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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

October 19, 2008


Powell's Endorsement


That makes two. When it comes to the most important members of a President's Cabinet, the top two are the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury. George Washington had two rivals heading his Cabinet in Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson at State and Federalist (some might say Monarchist) Alexander Hamilton at the Treasury.

Surely if one were able to ask President Washington today if he would have been able to begin our nation without these two men on his left and right his answer would have been a resounding "No!"

Today we heard that the Former Secretary of State, Republican Colin Powell, has endorsed Democrat Senator Barack Obama instead of his friend (maybe former friend) Republican Senator John McCain. With the early endorsement of Senator Obama by Bush's first Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, that makes both of President George W. Bush's top Cabinet members endorsers of Obama over McCain.

Powell cited the stinging negative ads by McCain along with the poor choice of the Not-Ready-For-White-house-Occupancy Sarah Palin as two of the reasons he has thrown his support behind Senator Obama.

"This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?"
-Powell on McCain and the Bill Ayers connection

"I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States,"
-Powell about Governor Sarah Palin

But the McCain negatives aren't the only reasons for Powell's endorsement of Obama. Powell also has praise for Obama and the way he has handled himself in these trying past few historic months in our nation's history.

"I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain."
-Powell on his endorsement of Obama

Even though Powell's words say that this act isn't a sort of betrayal of his friend McCain, the Angry Senator from Arizona certainly must look at it that way. After watching him grind his teeth as Obama spoke during their debates, surely a dentist's visit is in the cards for McCain now.

Make no mistake about it - this is a repudiation of McCain by his friend Colin Powell.

McCain for his and his campaign's part, have downplayed this endorsement as "expected".

"This doesn't come as a surprise,"
-McCain on Fox News

I would if I were him, and it would hurt, too.

Imagine had former Vice President and defeated Presidential candidate Al Gore had come out and endorsed Senator McCain rather than Senator Obama. What would the Right Wing say and do about that? Surely we all remember the fuss made when McCain's longtime friend Joe Lieberman (now an Independent after his bitter primary loss and general election victory to keep his Senate seat in 2006) came out early (and often) in support of his friend McCain on the basis of only one issue - the War in Iraq. McCain's campaign put out a whole list of "prominent Democrats" who support his candidacy (although no one knows who any of them are).

Certainly the choice Powell made of his endorsement of Obama, and the fact that he said he will campaign for the Junior Senator from Illinois, will bring the race-haters out of the closet (not that it wasn't open more than a crack already) so they can claim that Powell is only endorsing Obama because of their shared race. it will be a reason which many on the Right will adopt as their own, but those who look at it that way weren't going to vote for Obama no matter what, so it will make little difference in that respect.

Powell, on the other hand, is respected by a large majority of America. he enjoys an approval rating in excess of seventy percent even in spite of the lies and exaggerations he told the UN in the run-up to the Iraq War.

An endorsement of Powell of McCain would have been expected, no matter what he says. In no way, shape or form can the GOP be happy about this one, no matter how often McCain smiles and grinds his teeth.

-Noah Greenberg

A Secret, Traitorous Plan

John McCain is holding our nation hostage. For the past few months as he has been campaigning to become our nation's 44th President, McCain has stated over and over again that he knows how to get Osama bin-Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"I'm not going to telegraph a lot of the things that I'm going to do because then it might compromise our ability to do so. But, look, I know the area, I have been there, I know wars, I know how to win wars, and I know how to improve our capabilities so that we will capture Osama bin Laden -- or put it this way, bring him to justice…We will do it, I know how to do it."
-John McCain on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Just this past Wednesday during the final debate, and as late as Thursday on Late Night with David Letterman, McCain said it again. He says over and over again that he knows how to get bin-Laden.

I can understand McCain's statement above, but if he is telling the truth and has a plan to "get him", as he refers to bin-Laden, then why hadn't he mentioned it to Condoleezza Rice when she was the National Security Advisor or now as Secretary of State, George Tenet when he was the CIA Director or President Bush anytime during the past seven years? McCain certainly wouldn't have had to send President Bush a "telegraph" had he really had a plan to "get" bin-Laden, would he?

