Friday, October 31, 2008
It is probably premature to start talking about a "widening" of Barack Obama's lead over John McCain, although today's national tracking results certainly produce no evidence of any continuing "narrowing." Of the eight national tracking polls out today, five show slight movement in Obama's direction today, only one in McCain's direction and two show no change in the margin.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Oh Cecilia, bless your heart. We have only been at this for two years, sweetheart. There were over 40 debates during the primaries and most recently we have had three Presidential debates and one Vice Presidential debate. Honey, I trust you can read. Please do because this is important. And I am not trying to be mean or dismissive. It really is that important and you need to read about this stuff and believe me there are piles of stuff out there.
But… if you are not going to read anything else, I hope you’ll chew on this:
Let’s start with John McCain. Picking Sarah Palin was John McCain’s first big decision after winning the nomination. In an earlier interview McCain said he didn’t know much about the economy but he would probably pick a Vice President who could help him on that. Palin? Really? Palin. She went to five colleges and finally got an undergraduate degree in journalism. And if you have watched her interviews with journalists, you have to wonder how much of that degree sank in. Sarah Palin - definitly not the sharpest tool in the shed.
She was mayor of Wasilla - a city population of 7,000. Then off to the governor’s mansion in a state with a population of 700,000. Honestly, there are more beavers in Alaska than people. But this is the person who is going to explain the complexities of one of the largest economies on the globe to John McCain. I’m pretty sure they don’t have enough fingers and toes between them to count that high. (By the way, I say one of the largest economies because under George W. Bush’s Confederacy of Dunces the European Union flew past us.)
Now let’s talk about taxes. John McCain is working overtime to scare the hell out of all the Joe the Fill-in-the-Blank’s out there. He’s trying to fool them into thinking that they actually make enough money to be worried. That is the biggest joke the Republican party has managed to play on the good people of America. Most of us don’t even make enough money in a life-time to afford the membership into that club. The idea of a progressive tax where the wealthy pay more in taxes than the poor is nothing new. Not even close. In fact 81% of economist agree with the concept… and here is a real eye opener - until he crapped his pants about losing this election John McCain supported the concept as well. Trust me, that dog don’t hunt, he will say anything to win at this point. De-regulation of banks? He was for it, but now is against it. He was for privatization of social security and now he is against it. He was for the estate tax and now he is against it. He used to have a spine and now he doesn’t. You know, at his age, he should know there’s medication for such personality swings.
If I hear that McCain is a Maverick one more time I just might throw myself to the floor and break a hip. A maverick is an independent individual who doesn’t go along with a group or party. If John McCain’s a maverick I am one of those cheerleaders on the sidelines of Harold’s beloved Dallas Cowboys. Nobody seems to dispute that the Republican party led by George W. Bush got us into this mess but what everybody seems to forget is that Sarah Palin and John McCain are Republicans. Look, when the Religious Right came knocking at the door of the RNC Membership Round-Up, someone should have turned out the porch lights and told everyone inside to be quiet until they went away… the same thing I do when those nice looking boys on bicycles with bibles come to my door. But the Republicans opened that door, invited them in and now they have to live with that decision.
Cecilia, when was the last time a politician brought a tear to your eye… moved you deep in your soul? Honestly when was the last time you really felt that Americans could do anything if we put our hearts and minds to it? I am an old lady. Most of my life politicians have moved me. Most of my life I have felt that Americans can do anything if we put our hearts and minds to it. It’s been 8 long years. I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you.
If you are undecided - and I am at a complete loss for how you could be - please consider the following:
Which party has been screaming terrorist, socialist, Marxist, murder him and kill him… and which party has been talking about hope and unity.
Which party has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you everyday for the past two weeks hoping to scare you into thinking that there is an Un-American part of the country… and which party has been sayng that there is no red America and no blue America but only the United States of America.
Which party thinks war is the answer to everything… and which party has suggested that maybe we need to sit down and talk this out to see if peace is possible.
Which Presidential candidate just gave a speech accusing Barack Obama of delaying the World Series game. I mean of all things. In fact, that is a lie. But my god, that is the McCain talking point for the day? That’s a small thing I know, but when Harold hears something on TV about sports, that’s a big thing in our house. So he checked. It was a lie. But McCain is counting on you to not check to see if he was telling the truth. He is counting on Americans to be fat and lazy. And as silly and ridiculous as that little lie is… what more do you need? He will lie to you to get your vote.
