for this Democrat… I choose Candidate Y, John McCain.
The more detailed analysis is even more complicated than that… so lets get into it.
The Wars and Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is really the true realm of the President. There is a mistaken belief that the President’s main job has to do with domestic policy and the economy. This is not true. In foreign policy, the President has real powers, but domestically the President is basically relegated to the “Power of the Podium,” meaning that he/she has the loudest voice in a room full of people talking because of their ability to command so much attention when speaking upon a subject.
And so, because the real realm of Presidential power is foreign policy and the conduct of war, that is what will be discussed first.
As for the Iraq and Afghan wars, the myth that both candidates would like you to believe is that their stances on the war are substantially different.
Well, I hate to break it to the people on both sides of the aisle… while the political philosophies behind their decisions, what the members of their parties want may differ greatly, the actual platforms of the two candidates are virtually the same.
Barack Obama claims that he will “end the war in Iraq” and get the troops out of there… in a year and a half… starting at some undetermined date… but will leave a residual force… yeah, of like 60-70,000 troops… oh, and those troops won’t necessarily be coming home really, they will be going to Afghanistan… and, umm, not sure when that will be done.
John McCain has basically the same plan… except he is actually up front about it. He plans to make sure the government in Iraq is stable, get their army and police forces trained, boost troop levels in Afghanistan and get that finished as soon as possible by using the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force, or what I like to call the McCain Doctrine (more popularly known as “The Surge”) and to eventually get everyone the hell out of there.
In the vacuum of their policy ideas, the net result is the same… we are going to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for a very long time. Period. End of story.
The difference is on how the management of the specifics of the wars are handled and what each man will do with different eventualities.
Here is where the Obama supporter, hereafter referred to as “Obot,” brings up the theory of Obama’s superior judgement… because he was against the war from the beginning.
The funny thing is that the Obots ignore the fact that he wasn’t even in the Senate yet, so it was not his call to make and he did not have all the information the Senators did at the time (reliable or not)… he was armchair quarterbacking it.
Also ignored is the fact that he only said he was against it once… at an anti-war rally… in a room full of middle easterners… who were by and large against the war as a demographic… while running for office… in a heavily middle eastern district… upon whom he relied for the majority of his campaign finance support (ie Rezko, Auchi, Khaladi). In other words, it was a politically expedient and safe move for his situation, even though he likes to paint is as if he took some grand stand against the tide.
The Obots also ignore the fact that not a year later, Obama was quoted as saying that his opinion on the war was basically equivalent to that of George Bush, and then go on to ignore the massive military strategic and tactical ignorance that Obama displayed in opposing the McCain Surge Doctrine which succeeded, in Obama’s own words, “beyond our wildest expectations.”
Add this in conjunction with Barack Obama’s choice in running mate, and upon whom he is supposed to rely for foreign policy decision making… Joseph Biden, a man that voted for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF. And yet, even though I regularly heard Obots declare that they could never vote for someone that “voted for the war,” they have fallen in line behind Biden with gusto.
(As a side note, the AUMF was not a vote FOR the Iraq war, no matter what the Obama camp would like you to think, especially during the primaries when they were attacking Hillary Clinton vicously. The AUMF authorized the President to use military force if he deemed necessary during the negotiations with Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspectors back into the country. It was meant to be used as an additional tool for the President to use as leverage to get Iraq to open up… a kind of “yeah, we mean serious business” type of a statement, and one that worked. Iraq did allow the weapons inspectors back in, but Bush got a bit antsy and sent in the troops anyway. Regardless, the vote for the AUMF was not to send in troops, it was to authorize the President to send them in if deemed necessary. These are two very different things.)
A this point, I feel I must state again, I was against the invasion of Iraq as well. I am glad that Obama chose to oppose it as well, but the situation greatly mitigates the stance.
