In Reponse

Hey Hey! I knew my bro would come through and comment on the McCain post. Thanks for your comment Col. I was going to respond in the comments section but I thought maybe a quick post here was in order. It seems that you are a little upset by the rift in the Democratic Party! I have been trying to find, online, what the main drive is, as ,unfortunately, I didn’t interview any of them. I was tired and hot and hungry and pissed off at trying to get through one door with 12,000 other people. Oh, and of course there’s the small problem of me not being a reporter too. I find it hard to believe that it is only because Hilary didn’t get nominated but maybe some people are just interested in a woman on the ticket regardless of the issues…

So far I’ve found this Democrats For McCain site (it looks well put together — your answers may be there) and this information on PUMA [Party Unity My Ass]. Witty name but the commentry has been little more than mud slinging without much substance on either side of the argument, in my opinion. Oh, and one more to take a gander at — written in January by the managing editor of the Moderate Voice. You can’t really discount the influence that Joe Liebermann would have had either.

Anyway, feel free to praise Obama all you want here. I’m all for an open forum and actually, I find little to recommend either party at the moment. There is no doubt that a change is needed from the Bush regime and I have a lot of respect for McCain so I am swayed in that direction. I do believe that he has the character and experience to lead the country and I do think that it would be a very distinct change from Bush. I haven’t yet formed an opinion of Sarah Palin, as last week was the first I had heard of her. I even gave Obama longer than that before I formed an opinion (also a relative nobody to me before the campaigns began). I have to say, I had a much higher opinion of Obama through the first rounds of campaigning and as a centrist it is easy for me to go either way as far as the partys are concerned, because I tend towards the liberal in certain aspects but the conservative in others. I began to be disturbed when coverage of Jeremiah Wright was broadcast. I find him very alarming (as I do all the preachers out there who claim that God’s wrath has been brought to bear upon the USA, Democrat or Republican). What worried me was not that Obama was associated with a clear loon, but his reaction to the broadcasts, or more the lack of one for too long. I don’t expect for one second that he agrees with his one-time pastor but I can’t help but question the judgment of a man who would continue to attend services preached by this crackpot for 20 years! I would have liked to hear more of an explanation. I just remember thinking –“say something!”

I also think that Obama’s stance on defense and foreign policy is too weak. This does not mean that I am defending all the decisions that Bush made. It is clear that terrible errors abounded but I also think that feeling pissed off about the Iraq War (a result of policy from Bush’s first term) is not a good excuse to abandon national security. The progress that has been made in Iraq more recently, after a quiet acknowledgement that what is needed is a regional approach to stabilizing Iraq, is good! We have been working to free the Shiite neighbourhoods from dependence on militias, improving relationships with the Sunni and putting effort into Iraq’s state-owned enterprises in order to create jobs. The Surge while so vehemently opposed in the liberal media, has been successful in the fight against insurgency. This is all something that we need to build on rather than abandon, not only for the sake of future security for our country but also because we owe it to the Iraqi people; after all we were instrumental in causing the mass departure of the intellectual classes from the country during and after the war.

What about Afghanistan by the way? While we are all concentrating on whether the troops should be withdrawn and brought home from Iraq — is anyone asking Obama if he still thinks that more troops are needed there? He certainly seemed to think so before. It is so obvious that we should never have drawn down there in the first place. What a mess Afhanistan is in — USA assisted mess of over several decades not just 2 terms.

Oh, also, take a look at some of the more successful strategies and foreign policies that are in progress — the current China policy is a great example. Anyway — I’ll pick up more in later posts about foreign policy, the things that have changed in the last couple of years that are good things, things that we can’t ignore, and why I think that McCain would make more headway in this respect than Obama.

With regards to my comments on defense — Obama wants to go too far. In his speech that I have embedded at the end of the post he states a laundry list of things he will be ending, changing and not instituting and declares that his “sole priority for defense spending” would be “protecting the American people”. How exactly?

