Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Campaign's Next Move?

I read an interesting post by a colleague of mine. I appreciate it when another citizen lays out what they think with reasons that are not purely emotional. I have no use for purely emotional diatribes that dilute a real, useful discussion. His is not one of them. His post does make me think of the differences between the campaigns and how the electorate views them.

Before I get into it, I think it is useful to read my general viewpoint. Not surprisingly, I take issue with some of the facts in my colleagues post. It is common in today's political discourse, but many times it is because the candidates are not consistent in their position messages. This appears intentional because of our electorate's behavior. Well, let's take them one at a time.

Barack Obama, a young centrist Democrat...

Various speeches, legislation, rating sites, and books by Obama's own hand place him on the left (or far left) in terms of the spectrum of the country. If Obama were a centrist, the following would not be true.

  • The far-left and the left have been swooning over him.
  • DNC and Obama's fundraising have hit record levels which generally comes mostly from the left and far-left.

Now if my colleague is far left of Obama, then I would accept his characterization of Obama as "centrist" relative to himself, but not the country. I would agree that his message has been centrist of late, but I would have to ignore the last 10 years of his discourses in favor of the last few weeks. Sorry, but that would be stupid.

John McCain, a fairly non-ideological 72-year-old Republican who has decided to give up on his centrist inclinations and run far to the right.

Various speeches, legislation, rating sites, and books authored by McCain's place him on the center-right in terms of the spectrum of the country. If McCain were running to the right, the following would not be true.

  • The right, much less the far-right, has not embraced him.
  • RNC and McCain fundraising has been down considerably which usually comes mostly from the right and far-right.
  • McCain selected a right (or far-right) running mate to shore up party support and excite the Republican base.

Now if my colleague is far enough left of Obama to characterize him as a "centrist", then I would accept his characterization of McCain as "far right" relative to himself, but not the country.

Palin is wildly inexperienced ...

I was completely surprised that the politically savvy Democratic Party stepped into that one. Anyone with more than half a lobe would recognize that you'd be digging two graves if that argument gained traction -- the second one being for Obama.

Never-the-less, if the criteria is presidential experience, the only ones that have that are either dead or ineligible. If the criteria is executive experience then compare

  • 2 or more years city council, 6 years mayoral and 21 months governor experience


  • 8 years of state senatorial and 3 years federal senatorial experience, which most of the latter has been spent on the campaign trail.

His board experience would qualify, but 1 day every quarter for 2 years wouldn't fill a thimble.

... (and so is being kept from the press) ...

Tell Charles Gibson on 20/20 who interviewed her less than a week after the RNC Convention and aired on 9/12 that he is not part of the press.

... and most of her claims to be anti-corruption are complete lies.
The political record (through elections and resignations) and criminal record (through guilty pleas) says differently.
McCain's plans have been the most nutzoid right-wing proposals: end employer-paid health care, ...
Well, I am more knowledgeable on the health care issue than most voters, but still that statement in inaccurate at best and misleading at worst. I will address this in another post.

... permanent bases in Iraq, ...
I cannot get a solid news source to confirm this assertion. So this is either an extrapolation from a McCain statement clearly taken out of context about "100-years in Iraq" which has already been thoroughly debunked by factcheck.org at least; or a guilt by association about a story regarding the Bush administration that has been repeatedly denied and subsequently unsubstantiated.
... tax cuts for the rich, ...
If you mean not allowing the current tax cuts to expire, granted.
... and head-in-the-sand about energy.
The statement is too general to confirm or deny.

Well, until we can get the facts straight, any policy discussion cannot be tied back to the candidates available to us. As asserted in a previous post, the campaigns and media make it harder, not easier, to get the straight facts. Until then, I am limited to discussions of prioritized principles that would guide policies that I would support in a candidate.


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