Also, when it comes to diplomacy, John McCain is most certainly not like George Bush. John McCain recognizes and has spoken out against the failures of the Bush Administration to effectively use diplomatic means to solve problems. He has also criticized Bush for this mismanagement of relations with our allies. He recognizes the need to regenerate the good will and respect that America should garner from our NATO allies and fellow members of the UN.
As a man that has served in a war and spent 5 1/2 years as a POW, John McCain is the last person that would run head first in to an ill advised war and do so unprepared. McCain is a strong advocate of strong diplomacy and of using force only as a last resort. McCain is a strong advocate of the Geneva Conventions, staunchly against the use of waterboarding (aka torture) and will close Guantanamo on Day One.
There are also an innumerable variety of situations that could occur in different parts of the world that can cause serious problems for and threats to the US national security, something that even Joseph Biden, aka Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru, pointed out at some private fundraisers in the last few weeks(along with some other comments I will get to in a bit.) These threats range from a resurgent Russia, a declining Pakistan, a growing China, a threatened Taiwan, a freaked out Israel, an emboldened Iran, a cornered North Korea, a troublesome Venezuela, a tiresome Cuba, to a crazed Islamic fundamentalist movement.
So the question is, who do we want handling these potential situations?
On one hand you have Barack Obama. A man with the “superior judgement” to oppose the Iraq war that is mitigated by the situation in which he announced that opposition, the gross ignorance he showed in military strategy in opposition to the war, and the choice of a running mate that “supported the war”…. A man whose proposed policies are, in the words of French President Sarkozy, weak and full of arrogance…. A man who has no real foreign policy experience, except for the 143 days that he spent in the US Senate…. A man that actually had the audacity, yes AUDACITY, to claim that his foreign policy judgement was superior to Hillary Clinton’s because he spent a few years living in Indonesia as a child…. A man that everyone from Hamas to Hezbollah to Ahmendinejad to Castro to Kim Jong Il to Osama Bin Laden himself hopes will become President…. A man whose election, according to his running mate and foreign policy guru, will lead to an immediate and serious threat to our national security because our enemies will “test him”….
And on the other hand you have John McCain. A man that grew up in a military family with a father and a grandfather that were both Admirals…. A man that attended the Naval Academy and studied military strategy and tactics…. A man that has been in combat and lived through the absolute worst that war has to offer…. A man that has decades, not days, of foreign policy experience in the US Senate…. A man that showed superior judgement in the conduct of a war when he pushed for the Surge…. A man who has been there and done that for decades when it comes to foreign policy, diplomacy and war…. A man who everyone from Hamas to Hezbollah to Ahmendinejad to Castro to Kim Jong Il to Osama Bin Laden himself hopes will not become President…. And a man that no one needs to test.
I think the choice is clear when it comes to foreign policy, don’t you?
Be sure to be on the lookout for Part 2, coming tomorrow, in which I will be discussing domestic issues and policy and Part 3 on Monday in which I will be discussing character issues… all seen through the eyes of a Democrat-No-More.
Since I started writing speeches more than ten years ago, I have always believed in the Democratic Party. Not anymore. Not after the election of 2008. This transformation has been swift and complete and since I’m a woman writing in the election of 2008, “very emotional.”
See campaigns get complicated when you’ve written for so many Democrats. Not only had I written for Senator Edwards, but I had also been Senator Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter. Senator Joe Biden is a “good looking” man and his care after my father almost died from an aneurysm is the kind of kindness you never forget. When I saw Edwards at a traffic light in D.C. about a year after our meeting, he asked for help and I did and it was an honor to help him with his concession speech. And when the primary ended, it was a privilege to help Michelle Obama with a stump speech, be considered as a speechwriter for the V.P. nominee again, and send friends in Chicago ideas until the financial crisis hit. This is what the Democratic Party has been for me; it’s family. Now, it doesn’t even feel like a distant cousin.