On the subject of Iraq: It is clear that the loss of life in Iraq has been too great. I have lost friends and have many friends who have been wounded, dismembered and disfigured and it is not something that anyone associated with the military takes lightly either. It is, though, the loss of life that has prompted such empassioned reactions to remaining in the country, I believe. We never hear anyone bitching or protesting about the money spent on Kosovo or Bosnia and the amount of time we’ve spent there. We never hear about the bad policy decisions we made in regards to their war and our part in subsequent IFOR, SFOR and KFOR deployments. We don’t hear about all the work that was done and money that was spent to bring pro-western government to power in Bosnia or the American/British support of Biljiana Plavsic, now serving 11 years handed down by the Hague for war crimes in her country. I believe that it is because insurgencies and backlash there did not deal us such a harsh blow.

The reality is that people still join the Military and they do so because they believe in the country and in its people and in its security. I also know that there are people who serve in this military because they believe in defending the defenseless (something I think we should do more democratically for sure — just stick a pin in Africa right now).

I recently heard someone say that it all comes down to whether you choose to believe that all people are basically good or all people are basically bad. She stated that our foreign and defense policies are based on the latter. This is such a narrow and uninformed opinion that I was stunned to hear it come from someone so well educated. However much she considers herself a middle-aged hippie, this statement belies a cynicism way deeper than the one she purports to be revealing. Good national security has nothing to do with whether you believe people are intinsically good or not. It is a reflection of the very sad truth that the minority of bad people in the world have disproportionate strength and through a misguided philosophy and general disregard for the lives of the many good they wreak a havoc that is real and treacherous.

As for Mrs. Palin’s opinions on abortion and evolution — one can hardly condemn a person who claims Christianity for having a hardline Christian opinion. It is hardly a surprise is it? If you came to me and told me that she claims Christianity without following any Christian principles, or in fact was living completely contrary to the values she claims publicly, maybe I would worry about her character or principles then. I can see how you would question a Democrat for siding with her, of course. I’m sure that one of the reasons that McCain brought her in was to conservative-up the ticket. Strategically it was necessary. However, having pro-life Republicans in the government is nothing new. I truly don’t believe that there is a concrete threat to the laws that govern us today in respect of choice in this country, whoever gets in. Maybe your fellow Democrats feel the same?

I am continuing to read everything I can about the candidates and, despite not having a vote yet, I will be comfortable come election time with a decision about who I would want to lead the country. It will not be based on great oration skills or masterful rhetorical devices, though I recognize that it is hard to get beyond them when they provoke such emotional responses (as they are intended to). One thing I am sure about is that ignoring any and all policies that we currently have with a view to unilateral change, without truly examining where we are at in 2008 is dangerous. People making decisions in a vacuum, based on previous follies or because of a dislike for an individual is pure idiocy. We have already seen the result when Bush did this coming into office after Clinton. It is a disaster.

I want to hear more discussion about our current policies and how they are different now from 2004. I want everyone to hear that! I want to hear more about the directions we are taking now that can be followed and improved upon and less about what a catastrophe the war was. What I am really interested in, personally, is globalization and what we propose to do as the wealthiest western power ,and supposedly civilized culture, to make things more equitable and improve the economics of the developing world, as well as promoting safety, security and liberty for all.

I do want to point out that I think Obama is an intelligent man, he is a great orator and I do think that he has some ideas for the country that are beneficial. I am not enamoured with his voting record (there seem to be a substantial number of NV — that worries me even more than voting contrary to my own beliefs). I will continue to listen to both candidates to see if I HEAR anything usefl amid the rhetoric.

A final note: In studying Thomas Jefferson (the man) and The Declaration of Independence (his voice) recently, I have grown even more cautious and more skeptical about politics. Jefferson was, undoubtedly, a brilliant man. He penned the most significant document in USA history. The Declaration is masterful and it changed the course of the USA forever. The man, however, was an enigma. How is it that a man who was educated, intelligent and devoted to equality and to the liberty of Americans; a man who started to protest against slavery; a man who was appalled by aristocracy and the excesses of the wealthy; a man who was a supporter of revolutions in America and Europe could then continue to live in the lap of luxury, be seduced by the aristoratic life in France and continue to hold hundreds of slaves when so many of his contemporaries were setting them free? Jefferson even wrote of his slaves in his journals that he believed that black people were less intelligent than white people! It just goes to show that all is not always as it seems on the surface. Politicians are great persuaders; it is their job. Those who are great with words, whether they are written or spoken don’t necessarily have all the answers; and intelligence isn’t a guarantee of common sense. When it boils right down to it — strip a politician and you will find a human being.