Surely a plan to "get" bin-Laden by the US Senator who claims to be the foremost foreign policy expert in that Chamber of Congress has not only the ability to gain the President's ear on such a subject but the duty to do so.

Is John McCain holding our nation hostage just so he can become president?

I think back to the rumors which came about in late 1980. Jimmy Carter had just lost to Ronald Reagan and the rumors began flying around that Reagan made some secret arrangement with the Ayatollah to release the US hostages held in Iran on January 20, 1981 - a.k.a inauguration day. The question is this: Is the plan John McCain says he has to "get" bin-Laden a fake or does he have a plan which he refuses to share with the sitting President of the United States and our various intelligence agencies sworn to do the same; or is John McCain just blowing smoke up our collective asses in order to take the big seat in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

If McCain truly has a plan to "get" bin-Laden, then by keeping it a secret from those who control our military and covert agents, he is noting but performing a traitorous act against our nation.

When did McCain develop his plan to "get" bin-Laden? It's a relevant question in light of the worsening situation in Afghanistan. Bin-Laden and al-Qaeda call the mountainous, near-borderless region between Pakistan and Afghanistan home and use it as their base of operations. And the situation in Afghanistan is worsening every day. It is the center of the war on terror as stated by such experts as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. More and more troops have been, and will be, moved to Afghanistan because they are needed there, and as we move them, more and more American troops will die there.

The most deadly year to date in Afghanistan has been this year. From January through September of this year, we have lost more troops there than in any of the years previous, and the year isn't over yet. From 2004 through today, each year has cost us and our allies more and more lives in Afghanistan and there is no end in sight.

And that's where bin-Laden is.

If there is any nation which bin-Laden and al-Qaeda call home, it is in Afghanistan. so if McCain knows how to get him, why hasn't he led that charge? McCain has been in the US Senate for some 26 years now. Surely his plan to "get" bin-Laden wouldn't fall on deaf White House ears.

and there are more question for John McCain to answer. In all of the years that John McCain sat in the Senate, he never once campaigned to become its leader. Sure he opened up and stated his opposition to a plan here or a policy there, but never once did he petition to become its President Pro Tem when his party was in the majority. Surely he could have reached across the aisle and been the most productive member of that chamber in its history had he done so.

Is John McCain so selfish that he doesn't even want to share his leadership qualities and wisdom with his colleagues? Or is being seating on the back bench and pointing fingers after the fact more a "mavericky" thing to do?

McCain also said that his mere presence in Iraq made him an expert at being able to end that war, even though he sees no problem in keeping our troops there for one hundred years ("Why not one hundred?"). His statement "I know wars" and "I know how to win wars" flies on the face of the real truth: McCain spent his only war in a North Viet Nam POW Camp, and while that might make him a sympathetic figure; even sympathetic enough for some to feel that he is "owed" the White House, it doesn't make him an expert at winning anything.

Just what war has John McCain won? And just what makes anyone think that the same old "stay the course" strategy he has promised us all that he will use will win the day in the middle east?

McCain has shown a real distaste for diplomacy even as a first step. Even as the gang of five former Secretary of States said that talks with Iran should be held “at a very high level” (Kissinger later clarified his statement by saying those talks should not include the President to help McCain save face after debate number 2), McCain's remarks show his unwillingness to talk at any level, while his callousness allows him to sing, "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" as a joke.

It's not the stuff Presidents are made of.

McCain should have shared his knowledge, wisdom and plan to "get" bin-Laden with those who can actually "get" him. Had he done so, and had bin-Laden been paraded around Washington, DC in the shackles he should be wearing, certainly John McCain would be in the lead and been campaigning in blue states rather than trying to keep what red states he can in his column with just over two weeks remaining to election day.

Are we to believe that John McCain would sabotage John McCain to get John McCain elected?

Why, that makes no sense at all.

And neither does elected John McCain and Sarah Palin to the White House this November 4th.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg