Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Palin's future, according to Garrison Keillor, Why I won’t vote for John McCain by Retired General and McCain's last Gasp by the Relentless Liberal!
Palin's future, according to Garrison Keillor
We are a stalwart and stouthearted people, and never more so than in hard times. People weep in the dark and arise in the morning and go to work. The waves crash on your nest egg and a chunk is swept away and you put your salami sandwich in the brown bag and get on the bus. In Philly, a woman earns $10.30/hour to care for a man brought down by cystic fibrosis. She bathes and dresses him in the morning, brings him meals, puts him to bed at night. It's hard work lifting him and she has suffered a painful hernia that, because she can't afford health insurance, she can't get fixed, but she still goes to work because he'd be helpless without her. There are a lot of people like her. I know because I'm related to some of them.
Low dishonesty and craven cynicism sometimes win the day but not inevitably. The attempt to link Barack Obama to an old radical in his neighborhood has desperation and deceit written all over it. Meanwhile, stunning acts of heroism stand out, such as the fidelity of military lawyers assigned to defend detainees at Guantanamo Bay -- uniformed officers faithful to their lawyerly duty to offer a vigorous defense even though it means exposing the injustice of military justice that is rigged for conviction and the mendacity of a commander in chief who commits war crimes. If your law school is looking for a name for its new library, instead of selling the honor to a fat cat alumnus, you should consider the names of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, Lt. Col. Mark Bridges, Col. Steven David, Lt. Col. Sharon Shaffer, Lt. Cmdr. Philip Sundel and Maj. Michael Mori.
It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when someone's mouth is moving and the clutch is not engaged. When she said, "One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day, American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars," people smelled gas.
Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself -- one stink bomb after another, and now Governor Palin.
She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to conceal her vacuity, and she was Mr. McCain's first major decision as nominee. This troubles independent voters, and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She will get a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career making personal appearances for forty grand a pop, and she'll become a trivia question, "What politician claimed foreign-policy expertise based on being able to see Russia from her house?" And the rest of us will have to pull ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.
Your broker kept saying, "Stay with the portfolio, don't jump ship," and you felt a strong urge to dump the stocks and get into the money market where at least you're not going to lose your shirt, but you didn't do it and didn't do it, and now you're holding a big bag of brown bananas. Me, too. But at least I know enough not to believe desperate people who are talking trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks McCain-Palin is going to lead us out of the swamp and not into a war with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English language. They'll need to lose their homes and be out on the street in a cold hard rain before they connect the dots. That about says it all don't you think?
Then Why I won’t vote for John McCain and why I believe you shouldn’t by Lt. General (U.S. Army, Retired) Robert G. Gard, Jr., PhD 10 October 2008 : The economy has become the priority issue for voters. But my principal reason for refusing to vote for John McCain has nothing to do with his admitted lack of knowledge of economics, a field in which presidents encounter considerable constraints on their freedom to operate. It is because the fields of foreign and national security policies, generally regarded as Senator McCain’s strengths, are in fact his fatal weaknesses; and a president has considerable leeway to operate in these areas to the detriment, or benefit, of the United States. I deeply respect John McCain’s service to our country; and I admire his bravery as a prisoner of war, described by a fellow prisoner as similar to that demonstrated by hundreds of other U.S. prisoners in North Vietnam who also obeyed the code of declining release before those captured earlier. Unfortunately, however, Senator McCain has demonstrated clearly that he is a dedicated ideologue, unwilling to consider opinions or even credible evidence contrary to his preconceived notions. In addition, his temperament, marked not only by impatience but also by rude and sometimes hostile behavior, would discourage advisors from bringing to his attention views that might not be consistent with his preconceptions. A president with this combination of significant shortcomings would be a dangerous commander in chief, posing an unacceptable risk to the security of the nation.