4 thoughts on “In Reponse

  1. CoLiberal

    So I obviously have to comment. 🙂First, the most pressing issues in this country are its economy and it’s world presence. So let’s take the ecomony.McCain is espousing a continuation of the Bush economic policy of trickle-down economics where you give money back to the corporations and the wealthy and assume that it will filter to the “middle class”. That’s just crap. Their is a wider divide between the rich and the poor in America than the 1920s, and possibly the 1890’s! Record numbers of people are losing their homes, facing increased bills for everything, yet he sees no need to radically change policy!!He’s right in that there is a disparity in the education available to the poor in America, yet suggests giving vouchers to taxpayers so they can send their children to private schools…how is $3k going to help a poor family send their child to private schools where tuition ranges 15-25k per year!? It’s welfare for the wealthy, as with most Bush policies.As for judgement…what kind of judgement is displayed by a man who selects a running mate who doesn’t believe global warming is man-made? And why do they keep lying about her “rejecting the bridge to nowhere”. She was for it until it became clear that everyone saw it for what it was..shameless pork. She still hasn’t returned the earmark! As for american foreign policy: it must change. Lying about another nation in order to attack it is an act that cannot be overlooked. Obama is the only major player who opposed the war, and he was right. THAT is judgement. Threatening Russia like McCain did in his speech should scare all of America. It cannot wage another war, least of all with Russia. And why did he say it..because he wants to defend the poor Georgians?No, because Georgia has a highly paid lobbyist working for McCain.He is a war hero, but he is no leader. He refers to himself as a Goldwater concervative, but Goldwater’s own son is clear in his distaste for McCain and open about Goldwater’s own “minimal regard” for his successor? My final concern is about the “oil independence” track the Republican’s seem intent on. Offshoring drilling will have NO IMPACT on oil supply and therefore prices. In fact, no additional supply would have an impact, because the problem is not a supply-side problem. This is a classic “shifting the burden” problem as system thinkers call it, and the quick fix of increasing supply misses the real causse of the problems…increased demand. We must reduce demand. In the short-term that can come from increased efficiency (correctly inflated tires, for example) but in the long run requires a genuine and sustained effort to develop alternative sources of energy. It’s not what the public wants to hear, but that doesn’t make the response they want to hear right.McCain IS more of Bush, and that is a travesty. Bush will rank below Harding when all is said and done, and that should mean his party is thrown out from th white house and congress. McCain can try and make out like he is the change, but his voting record and his policies tell the truth. THe new republican way is borrow and spend, at record levels (just look at national debt over the last 40 years for each administration and you’ll see it), but they lie well and pander to the bible belt. However, you just cant underestimate the stupidity of the american public, so they may well decide that someone who worked his way to one of the greatest insitutions in the world is actually the elitist. Apparently elite is a synonym for intelligent these days, and heaven-forbid we have an intelligent person leading the most powerful nation on Earth!!!

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  2. Col

    Thanks for accepting my response, Ange.I forgot to address the supreme court issue, though.Both McCain and Palin have stated they would seek to overturn Roe v Wade. They obviously cant do it without the supreme court, but how much longer can we expect the liberal jurists to keep the majority? Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75 and John Paul Stevens is 88. If either needs to be replaced in the next four years who would the Republican’s select? Another Scalia, Thomas, or Roberts? And if they then overturn Roe v Wade, when could we expect redress? RvW came down from the court in 1972…so we could reasonably expect it would take at least as long to win a woman’s right to choice once more. Say nothing of the writ of habeus corpus or the 4th ammendment, each of which has been trampled upon by the current administration.Being pro-life is one thing, influencing policy and law based upon your own religous beliefs is not. Jefferson had many flaws, but he got that right.

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  3. Anonymous

    I’m enjopying this debate! Seems like you two are at it again although in a more sofisticated and mature manner than some of your earlier escapades.. Dont think your Mums “I’ll bang your heads together if you dont stop it” cuts the mustard here! Nice going both of you. Dad xx

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  4. Oh I want to applaud Coliberal!!! I agree with pretty much everything he/she said just there. And having watched the debates, I have to say I find Obama so much more eloquent, measured and intelligent than his Republican counterpart. What are your thoughts since the debate?

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