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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Conventions- no, of course there's nothing else going on in the world... :)

This isn't a comprehensive list of pros and cons. Some I haven't written (and may never, as is my blog track record!) yet and some items I've already written about in other posts.

I want to look at other candidates, too. Nader, McKinney, and Kucinich (so he's not a candidate...) are interesting to me for various reasons, but I can't say I agree with them 100% or even 75%.

McCain

He attacks Obama for being "me first," rather than "country first" like McCain says he is, which is unsubstantiated especially given is many, many references to his handling of his POW experience.
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2008/08/15/cnn-forwards-idea-mccain-ad-hints-obama-antichrist

He and others say he's a maverick and lobbyists' enemy- over 150 run his campaign or are big contributors
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/us/politics/21bundlers.html

Votes against his party less often than others, maverick is more like an empty campaign slogan; he votes with Bush most of the time. I don't know how he got the maverick nickname, except maybe the times he did go with the Democrats, it was covered by the media (yes, the same one that is so out to get Palin!)

Conservatives bashed the hope/change theme of Democrats and now they’re trying to steal it. Guess it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Maybe they realized that all running for office are putting country first, so they’d better change it up.

Said to be reluctant to talk about POW experience, yet he talks about it every campaign and it seems to be substitute for record in foreign policy/veterans
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/9559

Said he voted for the troop surge when it was unpopular, right thing to do
-BUT surge didn't cause decrease in violence
* http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/04/AR2008090403160.html?hpid=topnews
He was wrong to support the Iraq invasion and is in opposition to Iraqi and our interests in keeping troops there.

Supposedly wants to get rid of pork barrel spending, yet chose Palin?

Values candidate married to his mistress?? No one cares, apparently. This sort of thing destroys Democratic campaigns. So would teenage pregnancy, but when on the Republican side, it makes them more real, they live out their pro-life values, etc. Doesn’t say much for abstinence only, though. There is a double standard where Republicans' sins make them more real or are needless attacks on their private life, but Democrats' sins are grounds for dumping from public service, impeaching, banning, etc. Another example of the double standard is the Bush/ Clinton drug use- Republicans react by saying don’t listen to vicious attacks, however true they are; this ruins reputations/campaigns for Democrats. Also, the wealth of Cindy McCain isn’t really emphasized the way Kerry’s wife’s was (except for the “how many houses do you own” debacle)- may or may not matter, but it is part of the double standard. Another is Bristol's teen pregnancy, though we can only speculate on the Democrat side.

Less government spending? See Palin

Chose Phil Graham of Enron troubles for economic advice- ouch. He may have since distanced himself from that.

Didn’t take Rove’s suggestion on VP (Romney); distance from Rove is good news for bringing integrity back to the Presidency

Age and health-PTSD- which leads us to take a closer than usual look at the VP pick-and there is a lot to look at since her name really wasn’t floated like some others were.



Palin

The fact that she has governed for 2 years longer than the 2 Dems and even McCain counts for something, but there are a lot of “cons” compared with that “pro”.

troopergate, though touted as tough on corruption

Pregnant daughter- if Palin were democrat, this would be issue number one for Republicans; it would probably be said “if you can’t lead your house, you can’t lead the country; family values would be made the centerpiece without specifically mentioning the daughter so as to subtly make a contrast-me, good; them, bad.

Alaskan Independence Party- Palin spoke at its 2008 convention and spoke about Alaska’s self-sufficiency. If she means economic, then her earmark history (bridge to nowhere story, increasing them for zero to $27,000, hiring the first lobbyist, asking Ted Stevens for $200,000 in earmarks) proves that wrong. If she means secession, then what about country first? This would be more serious than a flag pin, IMO.

Book banning effort-need more info on that... will she be like Bush and feel a need for more control than is good for the office?

Earmarks- bridge to nowhere, good at pork barrel

Foreign policy- her state borders Canada and Russia (qualification given by Cindy McCain and John Bolton)

Mayor-Wasilla didn't have a budget, left town with $22 million deficit

Iraq- Soldiers sent on task "from God", former minister's other fundamentalist views.
Yes, we should talk about it as it could affect the way she would govern or lobby McCain (is she worse than Bush??). If anyone at all entertained the “Obama’s a Muslim” rumor, then we should definitely talk about this. Since we talked about Wright, then we should talk about what her preacher preaches and what she said in a speech to her former congregation (praying for a pipeline, etc).

She’s a woman-I like to think she can bring something new to the table that men can't-BUT in her speech and Cindy's intro, rather male qualities are emphasized and valued listed sports played, hunting, fishing, etc.

Will she address mom issues- more paid leave, vacation time- how else are value voters supposed to pass on the values but to be given more time to spend with children- or will she adopt the rich WASP issues.

Some things from moveon.org (I’m not a huge fan, but they made some good points here):

She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
Valid concern.

Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
I agree with her on this, but don't know about a total ban- mother vs. baby's life?

She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
Scary.

Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
I think it should be taught that evolution, big bang, etc is not absolutely true, discuss holes in the theory, even alternatives. I'm not sure about creationism specifically, unless it is a private institution, not getting state funding. The parents need to step up and teach the truth in matters relating to religion.

She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
That's a bold statement and perhaps not informed. I don't know that climate change is solely human's fault or that it's as bad as Gore would have us believe. I'm open to the idea that the changes may be cyclical and that we haven't been recording data long enough to see a cycle or enough cycles to determine the cause, but that's not to say we shouldn't reduce, reuse and recycle and look for alternative energy sources.

She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
Well here we can say she has experience--in protecting big oil in Alaska. On the national scene, big oil isn't our interest like it is Alakans'. Her husband is or was in big oil and her inauguration was sponsored by BP.


How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
I think he vetted her more than it appears, but I’ve got concerns that he chose her to grab Hillary’s fans, pump up the Evangelical or Conservative base and because she’d be more popular than Lieberman or someone that would have made more sense. It seems to be a political choice rather than one based on experience (foreign policy, economy).

Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches.
I'm all for abstinence, but not abstinence only. I think it’s fair to think about this in light of Palin’s daughter’s situation.

RNC observations:

Protestor arrests for no reason

Several at RNC poke fun at Obama's community organizing; yet "service" placards held by fans.

Giuliani was appalled that 9/11 wasn't mentioned much at the DNC?? Our biggest threat??
Why?? Shall we let fear rule us? We were scared into attacking Iraq for no reason the last time the 9/11 attacks were invoked on the national stage.
He’s known for handling it well and doesn’t want us to forget it!
We had support after than and blew it, so revisiting it isn’t going to bring that back in this country or others. 9/11 is now inextricably linked with how the administration handled it, which is very badly.



Obama

Either he or Biden originally supported an amendment to the Iraq invasion bill that would have added a second UN discussion among other things to further assess the actual threat Iraq posed. This was the sensible thing to do and shows good judgment.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee-worked on many issues, visited several hot spot regions, bipartisan work

More familiarity with Islam than other candidates, which would be helpful since we are entangled in a region where a knowledge (respect, etc) of this would be a big help.

Civil rights experience-personal and as a lawyer does bring something to the table.

Constitutional scholar and community organizing are belittled or overlooked, but I think it is worth a mention.

The community organizing is really an interesting background for a politician and presidential candidate. It's democracy at work and the opposite of Washington's way-sort of. People organizing to take unjust laws off the books, protect workers, or any other thing that government has failed to accomplish. I think this is a helpful thing for a politician to have been involved in. If Palin's daughter keeping her baby conceived out of wedlock is proof of her family's strong moral fiber, then community organizing is definitely proof that Obama stands for and can mobilize people and make positive changes and contributions. It's not something to be belittled at all.

Background could bring unique view of things the way Palin's being a woman may.

Emphasis on diplomacy I still like and think is important for a President.

Raise taxes for rich, lower for poor, instead of cuts for everyone but esp. the rich and big business.

Wants to be seen as not a part of the establishment, yet chooses Biden. To add experience, I guess?

Talks about diplomacy, freedom and rights yet chooses Biden, who thinks our interests and Israel's are the same and takes the neocon stance. Biden called a bus bombing where ten or so Israelis died a massacre and issued a statement, but said /says nothing when hundreds of innocent Palestinians are killed, arrested without cause, collectively punished.



Biden

He’s not all bad.
He does have good ties with many on both sides, Democrat and Republican
He’s been a long time member of the Foreign Relations Committee and has chaired it.
He was a part of several committees that stuck it to the President on several issues relating to (+ or-) Iraq, detentions, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, etc, which I appreciate.

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