I didn’t watch the third debate but…

October 16, 2008

…by all accounts except Faux News, it sounds like Barack Obama did what he needed to.  He was clear (as clear as candidates can be in any debate format) about his policy stances; he was clear about his relationships to Bill Ayers and ACORN, both of which are non-starter issues that McPalin has blown up into huge smokescreens because they have nothing else to say.  And it’s become quite clear that pretty much nobody but ultra-right wackos give two shits, or even one, about either of those issues.  They realize that neither of them has jack to do with their pension funds or whether they can afford medical treatment.  Duh.

So I’m hopeful that McPalin may have finally tossed its last (metaphorical) firebomb and missed.  Any other useless, baseless attack on Obama is just going to look frantic, which it will be.  In the larger picture, I’m actually starting to believe that the pendulum of sanity might be swinging back towards reality a bit.  Many of the videos of ultra-right-wackos at McPalin rallies have made national news.  People are seeing what the vocal elements of the Republican party look like.  Or more precisely, the media is finally shining a light into the dark corners of the party and exposing the crazies for what they are.  It’s my hope that the sanity wing of the Republican Party (such as it is) will finally tell the crazies to bugger off.  They’ll tell the angry mob types, like Ann Coulter, to shut up.  They’ll tell the televangelist-preacher-freak crowd to shut up.

The general public’s reaction to the threats against Obama’s life, the calls to “kill him” and “cut off his head,” and so on, indicate that Barack Obama was right in his acceptance speech at the DNC.

Enough.

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A quick correction to one Obama claim

October 8, 2008

In last night’s debate:

***

We rushed into Iraq,” Obama said. “Sen. McCain and President Bush suggested it wasn’t that important to catch [Osama] bin Laden right now, and we could muddle through.”

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That’s not quite true, Senator Obama.  We didn’t “rush” into Iraq.  The desire to project US military power throughout the entire Middle East is decades old.  The Project for a New American Century, featuring such thinkers as Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheyney, Don Rumsfeld, Elliot Abrams, …, clearly announced their desire to take over Iraq way back in 1998.


Some reactions to Friday’s Prez candidates’ debate

September 28, 2008

In general terms, Friday’s debate went pretty much how I thought it would.  Obama was better (and better sounding) on all issues economic because John McCain is a rich white man who thinks only about the interests of his patrons.  On foreign policy, although I agree with Obama more than with McCain, McCain certainly sounded more knowledgeable based on his ability to name-drop and his ability to invoke his experience directly.  He did sound, from time to time, incredibly nasty and patronizing to Obama; unfortunately, only people who already support Obama would probably hear it that way.

Maureen Dowd’s column in this morning’s NY Times gets it right, I think.  She contends that Obama had several opportunities to lay McCain out, but he refused to throw the punches.  He could have done so, she contends further, without descending into the kind of politics he says he rejects.  In other words, he could have answered some of McCain’s flat-out lies without simply calling McCain a liar.  I hope, as I know many of my friends do, that Obama does a better job of exposing McCain’s lies for what they are as the campaign moves towards its end.

The facts are incredibly clear.  John McCain doesn’t care, at all, about what happens to anybody as a result of his support for deregulation.  He doesn’t care, at all, about the damage done to the economy, or the nation’s standing in the world, while some rich folks got richer.  He doesn’t care, at all, about the problems people are facing keeping afloat.

He does care, a lot, about projecting American power around the globe in imperial ways.  He does care, a lot, about maintaining the appearance of American dominance around the globe, even at the expense of crumbling actual military power, homeland economics, safety of American citizens, and so on.  He may know more about the history and the personal lives of leaders in places like Kurdistan, but knowing more factoids doesn’t give him better judgment.  It’s crystal clear that his judgment on everything is wrong (Joe Biden’s urge to hyperbole served him well when he said this on Saturday).  The simple fact of the matter is that McCain is an awful choice for President, and anybody who votes for him is voting to ruin our country.

And that’s before we even begin to consider his VP choice…