This drift started on a personal level with the fall of former Senator John Edwards. It got stronger during the Democratic National Convention when I counted the substantive mentions of poverty on one hand and a whole bunch of bad canned partisan lines against Senator John McCain. Some faith was lifted after Senator Hillary Clinton’s grace during a difficult hour. But that faith was dashed when I saw that someone had raided the Caligula set and planted the old columns at Invesco Field.
The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”
“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.”
The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.
Governor Palin and I don’t agree on a lot of things, mostly social issues. But I have grown to appreciate the Governor. I was one of those initial skeptics and would laugh at the pictures. Not anymore. When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper. When someone fights her way to get scholarships and work her way through college even in a jagged line, that shows determination and humility you can’t learn from reading Reinhold Niebuhr. When a mother brings her son with special needs onto the national stage with love, honesty, and pride, that gives hope to families like mine as my older brother lives with a mental disability. And when someone can sit on a stage during the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live, put her hands in the air and watch someone in a moose costume get shot—that’s a sign of both humor and humanity.
I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It’s wrong and someone has to say that. And also say that the Democratic Party’s talking points—that Senator John McCain is just four more years of the same and that he’s President Bush—are now just hooker lines that fit a very effective and perhaps wave-winning political argument…doesn’t mean they’re true. After all, he is the only one who’s worked in a bipartisan way on big challenges.
Please go to the article and read the whole thing. It is a wonderful insider’s view of the party.
I would love to see some more elaboration on a few points, especially about the manufactured inanity of the narrative on Palin and the intentionality of it, but I guess that will have to wait for her next installment.
At the end of the Democratic Primary season, this was the situation:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 17,857,446, (48.04%)
Senator Barack Obama: 17,584,649 (47.31%)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: 1,730.5 (39.17%)
Senator Barack Obama: 1,747.5 (39.55%)
Then, for no apparent good reason, in June Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosis decided THEY, not the delegates chosen by the electorate and not the superdelegates appointed via proper party procedure, were going to decide who would represent the top of the ticket for the general election. Now that same leadership wants YOU to legitimize their undemocratic and unprincipled methods by putting their selected candidate into the White House on November 4.
But WE can say no to the subversion of democratic principles within the Democratic Party. We can say no with our votes and by urging our fellow Democrats to pay attention to the particulars of the candidate Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi selected to represent the Democratic Party.
Put this ad on the air and let America know that our voices count.
Over the next 24 hours and across the internet, we as a community will urgently be raising money to run edgy and persuasive ads made by Democrats in key battleground states. Generous contributors have pledged $500 in matching funds. Your voice counts. Please contribute now
CLICK ON ROSIE TO DONATE:
Or go to Democrats For Principle Before Party – The Denver Group’s general election website, where you can view other ads the group is running:
Seventeen. That’s how many times, according to this White House statement (hat tip Gateway Pundit), that the Bush administration has called for tighter regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congress has cooperated only once. In spring 2007, as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank likes to point out, the House did pass a bill in response. The Senate did not act until 2008; Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd spent most of 2007 camped out in Iowa running for president. The legislation passed by Congress in 2008 enabled Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to put Fannie and Freddie into federal conservatorship this summer when they failed. But it didn’t prevent them from spewing a huge amount of toxic waste, in the form of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, into our financial institutions from 2004 to 2007. As Stephen Spruiell points out in The Corner on National Review Online, Fannie and Freddie spewed out $1 trillion worth (face value) of subprime mortgages between 2005 and 2007. That’s a whole lot of toxic waste. For more detail, consult the items referred to in my previous blogpost on this subject (most of the comments seem to have been disputes about the plot line of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which I should think could be settled by consulting a reference work).
Much if not all of that could have been prevented by a bill cosponsored by John McCain and supported by all the Republicans and opposed by all the Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee in 2005. That bill, which the Democrats stopped from passing, would have prohibited the GSEs from speculating on the mortgage-based securities they packaged. The GSEs’ mission allegedly justifying their quasi-governmental status was to package or securitize such mortgages, but the lion’s share of their profits—which determined top executives’ bonuses—came from speculation.