* Senator McCain has adopted, promoted and sustained the position of the so-called neo-conservatives and ultra-nationalists who believe that the United States should capitalize on American military superiority to spread democracy, first by overthrowing the Iraqi government as the key to transforming the politics of the Middle East with democratic nations friendly to the United States and its interests. Since Senator McCain has made his positions on U.S. military operations in Iraq a central theme in his campaign, it is useful illustratively to examine his stated views on this issue. Annex A provides a detailed account of Senator McCain’s statements, actions and stubborn unwillingness to reconsider his preconceived views, even when confronted with credible contrary information. That information leads to the conclusion that this nation cannot run the risk of electing a commander-in-chief who won’t listen and is unwilling to consider persuasive evidence that is contrary to his ideological preconceptions.
Senator McCain is a consistent advocate of employing diplomatic, economic and, in some cases, military force to convert the governments of non-democratic states. In his 2000 presidential primary campaign, he promoted the “rollback” of rogue states. He has served as a long-term chair of the Republican Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting democracy in closed societies, even though most experts agree that viable democratic reforms cannot be imposed but must be generated locally. Consistent with his ideological predispositions, he also has suggested establishing a League of Democracies to coordinate foreign policies. He has gone so far as to advocate expelling Russia from the G-8, an organization established to coordinate international economic policies, in order “to improve their behavior,” adding Brazil and India to the organization while excluding China. This obviously would result in the alienation of China and Russia and would create a confrontational foreign policy rather than encouraging the integration of these two nations into the international community. The importance of Senator McCain’s temperament, should he become President, is apparently regarded as too politically incorrect to discuss. By his own admission, Senator McCain has “a temper, to state the obvious, which I have tried to control with varying degrees of success because it does not always serve my interest or the public’s.” Of greater significance, he also said: “Often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.”
In matters of national security and foreign policy, however, it is the nation that will have to live with the consequences of Senator McCain’s temper and haste should he be elected President of the United States. Annex B provides evidence concerning the serious problems with Senator McCain’s temperament that could endanger the security of the nation. Finally, while it is even more politically incorrect to mention, there is the question of Senator McCain’s age and health. Should he be elected president, at age 72 he would be the oldest person to assume that office. While he currently appears healthy, the life expectancy of Vietnam era prisoners of war is below the national average. Moreover, he has suffered three invasions of melanoma cancer, and a recurrence with swift and fatal consequences cannot be ruled out. Under these circumstances, one would assume that a candidate who professes to put the country first would select a vice presidential running mate already well qualified to step into the roles of commander in chief and leader in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Instead, Senator McCain selected Governor Palin, obviously for her appeal to the conservative base of voters and women disenchanted over Senator Clinton’s defeat as the nominee of the Democratic Party. Whatever her other attributes, it is evident that Governor Palin is not prepared to lead the foreign and security policies of the United States. So much for Senator McCain’s claim to put country ahead of politics.
Lastly McCain's Last Gasp By Jerome Grossman: William Kristol, the neo-con columnist at the New York Times, has surrendered the campaign of John McCain. “His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama's........ McCain is doomed.” Obama's lead in the polls is lengthening. He is far ahead on domestic issues although today’s stock market rally will help McCain by modifying the wave of bad financial news. Public concern about foreign and military policy, issues on which McCain is strong, continues to slide. Look for a shift in the McCain strategy, away from issues of public policy, away from attacks on Obama's associations, away from Obama's inexperience. The McCain focus in the last two weeks of the campaign will be his life story, his ancestors, his military service, his five year imprisonment in Hanoi, his bi-partisan initiatives in Congress, his embodiment of the American Hero and American values, making him the person who "deserves to be President." This story, this strategy, may not work but it appears to be all that McCain has left.
Republicans Worry as McCain Aims for Comeback Republicans are showing signs of worry about the state of the presidential race. Conservative Republican William Kristol wrote in The New York Times that the McCain campaign is "close to being out-and-out dysfunctional." "If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed," Kristol said. We can hope huh?