Politics

WARNING: very political and link heavy post ahead. If you are in the mood to fight, maybe come back later after cookies and milk.

After going to the RNC, I’ve been fascinated to see what the public has done with Palin. There is no doubt she was the star of the show. Everyone was talking about her speech the two days leading up to it and the day after it. It was almost like Mccain’s speech was expected to add very little, if anything, to the party. I don’t ever remember a VP choice making prime-time exclusive interviews (WARNING – window resizing going on), before the Presidential candidate does, with the likes of Charlie Gibson and ABC and having a network like ABC cut it up and use it within an inch of its life on morning shows, latenight shows etc. It’s like she just won American Idol. So far I think she comes across as very literate but very inexperienced in her interview bits.

I thought Palin’s VP acceptance speech was very well delivered. She nailed it and the people were eating out of her hands. In fact, if I knew nothing about her policy beliefs, I would wish she was a Democrat simply for her charisma. She clearly knows how to work a room. I bet we would even be friends if we lived next door and if I lived in Alaska and had been on the receiving end of a higher rebate last year and this year, I’d really love her.

However, she wasn’t completely honest about the details in her speech. She implied she sold her luxury jet on Ebay and the truth is she listed it but then sold it privately after it didn’t sell. And she says she turned down The Bridge to Nowhere which is technically true although she did support it first while campaigning for Governor and then after removing her support, kept all the earmarked money raised for it and used it for other things. The media is all over these discrepancies. But I’d just like to know about one political candidate that has never skewed the facts to make themselves current with the public’s opinion. I’m not saying it’s alright that they do it. I’m just saying that to pick one candidate’s speech apart and not all the others is wrong. And people should certainly be allowed to change their minds after hearing more facts regarding a situation.

It’s a climate of exaggerations and slight untruths and culminating in out-right lies or intentional misunderstandings. That’s how we play during the elections. Pouncing on the ‘Lipstick on a Pig‘ fiasco is one example (which McCain himself has said a number of times.)

Which brings me to Flip-Flopping, or Changing Your Mind, as I like to call it. Somehow, that is the worst thing a candidate can do. But how can a potential VP and P work together on a campaign if they can’t discuss their differences and come to some compromises and resolutions about how to support each other? And why is that a bad thing? Isn’t that what we all should be doing? Figuring out how to come together and work together and get this government changing towards what we all need: a stronger and safer economy, a better heathcare system, a better foreign policy with improved relations with our allies? I think the belief that we have to all believe the exact same thing to be in a political party or the exact opposite of the other party is short-sighted and does nothing to bring this country together.

I think we really need the new President of the United States to have a VP that agrees with them on some things, but also have some different views and bring things to light that the President might not see. Challenge some beliefs to make sure all the sides are getting out there. I think we’ve seen for the past eight years what it means to have the president surrounded by a complete cabinet of Yes-Men.

Both candidates picked the running mate their campaign needed. Obama needed the experience Biden had to offer and McCain needed a rockstar to bring in new excitement. They have both succeeded in doing what they set out to do. McCain’s crowds have grown by huge proportions and Obama’s critics can believe Biden would be ready to assume the presidency should anything happen. Good on both scores.

But what I really hate is when all the hoopla starts and takes our attention away from the real issues. Why does it matter whether Palin’s daughter is pregnant or not? What I care about is how she views RvW and how she supports no abortion for rape or incest victims. That is what is important. That is policy. That is what I want to know about. And that is just one example, but you know I could go on all day. As could you, since there is hoopla on both sides of the isle.

Growing up, my family was very private about voting. You just didn’t ask each other who or what you voted for since it was something that could cause contention. I’ve kind of believed that myself up til now. But, this year, when this election is so important to our country, I feel like I need to be public about who and what I support.

I will not vote for McCain/Palin. McCain has voted 90-95% with President Bush and I think what Bush has done to and with our country is criminal. (And I’m not even mentioning the lying about torture and the human rights violations.)(Except, I guess that was mentioning it.)