John McCain has shied away from making this an issue, for reasons my U.S. News colleague Jim Pethokoukis speculates on. This National Republican Congressional Committee Web ad makes the point McCain has been avoiding. Jim Geraghty of the Campaign Spot blog at National Review Online seems exasperated by the McCain campaign’s failure to exploit this issue….
More at the link…
The only word I can think of, in internent parlance, is PWNT.
Via Tennessee Guerilla Woman (make sure to follow the link to get the whole story!)
It seems like an epidemic . . . women leaving the Democratic Party. Alma Sanford is the chair of the Tennessee Democratic Women’s Political Action Committee. The longtime party activist has committed untold hours to the project of opening politics up to women in this good old cretin boy state. Alma represented the state at the DNC as a pledged Clinton delegate. She was recently honored by the National Federation of Democratic Women as humanitarian of the year. Alma Sanford has been a committed party activist for more than 30 years. Especially, she is a leader of Democratic women.
Alma pretty well sums it up: “[I]t’s not my party anymore. They have put poison in the well, and have run the older women out of the party.”
Citing actions by Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser, as well as spokesman Wade Munday, and the general mistreatment of Democratic such as Hillary Clinton and Rosalind Kurita, Sanford said she no longer considers herself a Democrat.
“I will vote for John McCain,” Sanford stated unequivocally.
This article is so good and so complete that it is difficult to get everything it’s about into a snippet… I highly recommend you just go read the whole thing, but I will provide a few little tidbits for you.
Obama camp in panic as ‘Xena’ Sarah Palin scythes through support
Palinmania has washed away the Democrat’s lead in key states
THE high-heeled, moose-hunting governor of Alaska has sent Barack Obama’s campaign into a state of panic as support for the Democratic presidential candidate haemorrhages in the battleground states he must win to reach the White House.
The mother of five, who has been called Xena, the warrior princess, said in a television interview: “I think he’s regretting not picking [Clinton] now, I do. What determination and grit and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way – she handled those well,” Palin said.
I n t h e f a c e o f P a l i n ’ s onslaught, Obama has continued to base his campaign on the outdated claim that John McCain and his running mate represent four more years of a failed Bush administration.
A senior Obama adviser said candidly that claim did not work. “I don’t think it’s sticking. The McCain campaign has stolen our message of ‘change’ – the very thing we’ve been campaigning on for 20 months. Well, who’s the change? It’s McCain.” Palin’s astounding rise has left the Obama camp floundering for a new narrative that will capture the imagination of voters in the run-up to the November 4 election. “There is overreaction and panic,” the official admitted. “The hard part for Barack is she’s stolen his thunder a bit. It has knocked us off our game.”
Obama’s adviser said the attacks had misfired. “At the end of the day, women are sick of men running everything. They’re thinking, ‘Enough already.’ It has nothing to do with what she stands for. Our mistake was thinking women had nowhere else to go.”
Palinmania has washed away Obama’s polling leads in several swing states that he had been counting on to win.
A clutch of polls last week showed McCain ahead by five points in Missouri, four in Ohio, four in Virginia and eight in Florida. New Mexico and N e v a d a , t w o t o p O b a m a targets, recorded narrow leads for McCain. Other states that had appeared to be comfortably in the Democratic camp now look precarious. In blue-collar New Jersey, Obama’s lead has shrunk to three points; in latte-sipping Washing-ton, it is down to two.
Katherine Hoppe, 65, was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Another Democrat for McCain”. She worked as a volunteer at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Ballston, Virginia, and was present at her concession speech to Obama.
“I felt horrible,” she said. “When McCain announced that he had picked Palin, I went crazy. When you’re my age and Hillary’s, you want to give to the next generation. Hillary did that. She gave us Sarah.”
Clinton is said by friends to be “gutted” that she put 18m cracks in the glass ceiling for women only to have Palin kick in the pane. But she is thought to share Palin’s conviction that the media are treating the Alaskan governor unfairly.
