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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

please vomit

While I can see why you guys might not have such a visceral distaste for McCain it really has to be said over and over (and over and over) again what an catastrophe it would be if he were elected. Because he has really really bad ideas. Here's one concrete example: if McCain wins Roe v. Wade will be overturned. I'd be surprised if the next President didn't get to appoint at least two new Supreme Court justices in his first term. So Roe would actually be just the start when it comes to the fundamental changes that would start coming down the pike, fast.

And that's just for starters. How about McCain's Iraq "strategy:"

McCain's wants to stay in Iraq until no more Americans are getting killed, no matter how long it takes and how many Americans get killed achieving that goal—that is, the goal of not getting any more Americans killed. And once that goal is achieved, we'll stay.

If you think getting out of Iraq seems like something we should do then you should be very invested in the idea of beating McCain.

Or how bout the health care crisis? Ezra Klein, who knows a lot about this topic, describes McCain's plan thusly:

It doesn't make health care cheaper so families can better afford it. It makes cheap insurance cheaper so families will buy more of that, and thus use less health care.
It's like if I tried to make food cheaper by encouraging you to diet.

How about the environment? If you think that global warming is real, as I do, then you probably think we should take some pretty drastic steps to curb it. Well if that's the case you should really hope that Obama beats McCain. I realize that McCain is generally regarded as environmentally aware, but here's a reality-check:

The problem is that McCain's few admirable gestures toward environmental responsibility have blinded the public and the press to the actual likely environmental consequences of a McCain administration. His refusal to sign any international climate treaty that does not include China and India is, in practice, refusing to sign one at all. McCain has also stressed that he will appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which would affect the outcome in cases like last year's 5-4 decision in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, in which the court ruled that the EPA has the responsibility of regulating carbon dioxide. In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant, and repeated all the absurd claims of the Bush administration EPA on why the agency shouldn't have to regulate emissions. He was joined in that dissent by justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito -- precisely the types of judges McCain says he'd appoint. There's a similar concern about the conservatives he'd tap to head crucial agencies like the EPA and the departments of energy, commerce, treasury, agriculture, and state.

Despite his lip service, all signs indicate that McCain lacks a grasp of the gravity of environmental concerns, and will push policy only as far as it does not inconvenience special interests and the conservative establishment. While his own values may be greener than those of the current Republican administration, chances are slim that he would make the strides necessary to reform the nation's environmental agenda.

And in case I've failed to convince you guys, MoveOn provides 10 reasons to fear this dude (click link for references)
  1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
  2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
  3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
  4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4
  5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5
  6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6
  7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7
  8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
  9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9
  10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

While we might not get that queasy feeling we get when Bush comes on tv (or, more recently, Clinton) it has to be said the guy would be almost as bad, if for no other reason than the stakes are getting so much higher. These 80 year old justices can't hold out any longer for us to elect a Dem. The environment is at the tipping point. Our standing in the world is badly damaged. ETC ETC ETC ETC

You know I was complaining in a recent message about the Dem race being about 'personality politics.' The reason we are always given is that sense the Dems are so close on policy it's all there is to talk about. I've said the same thing myself. But it also works out pretty conveniently for the media, who really just want to focus on that kind of stuff and avoid the boring policy debates. But now we're reaching a point where there really will be serious policy disagreements and I feel very strongly that we should take those seriously because these policies will have very real effects on a lot of very real people. So I really don't want this to be an election about who would be less annoying on the tv every day. This election isn't about some vague feelings that images of the candidates may conjure within us.

To that end I would say that even if Clinton won, even under the most despicable circumstances, I STILL would have to vote for her. It's just not about what makes me feel good. It's about what will happen in the future because of who is elected.

All that said I apologize if this comes off as sanctimonious or condescending or anything like that. I certainly hold everyone's opinion here in high regard and don't mean to preach. I certainly get drawn into electoral silliness and enjoy the more ridiculous aspects. I would say I enjoy politics the way some people enjoy sports. And I think that's absolutely fine, just like I think obsessing over sports is fine if you enjoy that sort of thing. But I also try to remind myself that the end results matter in a way that sports scores simply don't. Jeff, I think you are certainly correct that the Republicans chose their most formidable nominee for just the reason you state. At a time when Americans are sick to death of Republicans a lot of sensible people will say "but he's not that bad." I even feel that way to some extent. But he is. He really is. And not because he's a despicable person the way Bush and Cheney are, but because he's flat wrong on all sorts of issues at a time when we desperately need to get it right.

ok, enough. some other random stuff:

the optimist in me says this Obama fellowship thing could possibly turn out to be a big deal.

this guy thinks the 'unmoderated debate' idea is a really bad one for Obama, but this guy disagrees (count me with the latter, even if the former makes a good point)

What's the word for this? Irony? Karma? Hilarity?:

One experienced, credible activist in Christian politics who would not let his name be used told me that Huckabee, in personal conversation with him, had embraced the concept that an Obama presidency might be what the American people deserve. That fits what has largely been a fringe position among evangelicals: that the pain of an Obama presidency is in keeping with the Bible's prophecy.

According to this activist, at the heart of the let-Obama-win movement is longtime Virginia conservative leader Michael Farris -- the nation's leading home-school advocate, who is now chancellor of Patrick Henry College (in Purcellville, Va.) for home-schooled students. Best known politically as the losing Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1993, Farris is regarded as one of the hardest-edged Christian politicians. He is reported in evangelical circles to promote the biblical justification for an Obama plague-like presidency.

Bring on the plague!

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