So tell me again why you are undecided?
Oh yes I forgot. The terrorists are going to get us.
Folks, I’m tired of living in fear. Life is too short. How about we try hope and optimism again and see how that works. It created the greatest nation in history and the world is better for it.
Thanks for stopping by everyone. If I find out that you didn’t take the time to vote, I will ask Matthew to ban you from this web page blog. I mean it. Really.
Earlier this week, in your post “The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama”, you wrote under Point 4: “A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.”
On the one hand I agree with you; on the other hand, you don't go nearly far enough. An Obama presidency means much more than a truce in the 60’s culture war. It means the end of a much older and more terrible war, in which the 60's was merely one battle: the American Civil War. That is what is at stake here.
The Civil War was fought from Sumter to Appomattox, from April 12, 1861, to April 9, 1865. But the roots of the war predated 1861, and the consequences lived on long after 1865. In reality the Civil War never ended, it just shifted from a military to a culture war - the same culture war that is still going on today.
What you call the “boomer warfare” of the 1960’s was part of that larger war, marking the struggle to end Jim Crow, the century-long regime of American apartheid (Vietnam was, in my opinion, related but secondary). The end of apartheid was a second humiliating defeat for the forces of the conservative "South" at the hands of the liberal "North", and it subsequently gave rise to those decades of distorted and irrational politics you so deplore, as the reactionary and fundamentalist forces regrouped and mounted yet another rearguard insurrection against their liberal "oppressors", culminating in their partial ascension to power under Bush. (And we can only hope it ends there, instead of with Palin and the Christian Nationalists in 2012).
I realize this may sound harsh; I do not think Bush is a racist, for instance (quite the contrary), and I am very aware of the progress made in this country since I was young, including in the South; nevertheless, this election is clearly about race, about who and what we are as a nation, as a people, as a family (I would throw California's Prop 8 squarely into this battle too).
So let's be clear - it is not "boomer warfare" which has distorted our politics, or made rational politics so elusive since the 60's: it is something far deeper, something far older, something which has been with us from the beginning in this country, and which we in turn brought with us from the Old World; something which in fact traces back to the very origin of humanity - spiritually, psychologically, politically, evolutionarily. That depth is what gives the American story its pathos and its importance. That is why the world watches us: to see if we can work it out - to see if there is hope.
And that's why January 20, 2009, is so important: the day Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th president will mark the third, and I believe the final defeat of the forces of repression and division in this country, and the actual end of the American Civil War.
How can I be so sure? Because when the American President is inaugurated, it is directly homologous to the crowning of the King in ancient days: the King is the groom, the Nation is the bride, the crowning is the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage. When Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th president, a symbolic marriage will be enacted, binding us together forever, black and white. We will have chosen to become one. We will have chosen to become family. The War will be over. E pluribus unum.
The whole world will be watching this. You have stated over and over again that an Obama presidency would be “transformational”, even “indispensable”. You're right. And you're right that this is only the beginning. A new chapter is dawning.
Will the old guard resist? Of course. But their power is waning. Providence made sure the better man lost in 2000, and the eight years since have been just enough rope for the old, corrupt right to hang itself
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
- Bob Dylan - "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (1963)
Read the rest of article here
Kmiec has also rightly noted a tendency among many in the prolife movement to ascribe excessive importance to the results of elections, including this one. This has long been my impression of the prolife movement. Having reduced everything to the issue of abortion, they tend to attach excessive (I almost wrote utopian) hopes and expectations to the outcomes of elections. In this year’s campaign, they appear to believe that everything hinges on electing John McCain, who will appoint prolife justices who will in turn overturn Roe v. Wade.
There are serious problems with that approach. To begin with, it mistakenly treats this election as though it were a referendum on abortion. It is not. Voters are not being asked to vote directly up or down on whether we support legalized abortion—as have the electorates of some other countries (Ireland and Portugal, for example). Of course, if we were faced with such a prospect then the prolife rhetoric about how important it is to vote a certain way would make a lot more sense. But we are not faced with a referendum on abortion. Instead, we are asked to choose between candidates campaigning on a wide range of issues (candidates who, once in office, may or may not carry out the policies they are proposing). This is the familiar situation that causes so many conscientious Catholic voters, myself included, to feel so conflicted.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.
Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."
Read more here
10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.
9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.
8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.
7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.
6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.
5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.
4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.
3. Two words: President Palin.
2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.
1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excrescence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.
Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Passionate? Good lord. I have never see that level of genuine (yet controlled) fury and naked honesty by any coach or manager in a postgame setting, ever.- Scott Ostler
Had Singletary been selling kitchen knives, I would now own the 60 piece set
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Obama Promises To Stop America's Shitty Jobs From Going Overseas
Click here and enjoy. . .
Upon arriving at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati to vote early today I happened upon some friends of my mother's — three small, elderly Jewish women. They were quite upset as they were being refused admitance to the polling location due to their Obama T-Shirts, hats and buttons. Apparently you cannot wear Obama/McCain gear into polling locations here in Ohio.... They were practically on the verge of tears.
After a minute or two of this a huge man (6'5", 300 lbs easy) wearing a Dale Earnhardt jacket and Bengal's baseball cap left the voting line, came up to us and introduced himself as Mike. He told us he had overheard our conversation and asked if the ladies would like to borrow his jacket to put over their t-shirts so they could go in and vote. The ladies quickly agreed. As long as I live I will never forget the image of these 80-plus-year-old Jewish ladies walking into the polling location wearing a huge Dale Earnhardt racing jacket that came over their hands and down to their knees!
Mike patiently waited for each woman to cast their vote, accepted their many thanks and then got back in line (I saved him a place while he was helping out the ladies). When Mike got back in line I asked him if he was an Obama supporter. He said that he was not, but that he couldn't stand to see those ladies so upset. I thanked him for being a gentleman in a time of bitter partisanship and wished him well.
After I voted I walked out to the street to find my mother's friends surrouding our new friend Mike — they were laughing and having a great time. I joined them and soon learned that Mike had changed his mind in the polling booth and ended up voting for Obama. When I asked him why he changed his mind at the last minute, he explained that while he was waiting for his jacket he got into a conversation with one of the ladies who had explained how the Jewish community, and she, had worked side by side with the black community during the civil rights movements of the '60s, and that this vote was the culmination of those personal and community efforts so many years ago. That this election for her was more than just a vote ... but a chance at history.
Mike looked at me and said, "Obama's going to win, and I didn't want to tell my grandchildren some day that I had an opportunity to vote for the first black president, but I missed my chance at history and voted for the other guy."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Death Cab for Cutie
Sarah McLachlan (Saturday only)
Band of Horses (Saturday only)
Josh Groban (Sunday only)
Smashing Pumpkins (Sunday only)
This is for you Arod!
HERE'S AN EMAIL FROM INDIANA HE RECEIVED OF A VOTER RELAYING WHAT HE SAW AT AN EARLY VOTING POLLING PLACE. WHAT HE SAW WAS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY VOTING FOR THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN OUR HISTORY. THE EXPERIENCE WAS QUITE AMAZING:
For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
That really struck my heart. I suppose my being the father of a racially mixed son might have something to do with it, but I find myself looking at the photo and wondering, Did he ever think his grandson would be the Democratic nominee for President?"
It’s not so much that McCain’s campaign has been purposefully sleazy as they’ve been meanderingly, pointlessly sleazy. It’s the “f**k it, whatever” guide to Republican politics, with no particular focus except putting anything out there to win a daily news cycle. Obama was a conspirator in voter fraud for a weekend, a terrorist for about three days, until he was a socialist because some plumber in Ohio said so.
Before that he was a celebrity and presumptuous, a race-baiter, a shady community organizer, sexist, inexperienced, a baby killer, a sex predator and a dozen other things. You wonder why McCain/Palin supporters feel like they can go to rallies and talk about Obama being a Jew-bought Islamic radical cokehead forced abortionist communist? Because it’s the standard that the campaign’s set by having ridiculously drawn out public conversations designed to draw full attention to the charges while laboring under the pretense that they’re “debating” over using the smear.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
In that order, I think.
(1) It deprives McCain of a day to win the news cycle. There are sixteen left.
(2) Powell is a "man who I admire as much as anyone in the world," McCain has said. He was an informal adviser to the campaign early on. And the content of the endorsement acknowledges what McCain's accomplished, studies it, and judges that it is insufficient for the modern world. (Powell is closer to McCain than Obama on Iraq.) McCain would be a maverick, Powell says, but America needs a transformation figure.
(3) McCain might take this as a personal rejection, and he might wear it on his sleeve.
(4) Powell is a culturally individuated African American hero; to the extent that there remain white voters who have inchoate worries about Obama's race, it helps to have him associated with a man whose race they've already gotten over. I do think this cohort of people is tiny.
I was raised by my grandmother and am from a military family. Everyone is a Republican. I was the first to go to college and am finishing up my graduate degree. ...
I am currently in a relationship with a black man in what John McCain would describe as the "real Virginia." My family, after three years, are just now becoming comfortable, if you want to call it that, with my boyfriend. They claim that he isn't like all of the other *****.
Before my grandmother died, she left me with a note that she didn't want me to open until she died. I opened that letter. My grandmother — who has never referred to blacks appropriately — had [early] voted for Obama. She called him a "socialist" in her letter but she voted for him because she said that maybe the values that her parents instilled in her, which was to hate anyone that didn't look like her, would not be passed on if people saw Obama in office.
It was especially touching given my current relationship, and I honestly believe that there are many others out there just like my grandmother. Take it for what it's worth but I believe that Obama will not only win my home state of Virginia, and that includes doing well in the "real Virginia" as well as win this election.
"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America," - Colin Powell, standing up to the disgusting rhetoric and tactics of the McCain-Palin campaign.
This is what you won't see on CNN. Pretty frightening.
Thanks to Atomictata for this one.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
"What happened was Democrats had gotten complacent, had
gotten fat and happy. they thought there was a government program to solve every problem. Ronald Reagan came in and said we need to break out of the old ways of doing things and create a leaner, more effective government," he said. "That was the right message then. I think that right now we went too far in the wrong direction. We can't go back to the old liberalism of the past, but [when] you are on your own economic philosophy [of] Bush and McCain doesn't work either. Let's try a new way where we apply common sense, have government do what it does
Friday, October 17, 2008
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.
The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.
CLICK ON THESE LINKS
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Liddy on Vietnam:
"I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes [sic]. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that."
Liddy, advising Branch Davidians how to defend themselves from ATF agents during a radio show:
"If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head."
Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:
When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it "made me feel a strength inside I had never known before," he explains. "Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body."
How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns--including $1,000 this year.
Audio of Liddy interviewing McCain.
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."
A new CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation survey in Virginia released Wednesday indicates that Obama holds a 10-point lead over McCain -- 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
- Bruce Jenkins
- Rod Dreher
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
I also have to give a shout out to my republican friend, Kevin, who just discovered that Toby Keith was a democrat. He was devastated! "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" will never sound the same for that poor guy. . .
By David Willey BBC News, Rome
Sister Cecilia has lived in the convent in Rome for 50 years
A 106-year-old American nun living in a convent in Rome could well be one of the oldest voters to cast a ballot in the 2008 US Presidential election.
Sister Cecilia Gaudette, who last voted for President Eisenhower in 1952, has registered to vote and says she will vote for Democrat Barack Obama.
Although hard of hearing, she keeps herself informed by reading newspapers and watching TV at the convent.
"I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she says.
"I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern," she adds.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
By FRANK RICH of the New York Times
IF you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.
Some voters told reporters that they didn’t want Obama to run, let alone win, should his very presence unleash the demons who have stalked America from Lincoln to King. After consultation with Congress, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history — in May 2007, some eight months before the first Democratic primaries.
“I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.
Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.
Please read the rest of the article here http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/opinion/12rich.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print
FROM ANDREW SULLIVAN:
Attacking Obama for his toleration of Bill Ayers is legitimate. Attacking him for not dissociating himself from Jeremiah Wright earlier is legitimate. Attacking him for raising taxes is fine. But associating him with "terrorists" in the context of large, angry crowds isn't. Calling him a traitor and someone who seeks to put US troops in harm's way in an emotionally fraught time isn't. Not immediately and strongly rebuking crowd cries of "terrorist," "kill him!" and "treason" isn't.
McCain must loudly and clearly disown and disavow this rhetoric soon. Or we all may live to regret it more deeply than we can currently imagine.
"I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons," [Pastor] Conrad said.
