Friday, September 26, 2008

Dems Blame Lack of Progress on Bailout Negotions on McCain's "Political Theater"

Thankfully the Democratic Congressional Representatives are calling out McCain for turning the negotiations into "political theater," as Christoper Dodd (D-Conn.) so eloquently put it. But Obama's campaign spokesperson said it best:

"... Bill Burton was more blunt, accusing McCain of turning 'a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It's become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the senator's political fortunes than the nation's economy.'"-Washington Post Article, September 26, 2008.

And E.J. Dionne, an Op-ed columnist for the Post had this to add: "But McCain's boisterous intervention -- and particularly his grandstanding on the debate -- was less a presidential act than the tactical ploy of a man worried that his chances of becoming president might be slipping away."

Basically, I just imagine McCain coming into the talks like a bull in a china shop. What an arse!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

From Sarah Palin, to Sarah Silverman

Have you seen Sarah Silverman's endorsement of Obama? She is just hilarious. Check it out here.

Sarah Palin, Beauty Queen Extraordinaire

I think I nearly choked on my own tears of laughter (or fright?) when I watched this Katie Couric interview of Scary Sarah Palin.

She looks like a beauty pageant contestant who is clearly in over her head during the Q&A. Sarah comes across as a cheerleader for McCain, skirting Couric's pointed questions about the recent Wall Street meltdown with comments like, "McCain's such a maverick!" Or, "McCain has so much experience." But after five minutes of her gloating over McCain, when Katie Couric asks her to name one thing John McCain has done in the past 25 years, she cannot name ONE thing. "But I'll look it up and get back to you!" she says with a smile. She is SUCH a typical Beauty Queen personality (read: clueless bullshit artist).

But I must admit that after watching this, I sort of felt bad for the position that the Republicans put her in. I mean, she really is this small town mom with a BA in communications (and REALLY scary neo-conservative views) who is waaaaay in over her head with all this gosh darn tootin' talk of Wall Street and foreign policy matters. Communications teaches a person how to smile for the camera and convey messages: it is not a discipline that delves into the specifics of law, policy, finance, economics, and foreign diplomacy. So, when pressed by the reporter, she merely flashes her best smile and gives a knee jerk response, saying almost anything just so she has said something.

Out of curiosity, I looked into Palin's education. I found out it took her almost 6 years to get that BA in Communications, which she did by attending 4 different schools in three different states, starting with Hawaii, then two years at community college in northern Idaho, then back to Alaska for pageantry, then back to Idaho to finish. This is not meant to insult Communications majors or those with a college degree or lesser. I merely want point out that what the Republicans are doing to Palin-- namely, putting an inexperienced and unqualified person a heartbeat away from the presidency-- is absolutely cruel. But I feel much worse for the rest of the country, who, if the McCain-Palin duo get elected, will have to suffer at the hand of incompetence.

McCain's Pullout: This guy says it so well.

I would use this post to write about the fact that McCain's pullout to "focus on the economy" is a calculated, spineless political move... But why re-create the wheel? This Washington Post Article, an Op-ed by Meyerson says it so well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why the "Average Hockey Mom" is the Worst and Best For the Job

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and author of "Diplomacy" once wrote:

"A leader who confines his role to his people's experience dooms himself to stagnation; a leader who outstrips his people's experience runs the risk of not being understood."

One can understand how this quote rings true today, applying equally to the campaigns of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AK)... or rather, campaigns that have now become about the parallel biographical backgrounds of Barack Obama and McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin. (See WP Post Article). Both are young, dynamic, energizing, and making waves in their respective parties. Both have also been criticized for their lack of experience. But Palin's latest taunt that Obama has "never led anything" shows just how stagnant and inexperienced she is, as per Kissinger's quote. But it also places Obama in that dangerous dilemma of being the severely misunderstood yet overqualified leader.

We know that Sarah Palin is a leader, a resume detail respected by the corporate CEO and blue collar wage earner alike. She had led the town of Wasilla with a population of 5,000. She has led the state of Alaska as Governor. She has also been the leader of her family, raising five children and even sending her eldest off to fight in Iraq on September 11, 2007.

We also know that Sarah has that down-home appeal, a quality that helped President George Bush clinch the White House in two executive presidential elections. Her comment about pitbulls and hockey moms has seemingly made her the darling of the Republican party, and she has energy and a pretty face to boot. But then again, she has no choice but to emphasize her relatability and likability. Because she truly is the "leader" whose experiences are confined to that of the average American.

Palin's lack of foreign policy experience is her softest spot. But over the next few days I am sure we will see the GOP transform Palin's image from Average Hockey Mom to The Next Madeleine Albreight. I have no doubt that she will come equipped with some sound-bytes that might make her look slightly more knowledgeable than the average hockey mom.... But how will she stand up in debate against Biden? I doubt her lipstick jokes will help her navigate her way through an argument about North Korea, Iran, or China. Hopefully, Americans will come to understand that the position calls for more than the average pretty-faced mom, who happened to be elected Governor of one of the more remote and least densely populated states in the nation.

Or maybe the GOP will take the low road. Perhaps they will tell Palin to he honest, admit where she is weak. When Biden takes a shot at her, to back off. Admit her ignorance. Because she only has a BA in Communications, and limited domestic experience. Maybe the GOP will play the card that all Americans want is someone to whom we can relate, and understand. Because perhaps that someone is more likely to understand us, right? And what do we Americans know about complex foreign policy issues anyway? But sports, pitbulls, and lipstick... now those things we understand.

And on the other side of this election is the strange paradox of the intelligent, Harvard Law - educated U.S. Senator, balanced by his grass roots activism, plight as a minority, consistent American values, and charm. A man that is willing to shed his partisanship for national unity, his patriotism for international unity. Now that is wisdom beyond the average American. Resumes, education, experience (or lackthereof) aside, this is a leader who truly outstrips his people.

Sadly, Obama may be too far beyond America... too far beyond what we can understand, appreciate, and desire as our leader. And perhaps we don't want to be outstripped by our leader. After all, such a nomination would send half the nation into a spiral, perhaps causing some people to do things. Like question themselves. Or want change... Oh no, we better stick to what we know, and to what is safe... like recycled lipstick jokes, boilerplate speeches, and a failing economy. Give us more stagnation! Give us McCain-Palin!