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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I was going to look at several candidates on all issues, but I don’t seem to have the time. I have the most to say about the Republican view of Israel, so I started here. I remember considering McCain at one time, but there’s not enough there this time. I think I'm more of a Democrat, but I don't think either party really is a good fit for me.

Sadly Kucinich is out of the Democratic race. I think he was going to announce it last week, but I didn’t hear for sure. He was a better fit for me when he was pro-life, but he had to ditch that to go Democratic and pick up more votes. I don’t know how much good it did him, though.

Anyway…

http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/may/24/five_presidential_candidates_offer_their_positions_on_israel_new

McCain
Sacred soil? Beacon of freedom and faith? Is McCain now Jewish?
Sometimes when Republicans get to talking about Israel I feel like shaking them and reminding them A) they are Christians (aren’t they?) and B) they are Americans. Those facts easily get lost in their rhetoric; one would assume oftentimes by listening to them that they are Jewish Israelis, Zionist even.

Existential threats. He’s using that term. The one Israel likes to use to justify any and all disproportional uses of force and torture and collective punishment. Great.

McCain’s priority appears to be giving our money to Israel, overlooking ALL faults, and bringing them into any diplomacy efforts we have with other nations. The sentence about bedrock support for Israel’s security sums up his focus. The focus won’t be any sort of peace process.

League of Democracies? Don’t we already have a United Nations? Israel will play a leading role, though it is standing on the edge of the cliff overlooking apartheid (or is it falling off already?), collectively punishes all of a particular race, has a Cabinet member who suggested busing all Palestinian prisoners into the sea to drown, builds/expands settlements in defiance of international law and our own position??

Half of his comments deal with how he will isolate enemies of Israel. Diplomacy what? Throw it out the window. Who needs it. As long as Israel is safe beyond a shadow of a doubt almost entirely at our expense, right?

He’ll never force Israel to make concessions… That sounds about right. I know there is more to the sentence, but that part is key. It is another red flag that diplomacy won’t be used or it will only be used when conditions are favorable in every way to Israel and all of its demands (unreasonable or not) are met (which won’t happen).

I found this quote particularly absurd, but fitting as it was the last in his statement on the subject on the website.
“I will make sure the American people understand that if we are to defeat the extremists that threaten our way of life, Israel's security cannot be compromised.”


On other issues…
Abortion- He is pro-life as I am, but I worry a bit about the implications of banning all abortions (ectopic pregnancies, etc?) and/or making them illegal (mother goes to prison or could be prosecuted if someone determines she didn’t do enough to defend herself and her baby if she narrowly escapes death in an accident or attack?). I absolutely believe life begins at conception, but there are some issues I’m still thinking about that keep me from being as rabidly or absolutely pro-life as some.

Budget- He is against wasteful spending, which is supposed to be a Republican thing, I guess. I like that idea in theory, but in practice it seems Republicans cut the budget in the wrong areas (cancer researchers among others are finding it hard to get grants at present among other misappropriations) and give themselves pay raises.

Environment- He’s better than most Republicans here, but not great.

Defense, Intelligence, Judges- He supports the “war on terror” and Bush’s judges. I have a big problem with neocons, here, and slightly less problem with regular cons.

Immigration- He seems big into amnesty, which I’m not sure I support. They are breaking the law, so I think there should be consequences. I don’t know how harsh those consequences should be. They may not understand the requirements so I don’t feel infuriated by illegals like some, but at the same time the punishment should be harsh enough to deter illegal immigration.

Gay Marriage- He wants to define marriage by an act in Congress, but not by the Constitution. I’m not sure we should be defining marriage by laws if it is a religious institution. We can’t legislate people into heaven. This act, unlike abortion doesn’t hurt others, so I hesitate more to support defining marriage as one man and one woman by the Constitution. I kind of think the states should be uniform, though.

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