After repeated jabs from McCain, including the false charge that Obama supported sex education for kinder-garteners, the Illinois senator hit back with a negative advertisement mocking his 72-year-old rival for being out of date and out of touch with computer technology, including e-mail.
It backfired when it emerged that McCain was unable to type because he was injured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate “ whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”
Seriously? Who the hell put these people in charge?
That is a horrendously demeaning and vile comment. And this person is not only a state chair for the Democrat Party, but is also a Super Delegate (that endorsed Obama during the primaries IIRC).
These people make me want to barf….
Ms. Fowler, what is wrong with you?
Oh, and yeah… Ms. Fowler is the wife of Don Fowler that joked that God must love the Democrats more because Hurricane Gustav was hitting New Orleans during the Republican Convention… (here)
What a lovely couple…
I guess I was right… It’s all about class.
UPDATE – This is nothing compared to Mallick of CBC and The Guardian… CLICK HERE
This is the best, most accurate and honest article I have read on the subject yet…
From Froma Harrop on RCP
…for Hillary’s angry backers, the issue is no longer what was done to her. It was about what was done to them.
Democrats had turned on fellow Democrats, and although the arrows flew in all directions, the nastiest of the invective fell on the ladies who loved Hillary. That these loyal Democrats had been targeted made them nuts.
How strange that anyone writing for a political site would be smeared for backing a candidate of the same party. If the Democratic leadership had any sense of self-preservation, it would have shunned creepy bloggers and those who provided their forum. Instead, it hailed them as voices of the new generation.
The Democrats clearly have a hooligan problem. It was as though their left-wingers suffered a kind of Karl Rove envy. They wanted to go on the attack, demonize a Clinton and hurl abuse at the Clinton’s friends. Only a year ago, Vanity Fair ran a cover story on how Clinton hatred had infected much of the right wing. The left seems to have grabbed the baton. And it apparently did not dawn on the Obama shock troops that they were offending the very people their man might someday need.
The Rovian right never made that mistake with non-candidates. It reserved its thuggery for people who would never vote for a Republican.
Read the whole article on RCP… It is fantastic. CLICK HERE
Two dozen pledged delegates are bringing a rules challenge against the Kentucky state Democratic party.
The challenge alleges that the party asked one delegate to step down because of his sexual preference, and that a delegate pledged to Clinton was replaced by an ardent Obama supporter.
Read more HERE
There are rumblings of these same challenges being brought in several other states, including Oklahoma.
I have not been a fan of the Huffington Post during this election cycle. The Huffington Post, along with DailyKos and DU, lead the charge in the online attack against Clinton, at least perceptually.
Since the end of the primaries, when the real numbers are coming in and critical votes came up, and Obama did not perform as these entities would have liked, they started to get a bit more critical of Obama… thus the advent of articles like the following…
One thing that can be said about Hillary Clinton’s backers is that the word quit is not in their vocabulary. Their thinly disguised end around at the Democratic presidential nomination shouldn’t really surprise. The end around is the soft soap announcement that they’ll keep her name in play as a Democratic presidential candidate at the convention. There are several reasons why there’s no quit in Hillary’s folks. They make up a big percentage of the Party, and they still fervently believe that she’s the best, maybe only, Democrat who can beat McCain.
Their passion is driven by an odd, troubling and invigorating, commitment mix of dedication, gender support and racial fears. It’s also driven by the growing unease that the steam is leaking out of Obama’s turbine. Despite seven weeks of non stop media fawning over and adulation of him, Obama still can’t give McCain the shakes in the polls. Worse, McCain seems to have gotten better. He’s sharpened his message, his attacks and confidence.
The hard numbers and demographics certainly are good reason for terror over an Obama loss. His caucus and primary wins in the red states and the handful of endorsements he got from the Democratic governors and senators in those states hardly spell a breakthrough for the Democrats in the head to head match with McCain. Obama swept to primary or caucus wins in Idaho, North Dakota, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Nebraska. Bush won these states handily in 2000 and 2004. But that’s only the start of the problem. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Idaho and Utah by a crushing margin of a three to one, and in other states by margins of two to one and half.