"And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day,"
Friday, October 10, 2008
By Frank Schaeffer
October 10, 2008
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence. At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee - an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.Shame! John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.
You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate. John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are a bitterly divided country on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there. Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs. John McCain, you're walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out "Terrorist" or "Kill him," history will hold you responsible for all that follows. John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations. Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people - forever. We will hold you responsible. Frank Schaeffer is the author of "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back."
His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To some, a president Obama is simply unimaginable. From a McCain supporter in Wisconsin yesterday:
"We're all wondering why Obama is where he's at. How he got here. Everybody in this room is stunned we're in this position."
There was always going to be a point of revolt and panic for a core group of Americans who believe that Obama simply cannot be president - because he's black or liberal or young or relatively new. This is that point. As the polls suggest a strong victory, the Hannity-Limbaugh-Steyn-O'Reilly base are going into shock and extreme rage. McCain and Palin have decided to stoke this rage, to foment it, to encourage paranoid notions that somehow Obama is a "secret" terrorist or Islamist or foreigner. These are base emotions in both sense of the word.
But they are also very very dangerous. This is a moment of maximal physical danger for the young Democratic nominee. And McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies - not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds. This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin.
For God's sake, McCain, stop it. For once in this campaign, put your country first.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
While 6% of voters say they are less likely to vote for Barack Obama because of his race, 9% say they are more likely to vote for him, making the impact of his race a neutral to slightly positive factor when all voters' self-reported attitudes are taken into account.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Marc puts his finger on the real reason for the Obama surge. It's not, I think, simply punishing the GOP for the financial meltdown. It's also the public's judgment of which candidate responded better to the events of the last two weeks. McCain seemed unstable, bombastic, temperamental and at times, hysterical. Obama seemed, well, presidential.
Here's what I think matters more than ideology at this point. The American people have lived through a nerve-wracking few years. So many certainties have collapsed. We had 9/11 and then Abu Ghraib. We had the Iraq fiasco and the Katrina catastrophe. Now we have the structure of capitalism on the brink. Americans do not want a president adding to the drama. They want calm and authority and reason.
And that's why the attempt to paint Obama as a flaming radical is so ill-timed.
Obama just proved that he is a careful, calm guy in a crisis. What the voters saw is at odds with what the GOP is now saying. So in that context, it's the GOP that's damaged outside its core believers. (Obama's immensely difficult job if elected president will be to bring those deeply alienated people back into the national fold.)
In the end, temperament matters. And in a country desperate for assurance and poise at the top, Obama is winning that debate. It's no surprise to those of us who've followed him closely for a while. But for most voters, this is a new and first impression of Obama's character. And it's powerful.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday will launch a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer..
Retaliating for what it calls McCain's “guilt-by-association” tactics, the Obama campaign is e-mailing millions of supporters a link to a website, KeatingEconomics.com, which will have a 13-minute documentary on the scandal beginning at noon Eastern time on Monday. The overnight e-mails urge recipients to pass the link on to friends
HERE'S A 97 SECOND SUMMARY OF THE KEATINGS SCANDAL:
Last night on Bill Maher, the comedian Gary Shandling, of all people, synthesized the connection between our current economic crisis and 9/11 and the Iraq War in a way I have not heard:
On 9/11, Al Qaeda had no expectation of a traditional military victory against the United States. The point of the attack was economic -- to draw the U.S. into expensive and protracted foreign wars that would deplete our resources and destabilize our government. By invading Iraq, George Bush became the happy idiot to assist Al Qaeda in this goal. Now, Sarah Palin and John McCain take the leaders of Al Qaeda at their word when they say Iraq is the major front in the war on terror.
Neither consider the possibility that Al Qaeda wants Iraq to be the major front because it furthers their goal of weakening the U.S. while inflicting minimal damage on their operations.
Seven years after 9/11, we are seeing Al Qaeda's long-term goal being realized: the destabilization and economic collapse of the United States. Even as it's happening, the people who supported it all along want to continue facilitating our own long-term disintegration by clinging to simplistic concepts of traditional military victory and defeat. In this sense, they are possibly the most myopic, least strategic thinkers in the history of this nation.
As Gary Shandling said, with this approach, our only hope of killing Osama Bin Laden is that he'll laugh himself to death.