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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman
July 14, 2008
My Next Choice: Senator Barack Obama
Three-hundred million, or so, Americans. That's how many of us want to be pleased by whoever (or is that "whomever"?) gets to be the next President of the United States. This election year, unless something unforeseen happens, that man (yes, it will be a man) will be either Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.
In the last Presidential election (2004) some 120 million of us voted, a number representing about half of us who actually met the requirements of a US citizen-voter. This means, of course, that about half of our fellow countrymen and women decided they had better things to do on election day 2004. No, it doesn't mean they lose their right to complain, it just makes it pointless for them to do so.
There are numerous different reasons and issues those of us who vote decide on one candidate over the other. Personally, my biggest issue is health care (as it always has been, even before my daughter, who is both deaf and otherwise handicapped, was even a twinkle in my eye).
In a recent issue of Note From a Madman, I had printed a scolding response about my omission (or "blind-eye") of Senator Obama's step to the center. That evening, after sending out the pre-July Fourth issue of this newsletter, I watched and listened to CNN's Anderson Cooper 360. One of the experts, radio personality Ed Schultz, was defending Senator Obama against the Right Winger on the panel who was characterizing Obama as a "politician".
It would behoove us all to remember that Senator Obama is indeed a politician. In order to gain the White House this November, he needs to play politics. Sometimes looking at a poll or two and moving to the area where most of your would-be constituents live is truly a good idea.
Winning in November will also be a good idea.
The conversation about whether Obama is or isn't losing his ideals is exactly the dialogue the Right Wing is hoping those of us on the left will have. After all, it takes away from the other dialogues about issues such as health care and who will best be able to take our nation off its course to becoming a Third-World nation. At his most centrist, Barack Obama will be a better choice for all of us in the end.
For those of you who want an idealist who will "Stay the Course" the far, far left prefers us to keep, allow me to present to you two words: Michael Dukakis. He was the man who should have become President in 1988.
How did that one work out for us, hmm?
Bill Clinton once said, "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." Truer words about both parties' rank-and-file were never spoken. It isn't my intention to make anyone "fall in a Democratic line." It is, however, important to point out that this election offers two very different choices for the White House.
And John McCain-McBush is the wrong choice.
Playing the center is not necessarily a bad thing, and neither is compromise. Certainly we are experiencing what a lack of compromise has accomplished in the last seven-plus years. And we are so worse off without it.
President Clinton gets the credit for putting our nation back on course, at least, economically. He did work with those on the other side of the aisle to get legislation approved, even when I didn't believe in that legislation. (Can anyone say NAFTA?) But it doesn't take away the progress his years in office gave our nation, even as we watched it disintegrate over the next seven-plus years.
Do we wish to keep the Bush-ball rolling as it has for the past seven-plus years? It's the ball a McCain presidency will play with.
Whether or not Senator Barack Obama was your first choice or not shouldn't cloud your judgment about who to vote for come this November. It comes down to just two men. You have to ask yourself, "Who is closer to my values, ideals and will be more sympathetic to my situation?"
And if your answer is John McCain, then what in the world are you doing reading this column?
On Bobby Murcer's passing:
Growing up in Brooklyn, I was a NY Mets fan as they were the team that "replaced" the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yet, I liked Bobby Murcer. He was a good player who managed to steer clear of the nonsense that seemed to constantly surround NY Yankee players, coaches and owners.
On Jesse Jackson:
What can I say except ouch! The man has completely ruined his reputation.
Even his son, US Congressional Rep Jesse Jackson Jr., had to denounce what he said.
Have you ever seen a worst week for a politician? Let's review it. First, McCain for two days blasted social security; a system that has kept millions of senior citizens out of poverty. Then, he "joked" that exporting cigarettes to Iran was a good way of killing them off. To top the week off, while in Pittsburg, he told a kooky story of how he gave his Vietnamese interrogators the names of the Steelers offensive line. The only problem with this story is that McCain previously wrote it was the Green Bay Packers offensive line. McCain looks confused, pandering, mean spirited and quite honestly totally unacceptable as the leader of this country.
Finally, on Iraq:
Reviewing articles linked at Huffington-Post, there is now a story that the Iraqi security arrangement that Bush was trying to shove down their throats has been completely rejected. Even rival Shiite groups have rejected it:
You can add two more Iraqi voices to those speaking out on the need to regulate U.S. military action in the country, or remove it altogether.
In an interview published Thursday by the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Iraq's Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi said any renewed security agreement between Baghdad and Washington must "restrain or end the mission of multinational forces."
Abdul-Mahdi's interview clearly falls in line with a broader pattern of statements by elected officials in Baghdad who feel that major changes, even a timeline for withdrawal, must be made before any new security agreement is signed with the United States.
McCain, Bush and the GOP are scrambling to alter their position on Iraq. The Iraqi people have said loud and clear they want a timetable for all foreign forces to leave their country. Remember that Bush vetoed a timetable passed by US Congress in 2006..So, let's remind McCain that we are foreign forces and Baghdad is NOT a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.
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