The red states that Obama won in the Democratic primaries have been the guaranteed pathway for Republican presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. to win and stay in the White House. Their 170 to 200 electoral votes are virtually in the GOP’s coffers before the first vote is cast on Election Day. The states are so bankable and reliable for the GOP that it’s the rarest of rare sighting to see a GOP presidential candidate even bother to make anything more than a token appearance in these states in the stretch run of the campaign.
Read the rest… except for a detail or two (ie the injection of race… they just can’t leave it alone, can they?) it is a really good article.
Filed under: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain | Tagged: 2008 Convention News, Barack Obama, Campaign, democrat, GOP, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Huffington, HuffPo, John McCain, McCain, Nomination, Obama, Poll, Post, Quit, Red States, Republican | Leave a Comment »
Liberal Rapture has a fantastic article on a new organization called “Accountable America.”
Liberal Rapture has the following to say about them…
A bunch of Obama whores named Accountable America is about to start a real s**tstorm. This group sent out a warning letter that, in essence, says that donors to the GOP will be dragged through the mud. The warning letter is intended as a first step, alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.
Nice. Give to the NRA – get a subpoena!Trashing right wing donors on a personal level is another sign that the “liberals” now in control of the once great Democratic Party are contemptuous of the individual. Put it in the “caucus packing” and bittergate category. The fundamental thesis being “We know better than you. Behave, or you will pay!” Please read
this for another example. A male DNC lawyer screamed at a female lawyer defending a gay man who was fired by the DNC. Saying she must not contradict him and “know her place!” The infection is spreading.
WOW… so they are going to dig out the skeletons of the people that donate to Republican or Right Wing groups?
Let me rephrase to be clear – These people are not going to attack McCain or any other politician. They are not going to attack any political platform. They are not even going to attack the organizations themselves. They are going to attack DONORS.
DONORS? Seriously? They are going to attack private citizens that donate to organizations that represent the issues they care about?
It’s not voter intimidation… it’s donor intimidation.
Now, the group does claim that they are going to be targeting potential swiftboaters, but where is that line drawn… and who gets to draw the line between an organization that criticizes and one that could “swift boat”… or even between what is a swift boat and what is not.
You might scoff at that, but those lines can get very blurry at the edges and it’s pretty easy to push those lines further back… you know, just in case.
How soon till we see some conservative housewife in Nebraska will be subject to ridicule because she once did something young and dumb in college… all because she was “outed” by a group that did not like her donation to a “pro-life” group.
This is a slippery slope, and a pretty dangerous one.
Go To Liberal Rapture for more.
PUMApac has a log of emails from Super Delegates that were sent in response to the concerns of Democrats that contacted them.
It is pretty scary that a political party expecting votes would treat it’s voters like this. And they wonder why we don’t wanna vote for them?
CLICK HERE for all of them… but here are a couple favorites:
“Not sure if you know, but we are keeping copies of all these emails in the archives. Yes, you are not going to get away with pretending to be for Hillary.” – from Donna Brazile, member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, threatening Sharon, a Democratic voter, with retaliation for contacting her about the election, on June 8, 2008.
“When God was giving out brains…you thought he said trains…and you missed yours. Who gives a croc what you do, its your business fool.” — from Ben Johnson, member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, to Sherry, a Democratic Voter From Michigan, July 7, 2008.
Remember, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee are the people that changed the delegate count, and effectively votes, in Michigan. Those two people, Brazile and Johnson, are in charge of our votes?!?!?!
And now for my absolute favorite!
“GOD WILL GUIDE THE HAND OF JUDGMENT THAT WILL STRIKE YOU DOWN!
Do not email us again. Thank you.” — from Carolyn Warner, Arizona Super Delegate and former state senator, to a Democratic voter who requested that she help make sure that the Convention includes an open roll call vote as in years’ past, July 18, 2008.
Are you kidding me?!?!?
As PUMApac said… “Why are these people in charge?”
Filed under: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton | Tagged: Barack, Barack Obama, Clinton, democrat, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, McCain, Obama, Other, PUMA, PUMApac, RBC, Rules and Bylaws, Super Delegate, Super Delegates, superdelegates, WTF??? | 7 Comments »
It has been confirmed by www.puma08.com that as many as 15 delegates are switching their vote to Hillary.
Only 175 delegates need to change their votes to oust Obama as nominee and install Hillary Clinton. This would leave 160 to go!
This does not come as a surprise on the heels of reports that 8 have decided to switch and that the people on Capitol Hill have become quite upset with the Obama campaign, calling it non-communicative, un-cooperative, and arrogant. (Click Here) Add that to the fact that Obama has drummed up almost no money for the party, is tied with McCain in a supposed “no way to lose” Democratic year, and has done zero for the people down ticket… (Click Here) and you have some pretty disgruntled super delegates, not to mention the disgruntled populace re: flip flops on several issues. (Click Here)
If this trend holds true, Obama is in hot water.
Filed under: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain | Tagged: Barack Obama, Clinton, democrat, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Losing, Nominee, Obama, PUMA, Super Delegate, Super Delegates, Support | 3 Comments »
The DNC is getting worried. The party is not uniting behind their hand picked choice they chose to shove down out throats… The DNC’s fundraising is horrendously short of goals, and even with the “windfall” fundraising that Obama had in June, they are falling behind John McCain and the RNC. And in a year that a Democrat should be able to walk into the White House, polling numbers are amazingly close… essentially tied as a matter of fact.
And now they are freaking out because it is becoming apparent that it’s not only disgruntled voters that are not falling in line, but some of the parties largest fundraisers are holding back.
So what does the party decide to do? Capitulate? Negotiate? Listen to the concerns and demands of half the party? NOPE.
They get pushy and send a stern message to the fundraisers… a kind of, STFU and give us your money.
Smooth… that’ll fix the situation.
Go here for a copy of the email via TPM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Barack Obama, Clinton, democrat, Democratic National Committee, DNC, Don Fowler, Donor, Fowler, Fundraiser, Fundraisers, Fundraising, General, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Hillraiser, Obama | 4 Comments »
The posters at the Confluence are fantastic. Riverdaughter has truly put together on of the best groups of bloggers and they deliver again and again.
This weeks “Best Of The Rest” was written by Madamab… Title: “Centrist, Triangulation and the Netroots”
Madamab expresses exactly how i feel and how i felt about the progressive liberal netroots in this perfect post.
Here is a snippet for you…
When the “progressive” blogosphere burst on the scene several years ago, I could not have been more thrilled. I was so tired of the corporate media covering up for the Deciderer and his criminal and anti-American activities. Here, at last, with the help of Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, Huffington Post and Eschaton, I could find like-minded individuals who wanted to know what was REALLY going on and who had the resources to find out. I also could take action by joining Moveon.org and Democracy for America. It was a heady, wonderful time for me, and I thought we were all on the same page.
Then, things began to change.
It goes from there brilliantly… Bravo.
Read the rest here.
This meme was started by Pam Miles over at Afterdowningstreet…
I have firm confirmation that Nancy Pelosi is urging the Judiciary committee NOT to go forward with contempt against Rove.
Congressman John Conyers and the Judiciary staff are battling for it but this has become an infight among dems.
Time to burn up the phone lines.
Honestly, this is the only “news” blog type place I can find this but it seems to have caught on in some of the various discussion boards…
It seems a bit scant on the how, where and why’s, so I don’t know how true it is, we will have to wait for confirmation from a much better source, but what I do know is that it totally seems like something that Pelosi would do…
And that just makes me irritated at Pelosi all over again…
Damn it, I wany MY party back!