31 August 2008

 

Politics, End of August, 2008

(1) Our Dems had a great convention. Mrs. Obama's speech was great. Senator Clinton's speech was great. President Clinton's speech was great. Senator Biden's speech was pretty good. Al Gore's speech was great. Senator Obama's speech was excellent.

My gut feeling had been all along that Senator Obama was comfortable with his role as his own happy hatchet man, and he played it perfectly. It was Reagan vs. Carter with the parties swapped. (I know many of my Dem friends still hate Reagan, but I still believe we all ought to learn from his ability to capture the good will of a goodly-sized majority of the American people behind his agenda, whether we agreed with his agenda.)

Of course, as a gay man, I regret that Senator Obama choose not to speak more forcefully for the rights of LGBT folk, even as he affirmed what, for some, remains a revolutionary concept, that our relationships ought to be respected. But, I don't want him to lose the election because of support for us, either.

(2) Senator McCain's nomination of Governor Palin ought to point out what an arrogant nutcase the Senator is. Or "becomes" if that suits your narrative better. The man doesn't have the right constitution to be President of the United States of America. I'm nearly certain that if you rounded up all the other POWs from the Vietnam era, you could find somewhere between five and fifty who would be better suited to the job of POTUS than McCain. And he has the balls to keep reminding people that he was a POW. He wasn't alone in that situation, and I look forward to some number of former POWs of the North Vietnamese reminding us of McCain's innate lack of good judgment, and, even, character.

(3) If Governor Palin had the judgment and temperament to be President, which the Vice President ought to have, then she would have rejected Senator McCain's offer, telling him, "You've got to be kidding?" That she didn't is face-value evidence of her not being suited for the position. And one doesn't even have to raise the degree to which McCain's offering her the position in hopes of bringing Senator Clinton's supporters to his side is insulting.

(4) Experience?

None of the candidates for executive positions have Federal executive experience, and Governor Palin's experience as governor as Alaska is hardly evidence for her being able to manage the Federal bureaucracy. Being a Senator may expose one to the workings of the Federal government, but it doesn't give one experience in managing that beyond the broad scope of helping pass laws.

(5) As none of the candidates have experience in the Federal executive, I turn to judgment and temperment as a discriminator between the candidates for President. It wouldn't surprise me if you, the reader, did, too. In those dimensions, Senator Obama is, and I use this word with a great deal of caution and reluctance, obviously the better candidate, regardless of one's Party affiliation.

(6) The chicken-sans-head activity of the GOP with a major hurricane bearing down on the Louisiana coast is laughable. There's not one whit of evidence that the GOP has learned any lesson except "try better to get away with being totally clueless about what to do" when it comes to disaster management, than they did when Katrina struck. GWB can go avoid the GOP convention by being at FEMA headquarters for photo ops all he wants. but there's no real reason to believe that they GOP has developed any greater empathy or concern for poor folk in harm's way than they had in the fall of 2005.

(7) There remains no evidence that the candidate who manages the campaign best, who expresses opinions in the most bellicose manner, or who appears to be "toughest" will make a good President. Consider again GWB.

Now I don't want to take away from Obama's managing a superbly run campaign, but neither that nor his ability to bitch slap Senator McCain (which I expect he'll be surprisingly (to the GOP commentariat) good at), or vice-versa, is evidence that he—or Senator McCain, should it turn out that he's better at that game (something I don't expect)—would make a great President, including as Commander in Chief. Again, let's turn back to temperment and judgment.

(8) When the hell will the left and Dems get their own network? MSNBC doesn't count, since GE is unreliable as a source of funding for left-of-center politicking. Back in the day (much of the 19th century into the first half of the 20th), it was common procedure for the party—or the executive of that party—to have a house-organ publication. In this day and age that means cable news network. Where is the sustainable response to Fixed (Fox) News?

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