Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let's Be Honest

McCain has been bad. Bad on content (such as there is) and bad on delivery. He's shown poor, or at least cynical judgement. He's repeatedly failed to make a coherent argument as to why he deserves to be President. Obama has real weaknesses, ideological and practical. In both debates he's been asked some version of, "What cuts in your proposed spending programs will you make, should you be elected, in light of the recent financial difficulties question?" Both times his answer, essentially, has been: none at all. Instead, he talks about all the things he's going to do. Government-funded health care. Better schools. Energy independence in ten years. A free iPhone for everyone over the age of six. New cars! And, we'll all be able to fly! And turn sunlight into energy! And breathe underwater! It's totally absurd; saying we'll be energy independent in ten years--without any real proposals as to how we'll do that--is NOT like saying we'll go to the moon in ten years (an analogy Obama drew in his last debate). It's like saying we'll go to Pluto. And colonize it. And there breed an army of sentient bacteria who will be able to recite Paradise Lost on command. This is not to say that it's not a great goal. It is. But so is immortality.

But does McCain ever call him on this or any other of the many GAPING CHASMS in his platform? (Example: he'll save the taxpayers billions by 'closing loopholes in the current law." So easy. Kind of makes you wonder why no one else in office has had the same idea.) He does not. Instead, he recites the same old same old. He's a maverick. He's not Mr. Congeniality (Is that supposed to be make us want to vote for him?) Wall Street is rife with "greed and corruption." (Does he have a plan to ban greed? I thought the Republican Party is predicated on the assumption that greed is what drives the economy.)

And Palin... sigh. Has there ever been ANYONE less qualified to be the President of the United States? I spend no more than thirty minutes a day following current affairs. I know next to nothing about, for example, the mechanisms of the global economy. I am very murky on, to name just one topic off the top of my head, the timeline of Israel's various 20th Century conflicts. At no time in the last week (that I remember) have I closeted myself with a phalanx of policy experts and forced myself to cram for a nationally televised debate. And yet, despite all that, I could have a done a better job debating Joe Biden if I were high, drunk, and prohibited by the rules of the debate from using any word containing the letter "a."

In other words, I'm going Obama. I guess.


Le Chat said...

There's the JWM alternative - the Cheney-Feinstein unity ticket!

La Critika said...

does this mean now we can talk about the election while I hoarde wheat and sheep?

JMW said...

I don't like it when either candidate evades questions, and in fairness, McCain does it a lot, too. He, too, has ducked what-needs-to-be-cut questions, and you could make the case that Obama is at least implicitly promising more revenue by planning to end the war in Iraq, which is costing us, to use strictly financial terms, oodles of dough. Also, McCain was asked to prioritize between three areas of concern -- I believe they were energy, entitlement programs, and education -- and even went to the trouble of pointlessly writing them down before answering, "we can do all three at once." Well, that's not exactly answering the question.

But anyway, I mean to say that evasion is bad from anyone and everyone. The larger issues for me, in addition to generally preferring Obama, of course, are: 1. Palin. Like most people with frontal lobes, you acknowledge that she's a disaster and belongs no closer than 18,000,000 football fields' distance from the Oval Office. But somehow this rarely gets translated, by the center-right to the right, as a strike against McCain. Palin didn't just hop on a bus in Alaska and show up in D.C. asking to be VP. McCain made that choice, and more than anything else that's what has convinced me that I don't want anything to do with him as prez. Oh, and 2. The tone. I accept a lot of sketchy use of facts and personal carping from political campaigns. I accept, wearily, that it's become the nature of the beast. That said, Obama continues to impress me relative to other major politicians, and McCain/Palin have turned their campaign into a full-fledged scare-fest that panders to, quite frankly, the cattle among us. There's enough to be scared of right now, which means I find their approach even grosser than I otherwise might.

JMW said...

Sorry to babble.

ANCIANT said...


I didn't explicitly link my dismay over Palin's disturbing unreadiness to be President with McCain because I thought it went without saying. But yes, I'm with you. Either McCain chose Palin, despite knowing how unprepared she was, in the hopes she would energize his base and help him win the election OR he chose her without knowing anything about her credentials. Both show a disturbing lack of judgement (although I think the former is worse).

I think McCain has been a better Senator than Obama. Unfortunately, he's been a much much much much worse campaigner. And that, sadly, is what matters.

Dezmond said...

Obama has hardly been a Senator at all. He started running for the White House soon after he was sworn in to the Senate.