Democracy in Action

I was really sickened by this expression of sheer lack of respect for the American public and the media.  To claim that you can only ask direct questions of Sarah Palin when she is shown “respect and deference” by the media, is beyond narcissism.  Frankly, it borders on populist elitism.

As a responsible citizen and moderately informed voter, I demand to hear the positions of each candidate.  Though it may have been true in the past, that a Vice President had limited political influence; the current administration has changed that.  Even if Governor Palin reverts to settling ties in the Senate, meeting foreign dignitaries, attending funerals, fund raising, and advising the President on issues; I would like to know where her political affiliations fall.  If she is merely going to repeat the platform lines and blindly support the policies of Bush/Cheney, I question whether she has the ability to understand and formulate her own policies and stances.

I feel that we have seen less of that lipstick wearing pit bull and a bit more of a perfume wearing parakeet.  “Palin wants a platform.  Squaaak.”


Not really a maverick

After more and more questionable practices arise to complicate the “reform” image of Sarah Palin, I began to wonder if the McCain campaign forgot to check their dictionaries. By that I mean that Palin isn’t really a maverick, but a bit more of a renegade.

maverick: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

renegade: an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior

As was reported in the New York Times, Palin practiced an amzing amount of cronyism once becoming Governor and allegedly abused her executive position to punish those that did not bend to her political will. So in this she may not be too far removed from the current administration, but introducing such activity en masse into an already overspent and questionable government system, doesn’t make you a maverick.  It would be fair to say that it doesn’t make you a renegade either, but when a politician runs on a platform or reform and moral veracity; actions such as these show your character as nothing more than a thin veil of campaign rhetoric.

Economically speaking, Palin and the McCain campaign continue to uphold the fully debunked story of the “Bridge to Nowhere.”  They also continue to tout her “sweeping” cuts of the budget, including the elimination of wasteful earmarks previously requested by her predecessors.  Where it may be true that she eliminated a number of wasteful line items, Alaska remains what some would call a Welfare state.  For a population so small (less than 700k people) they receive an unbalanced amount of funding.  So much so, that the government routinely supplies over $3500 worth of federal aid per capita, making Alaska number one in government handouts.  So once again, perpetuating this type of government sponsored handout system doesn’t make her a maverick of the Republicans, but more of a Renegade Republican (some would even call a Democrat).

So we are back to weighing her “maverick” status when it comes to transparent government.  Something that fueled her motives regarding earmarks and to begin the slow rise of the new Populist-right rhetoric.  Before she was a VP candidate, Palin was already under investigation for allegations of political bullying and misuse of power.  When confronted about this investigation, Palin assured the public that she would cooperate with the non-partisan committee to settle this issue.  However, the political machine that is the McCain campaign has declared this state sponsored investigation “tainted” and stated that Palin will not answer their questions.  So much for good will and transparent government.  Then again I guess you don’t have to worry about transparent statements if you refuse to speak at all.  It seems I have heard this dance before.  As this fiasco continues, Palin has even gone so far as to point the finger at Barrack Obama for contaminating her pristine political refuge.  Scary how this “maverick” continues to go along with the paranoid Right wing conservative stance that the world is out to get us.  One would think the conventional behavior in being investigated would be to cooperate and prove your innocence.  To obstruct that process by misleading the public and parlor theatrics is not only unethical and par for this administration’s course, but dare I say it being a renegade against law abiding citizen standards.

I could continue, but writing this is making me almost as depressed as realizing how many in the public seem to be ignoring the facts laid out before them.  Being a tough talking mom, who goes to church and can memorize a series of carefully crafted scripts doesn’t qualify you for that “new reform candidate”; it makes you the lead in a community theater production of the King and I.    Let’s face it, if she was ready to lead would the campaign be so keen on hiding her from the public?

Karl Rove says “Too Far”???
September 15, 2008, 10:58 am
Filed under: John McCain, Karl Rove, McCain | Tags: , ,

From the Washington Post

All I can say is that when Karl Rove thinks your campaign has gone “too far” that is kinda like Liberace calling your outfit a bit “flashy.”

In God We Trust?
September 15, 2008, 9:11 am
Filed under: Election 2008, John McCain, McCain | Tags: , ,

Okay. I can understand Sarah Palin not realizing that the Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t around at the founding of the nation, but someone needs to tell McCain that the phrase, “In God We Trust,” wasn’t put on our money until the Civil War. Equally so, the founding father’s were keen not to include strict Judeo-Christian values into our government.

Issues of a secular concern need to be removed from religious influence. Ethics and social mores can be influenced by one’s religious teachings, but it is important that we not substitute religious dogma for public policy.

I also am always intrigued by McCain’s very uncomfortable public demeanor. He doesn’t deal well with uncomfortable experiences and often seems rather machine like in his response. The height of this awkwardness comes out fully when he stands next to the podium when Sarah Palin is speaking. Watching him with his wife was equally as painful. His body language is extremely practiced and “put on” while his facial expressions seem to show that he is feeling in contradiction to what is being said.

I guess I will keep my eyes peeled.

Obama: “Enough!”
September 10, 2008, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain, Obama | Tags: , , ,

Don’t you know that the high ground isn’t how to win an election? I hear they grow Arugula along the road and use mineral water for fuel.

McCain ad on Education

This ad features a number of statements on Barrack Obama’s track record on education. I wanted to analyze each claim and vet the validity of their message.

1. Education Weekly 3/7/2007, “Hasn’t made a significant mark on education.”

Analysis:This statement was in regard to Obama’s legislative history in Illinois. The surrounding article also speaks to Barrack’s early involvement in a project to improve and assess student achievement in low-income public schools. Though the project failed to improve the standardized testing scores, it seemed to educate Obama on where the focus may better be need, in more quality faculty and administration. Unfortunately, his subsequent legislation introduced before Congress were never shown the light of day thanks to a formerly Republican controlled majority.

Comment: They may not have been misquoting the source, but without the context of where this applies and what he has done since, it seems a tad misleading.

2. Washington Post, 7/7/2008, “Elusive”

Analysis: The full paragraph is:

Encouraging Mr. Obama and his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, to debate these questions is a laudable aim of the group. Education was backstage during the primaries, and a clear picture has yet to emerge of either candidate’s positions. Mr. McCain has not been forthcoming with any detailed plan; he is said to be preparing one for the fall. Mr. Obama as the New York Times’ David Brooks recently observed, has promised dozens of crowd-pleasing programs but has been elusive on such thorny issues as teacher tenure and school accountability.

Comment: I guess David Brooks speaks for everyone on his level of satisfaction with teacher tenure and accountability but it is hard to compare plans when McCain keeps his ideas until he thinks we are ready for them. I wonder if it is better to be elusive or secretive when trying to make changes in education policy.

3. Chicago Tribune, 7/20/2008. “Staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly”

Analysis: In this op-ed piece, Steve Chapman outlines why he feels Obama and McCain differ on education plans. I grew suspicious when he described McCain’s voucher plan as, “new and daring.” Unfortunately, the voucher concept has been around for some time and has yet to be seen as successful.

4. SB99. “Comprehensive sex education”

Analysis: The hook in this is that the bill set guidelines for any school who had a sex education program. In doing so they covered K-12 and the spin doctors morphed that to mean that Obama wants to teach your children about sex before they can read. The unfortunate part of this is that Arizona’s guidelines are equally as welcoming to sex education for K-12 and go so far as to outline what percentage of the class time can be allowed.

Comment: This jab is not only misleading but pandering to the “cultural core” of voters who equate sex education with something vile and immoral. Personally speaking, having been educated in a public school, I didn’t have a formal sex education session until 8th grade. Granted I had been taught rudimentary biology and anatomy, the curriculum was not as detailed as one would hope. It is of note to see that abstinence is featured as the most effective form of prevention in both Arizona and Illinois. Not to be fickle but the McCain campaign should be rather careful treading on the moral high ground regarding sex education with the recent unexpected teen pregnancy looming so close to their platform.

On a side note, I really wish McCain would dust himself off from this morality dive that he has plunged headlong into.  The religious right’s ability to demonize the human body and sexual acts not fitting into their definition of spiritual is clouding the ability of the public to rationally make decisions on their actions.  i laughed at a European friend’s reaction to the AT&T commercial in which an American family is shocked by the lewd Spanish beaches and the nude bodies.  This is a fair comparison to the tangential issue bending which the RNC and Karl Rove have made their new “act.”  This sort of pandering is childish and should be looked upon with shame.  It’s sad that the Republican party can feel pristine joy in nonchalantly using the victims of 9/11 to empower their convention and party line but turn their noses up at the thought of  dealing rational about educating children on their own bodies and personal responsibility…

…never mind I think I just answered my own question.

Lipstick Politics

It’s funny how easy it is to demand apologies for rhetoric used in campaign speeches. No one demanded apologies for McCain suggesting that we bomb Iran, for calling a young voter a “jerk“, or when he allowed disturbing 9/11 footage to be shown during the Republican convention.  It is also embarrassing to count the alarming number of ads sponsored by McCain that feature outright lies and misleading statements about his opponent.  I guess if you are going to propagate lies in your campaign speeches it is reasonable that you should keep them the same in your ads.  I guess some politicians will do anything to win except look inward.

From CNN it was reported that McCain wants an apology from Obama for relating an eerily similar quote about pigs and lipstick, that was previously used by McCain to address a proposal by Hillary Clinton!  Once you read the full quote from Obama it is clear that the saying is not intended as an insult to Sara Palin, anymore than questioning someone’s patriotism for not wearing a superficial pin on their lapel.

This seems to fit right in with the Republican short-term memory loss syndrome.  They have also forgotten that their “anti-lobbyist” maverick has had around 60 Washington lobbyists participating in the McCain campaign. The mavericks are trying to spin a campaign of change but have forgotten that in order to change it is their own policies that have served them the last 8 years that need to be changed.  And to forget that the maverick “Pit bull” took taxpayer money for not only an infamous bridge to nowhere specific but has also fleeced the pockets of hard working Americans in an unethical practice of charging per diem rates to Alaska for staying in her own home, is rather despicable.

The Alaskan legislators went so far as to wear buttons asking “Where’s Sarah” in honor to her rather common absence from the day to day executive business of her position. I wonder how much it would cost to have her charge per diem rates for staying at home in Alaska as Vice President?  I mean we wouldn’t want to interrupt her ability to remain untouchable and still plan those hockey mom dinner parties.    Then again there was a fair amount of brush clearing being done in Texas during this administration.

For McCain to scream “Rat” at this point is childish and stinks of despair.   Frankly, if you look at the pork barrel trends commonly acted upon by Republican politics and most specifically Palin, is it so far from the truth to use a reference to a porcine species?  What’s that other phrase, “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.”  Well the Republicans are getting close with this side show of a campaign.