McCain has said he will try to overturn RvW. Palin believes in no abortion for incest and rape victims. As a rape victim myself, I can’t imagine how that would have been to get pregnant and who is to say whether or not, if I had, if I would have aborted the baby or not. But to not have that choice is unimaginable.

Palin believes drilling in Alaska is the answer to our fuel problems. While I don’t disagree that some drilling might be necessary, I think the focus should be on alternative fuels and not on drilling. Why has the government not supported alternative forms of energy all these years? Because Bush has been under the thumb of large oil companies and has not been willing to buck the system, watching them rack in millions upon millions of dollars while the American people suffer and pay more and more at the pump. Bush has made it a point to not support efforts to explore alternate energies. McCain will slide right into Bush’s empty seat. I have no faith that he will be any different. I believe he will eventually agree with Palin on drilling in Alaska and do nothing to further other avenues.

McCain doesn’t see what a farce the entire war in Iraq has been. He doesn’t think that Bush lied to us. He believes we need to stay much longer and create a democratic society there before leaving, which in my opinion is impossible and always was. He believes we need to pour another 12-16 billion dollars a month into this civil war. I disagree on every point. Especially knowing that the country of Iraq has a surplus of 80 billion dollars while we go more and more in debt. (I would love to see us apply that money to a better heathcare system here at home.) It’s past time to withdraw from a war that we never should have entered, which we did enter on false pretenses.

McCain’s heathcare plan includes nothing new except a tax credit which may or may not work. If it does work, it’s because he’s taxing all the employers who DO provide heathcare for their employees. He won’t apply pressure to heathcare providers to provide care to people in high risk or preexisting conditions. As far as making sure every American has coverage, it will fail. Here is a snippet:

McCain then spoke of the need for Americans to improve their physical condition and suggested some people with preexisting conditions could be put in what he called “high-risk pools.” But McCain’s bottom line was that he would not put requirements on insurance companies.

I don’t disagree that many Americans, including myself, need to improve their physical conditions. I just don’t agree that THAT is a viable heathcare plan.

McCain thinks our economy is pretty strong and that we are not headed into a recession. I think we are already in a recession. You can’t look at the housing market and the manufacturing businesses closing and the small businesses barely making it and the huge unemployment rate and really believe our economy is fine, can you?

McCain wants to build walls between Mexico and the U.S. He’s not completely honest about his involvement with earmarks. He believes national security and immigration are the top things Americans are worried about, demonstrating that he’s not really listening when we’re screaming WE ARE IN A RECESSION. And I don’t think Palin is qualified. There are far better qualified Republican women that should have been chosen for their experience. But they don’t have the star power Palin has.

I will be voting for Obama/Biden. Obama’s economic plan includes cutting taxes for all those people making less than 250K a year (around 80% of Americans) (more here) (and here is an interesting study about Republican vs Democratic economic policies showing that more people do better under the Democrats). I agree with Obama about Outsourcing. I agree with him regarding growing a clean energy economy and creating 2 million new jobs. (Here is what Senator Hillary Clinton says about it.) And I love his Hybrid Car plan. I like his incentive plan for new/small businesses, entrepreneurs and women.

More reasons I will vote for Obama: he wants to start by talking with Iran, not fighting, he wants to eliminate global poverty, admits he smoked marijuana and that he inhaled (about 57 seconds in), he’s committed to network neutrality (Biden’s support is ambiguous and I’ll be watching to see how that plays out), he wants to use technology to open up our democracy and be transparent to the American people, he supports the guest worker program for immigrants, he wants to raise the minimum wage, he trusts women with the right to make decisions about their bodies, he believes in educating our youth so we have less unwanted pregnancies and our young children won’t be coerced by pedophiles (and he refused to discuss Palin’s pregnant daughter), he has a great healthcare plan including guaranteed eligibility and affordable premiums, he sees the recession we are in, and he was always against the war in Iraq, just like me.

Reasons why I support Biden for Vice President: he’s the least wealthy senator – dead last on the list and for some reason I find that quite endearing in the world of politics. He’s been a senator since January 1973 which is long enough to see our government go through many cycles and know what works best. He’s the chairman on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He drafted the Violence Against Women Act. His voting record is alright, not great, but alright. We agree on stem-cell research, banning cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees, not extending Bush tax cuts that help the wealthy, better funding for our troops and a timetable for removal, and more funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

I am voting NO on Prop 8. (It’s a mixed bag where Obama is concerned.) My entire family disagrees with me with the exception of Joe. Even my daughter. My brother and his wife are heading up the efforts to pass Prop 8 in their area, coordinating all the meetings, passing out 4,000 yard signs and going door to door. I’ve had discussions with all of them and it always ends up boiling down to one thing: they think it’s a sin and wrong to be gay – I don’t. I support with all my strength any measure to help us all be equal. Every instance used in the following NPR letter supporting Prop 8 is used to demonstrate how we should be worried that gay people are going to try and get into every part of our lives and force themselves places they aren’t wanted. Fear.

Adoption services: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. After a legislative struggle β€” during which the Senate president said he could not support a bill “condoning discrimination” β€” Catholic Charities pulled out of the adoption business in 2006.

Medical services: A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state’s civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman’s right to medical treatment will trump the doctor’s religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.

Psychological services: A mental health counselor at North Mississippi Health Services refused therapy for a woman who wanted help in improving her lesbian relationship. The counselor said doing so would violate her religious beliefs. The counselor was fired. In March 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the employer, ruling that the employee’s religious beliefs could not be accommodated without causing undue hardship to the company.

Civil servants: A clerk in Vermont refused to perform a civil union ceremony after the state legalized them. In 2001, in a decision that side-stepped the religious liberties issue, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that he did not need to perform the ceremony because there were other civil servants who would. However, the court did indicate that religious beliefs do not allow employees to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Youth groups: The city of Berkeley, Calif., requested that the Sea Scouts (affiliated with the Boy Scouts) formally agree to not discriminate against gay men in exchange for free use of berths in the city’s marina. The Sea Scouts sued, claiming this violated their beliefs and First Amendment right to the freedom to associate with other like-minded people. In 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled against the youth group. In San Diego, the Boy Scouts lost access to the city-owned aquatic center for the same reason. While these cases do not directly involve same-sex unions, they presage future conflicts about whether religiously oriented or parachurch organizations may prohibit, for example, gay couples from teaching at summer camp. In June 2008, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to review the Boy Scouts’ leases. Meanwhile, the mayor’s office in Philadelphia revoked the Boy Scouts’ $1-a-year lease for a city building.

My problem with trying to see it their way is that as I read through all the examples I can only see prejudice and exclusion and breaking the law. In other words, those very same examples reinforce how I feel about defeating Prop 8.

There is probably more to say and if I think anything, I’ll update down here. Feel free to leave any venomless comments.

35 Responses

  1. dang girl, you did some work! You are awesome.

    I was passing through Barnes & Noble and happened to see this book: Won’t Get Fooled Again. The author makes the case that the best leaders are not dogmatic and inflexible, but remain open to new information. In other words, sometimes flip-flopping is good.

  2. Very well written and well thought-out. I was struck that you write with no hint of anger (a problem I have when I write about things I believe are unfair and discriminatory). You laid out your case elegantly and thoroughly, and I couldn’t agree with you more. πŸ™‚

  3. Wow that post was really well written. Thank you for all of the information. I read most of the post, but didn’t click a lot of the links. I did e-mail it to myself though so I can read it again and click more of the links and stories.

    I know that I am voting for Obama/Biden but sometimes I have a hard time verbalizing why. I will be referring to this post again and again to help with my arguments. And hey I live in Texas so there are many arguments to be had!

  4. You and I are on different sides of the fence, but man if you didn’t just impress the hell out of me! Very well written post and like Marcia said, you did without a HINT of anger. I wish we could all be so diplomatic (and well educated!).

    Bravo!

  5. Excellent post. Thank you, Leah.

    Like you, I normally keep my thoughts to myself re politics. But this election, I don’t think we can afford to do that.

  6. P.S.

    This is another reason I don’t think McCain’s charge for “Change” is real.

    McCain Taps Lobbyist for Transition (
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1840722,00.html

    ‘ William E. Timmons Sr. is a Washington institution, having worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations as an aide for congressional relations and having assisted the transition teams of both Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George W. Bush in 2000. He was also a senior adviser to both Vice President George Bush in 1988 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996. ‘

    ‘ By tapping Timmons, McCain has turned to one of Washington’s steadiest and most senior inside players to guide him in the event of a victory β€” but also to someone who represents the antithesis of the kind of outside-of-Washington change he has recently been promising.’

  7. FUCKING AWESOME POST!

    I wish more people, myself included, would spend as much time writing about politics as you obviously did for this post.

    Bravo!

    Obama/Biden 08!

  8. Wow! I think the part that amazes me the most is how much in-depth research you consolidated succinctly. That’s a whole book reduced to a single post! Show off. Very well done.

  9. This was one of the best REASONED posts about the election that I have read. You didn’t resort to name-calling or insults, but just logically explained your view. Even someone with differing views could read this and go away saying, “Hmmm… great points.”

    I agree with you 100 percent.

  10. Amazing Leah, truly. Bravo. I wish everyone in this country researched the candidates as well as you did and made decisions after so much thought.

    I did raise my eyebrows on one point though: McCain/Palin lies are worse than the same old truth-stretching that politicians always do because they’re being used to paint a portrait of Palin that is the opposite of what she actually is. (ie not a reformer.) Her backstory is being recreated, and the campaign is counting on the ignorance of certain voters in combination with the absence of months or years of media vetting on her for it to work. That to me speaks to a disdain for Americans by McCain Palin and I find it as offensive as some of their policy proposals.

    Do all politicians stretch the truth? Sure. But this is the first time I’ve seen them revising their resumes entirely, like some college Freshman hoping to grow his hair long and make the leap from high school band geek to indie band superstar.

    Did I happen to mention absolutely amazing post Leah?

  11. Mom 101 – you make a good point. I think I’m waiting for a few weeks to make any conclusions about the extent of the deliberate deception going on. It is pretty incredible the lengths they are going to for Palin.

  12. Can you hear my applause?!

    I hope every person considering voting Republican this election takes a deep breath and reads this. (a woman can dream.)

    Bravo!!

  13. Yah, this is pretty much awesomeness.

    I was thinking of blogging about this, but thought people might be too inundated to care. But after reading this and the comments, I feel more invigorated.

    Again, great writing and research. Well done : )

  14. Well all I can do it get in line. This is an amazing and thoughtful post and so calm! In a good way. No hollering.

    I think this should be distributed as a role model of how to make electoral decisions. Thank you so much for the care, details etc. I am passing it on to as many people as I can.

  15. Nicely written and educational post. I agree with you on many points. As someone that has seen the destructiveness of homosexuality I can’t agree with you on the Proposition 8. I wish that heterosexual people would look deeper into the issue of same-sex relationships which are often dressed up by Hollywood and other media in our culture to make them look perfectly normal and productive. But take a look into that community and it can be a very harsh and critical world filled with confusion, sadness and emptiness. How rare it is to find a heterosexual that wishes they were gay, but I bet you can find thousands of homosexual people who would give anything to be straight. To be in a traditional relationship where they can actually have children without the involvement of a surrogate or adoption. It’s like instead of educating our youth about STD’s we tell them to use condom’s and if they happen to get herpes we just medicate them. When you’re told a lie long enough you start to believe it’s the truth. When you look around and everyone accepts your lifestyle or even applauds your destructive behaviors you begin to lie to yourself and for a while you can believe that you are truly happy. But happiness is temporary and there is no real joy in a life that is filled with constant shame and that shame doesn’t come from our culture, it comes from within, the same shame one might feel for taking drugs, overeating, overspending – that small shame adds up over time.

    I’m not “religious” but I believe that we must have a moral compass that is determined by something greater than humanity and culture. I believe in the Bible, I believe in Jesus and the love that he had for humanity which didn’t condemn people who were struggling with sin, but instead he loved them so much he died on the cross for them. Jesus loves homosexuals, he may not approve of their choices, but he still loves them.

  16. GREAT post.

    And I turned a nice old man away from my house last night when he tried to hand me a Prop. 8 brochure.

    With a smile, I said “Thanks, but I’m opposed to Prop. 8” handed him back his brochure, closed my door and pumped my fist. It felt GOOD.

  17. Fantastic, well-researched, well-spoken and level-headed post. Thanks for sharing and for all the time you put into researching and linking for the rest of us.

    I’m COMPLETELY with you sister!

    P.S. I love the Morpho butterfly in your header

  18. Illegal immigration is the primary issue I am concerned about because I believe it has played a major role in the state of our economy, particularly the economy here in Southern California. I am also more concerned about national security than I am about the state of the economy because economies cycle. We are in a down cycle and the policies of the President and the Congress will effect make it worse or better in the near term but, in the long term, we will eventually cycle out of it.

  19. But take a look into that community and it can be a very harsh and critical world filled with confusion, sadness and emptiness.

    I can’t help but wonder if the reason it’s such a sad world to live in is because of the discrimination, lack of support, and fear of homophobia that gays face on a daily basis…

    Great article, Leah!

  20. now this is amazing … I will spend more time tonight reading this in greater detail because your post deserves our attention. this is the type of political rapport I need … and enjoy … and I’m grateful for the time and care you put into expressing your views, gathering facts, putting it all together so nice and tidy for us. great, great post … I plan to share it with everyone I know!

  21. Wow – this is a fantastic post. Of course I guess it helps that I agree with everything you said, but you said it so well! I’m running over to my blog now to link to this post.

  22. I just wanted to comment that I am impressed to see how well-thought out and researched your post was. So many political posts just rant against one party(ies) and not give real merit for their opinion. Good for you. It was an interesting read.

  23. Fantastic post! Exactly the kind of level-headed explanation I’ve been looking for and hoping to do for myself. Thank you for putting this out there, you are an example to many.

    Eddo–I would encourage you to question why you think that homosexuality is the cause of destructiveness when you can see these same issues (confusion, sadness and emptiness, drug addiction, infertility, etc.) in heterosexual people and couples.
    I would also like to suggest to you that homosexuals battling with self-acceptance don’t neccessarily wish they were straight, but rather wish their community and world were more accepting.

    Finally, your post seems to be very passive aggressive to me, suggesting that your view of the loving Jesus encourages you to accept and love people without condition, and yet in the same post you imply to some that their lifestyle is a “lie”, and a destructive one at that. Walk your talk. He without sin should cast the first stone.

  24. Delurking to say, “Thanks! and “You are awesome!!” Oh, also to say that this makes my attendance tomorrow, at the Decatur Women’s Rally for Obama, that much more mandatory!! No wine for me tonight!!!

  25. Wow! What an incredibly thorough and propaganda-free account of the issues. I’m printing it and handing it out to my volunteer team members.

    Would you consider participating in this campaign: Bloggers for Change: One Vote is no Longer Enough? http://simplynutmeg.com/?p=803

    Thanks.

    Yes we can!

  26. “…they think it’s a sin and wrong to be gay…”

    What bothers me the most about this statement (in relation to passing a law like Prop 8) is not so much whether or not I agree with it (I do not), but its simple and utter irrelevance.

    The subject of any ballot Proposition is a subject of a potential change to the law and our government. The U.S. government and its laws were design to (and *must*) be kept separate and independent of any religion in order to preserve its people’s freedom of religion. Any argument that government must enact a law against certain behavior purely because “it’s a sin” argues that government should favor and enforce one or more religious views onto its people, which is fundamentally counter to the concept of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

    While I abhor what Prop 8 itself it attempting to do, I worry at least as much about its potential as a stepping-stone in a fervent migration toward a U.S. Christian Theocracy bereft of one of the fundamental freedoms for and on which it was founded.

    I don’t know if supporters of Prop 8 fail to understand this, or simply don’t care.

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