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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

October 27, 2008


A Not-So-Quick Note on Sarah Palin

Whether or not you consider this election to be all but over, Sarah Palin - John McCain's choice as the second most qualified person to lead our nation out of the economic and international quagmires left us by President Bush - believes that it is. Palin is showing her "Mavericky" side in rallies and appearances around the nation. It's just too bad for McCain that the people she is "Mavericking" it up against the most is McCain, and the Republican Party itself.

Sarah Palin has become the person which so many in Alaska's Wasilla have known her to be all along - the greatest Sarah Palin fan there is. And Palin is now going to do whatever it takes to make herself the spokeswoman for all things GOP in the coming years.

So much for the old Grand Old Party. The party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is now the property of (gulp!) Sarah Palin!

Yes, Sarah Palin believes it has become her (divine?) right to be the forty-fifth President of these United States.

Governor Palin "is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."
-a McCain adviser

Forget all of that stuff about reading and following the Constitution; forget about qualifications and laws and rules and regulations: It is Palin's Party now and we have John McCain to thank/ blame for it.

Sarah Palin is the monster to John McCain's Dr. Frankenstein.

In his complete fixation on the prize which has eluded him so long, McCain chose to kow-tow to the lowest common denominator in his pick for Vice President, the first major decision a President makes (and the only major decision a presidential candidate makes). In that position, McCain has chosen to leave us with Sarah Palin, the walking, talking embodiment of everything a number two shouldn't be, as his lasting legacy.

And she will last.

Palin is playing to the fear and emotions of those who choose hate over tolerance and greed over charity as she speaks to packed houses of blind followers across our nation. Those who choose to look at her as their new political savior are more groupies than they are political followers.

Palin is more cult leader than a national role model.

While Palin talks about being "frugal" she shops in places like Nieman-Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue and uses the excuse that after she is done with her publicly-financed (the Republican National Committee paid for her clothes) threads, she will donate them to charity.

Somewhere out there near Wasilla will be the best-dresses homeless woman ever.

Palin's followers care nothing about her troubles in Alaska. They don't care about the firing of a state employee for reasons of vengeance against her ex-brother-in-law; or her staff's revolving door with energy company lobbying firms and TransCanada Corp, the Canadian Energy giant who stands to get billions of US dollars in what amounts to a no-bid contract scheme cooked up by her (Palin's) administration.

Palin has no problem showing up on such talk shows as Rush Limbaugh's, even though his racist tendencies and his own kow-towing to the racist denominator are evident and well known. Those listeners are Palin's people, or Palin-istas, and they will be with her for quite some time.

In the event that Barack Obama wins this election next Tuesday, every and any decision made by his White House will be questioned immediately not from a Conservative intellectual viewpoint but from a Sarah Palin, "Aw Shucks" and "Gee golly" point of view. Her ignorance on issues both domestic and international will be played as "folksy" and we'll be subject to it for years to come.

The thought that we can get back to running our nation for the good of all people has been set aside by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for the number two slot in the Republican Party.

To paraphrase the book title of the former Republican Governor of New Jersey, and former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman (It's My Party, Too), It's HER Party Now.

And we have John McCain to thank/ blame for it.

-Noah Greenberg

Powell, in a Nutshell

Colin Powell's endorsement is more about honor, respect, and bringing people together rather than using fear, race and division as McCain and Palin continue to do. Colin Powell is an honest man that could not work under the dishonest Bush Administration. He is a man that can admit his mistakes and learn from them. An excellent honorable leader. What a dynamite ticket an Obama/Powell ticket would have been!!!!!


by Victoria A. Brownworth
copyright c 2008 Journal-Register Newspapers, Inc.

The 2008 campaign for president has been all about the math. It’s been the longest campaign in American political history. The focus of the campaign has been on the last eight years and the next four.

Now the numbers game comes down to electoral college votes. There are 538 electoral college votes. A candidate needs 270 to win. Pennsylvania has the fifth largest number of electoral college votes–only California, Texas, New York and Florida have more per state.

Pennsylvania is also a swing state. The tips of Pennsylvania are blue–Philadelphia and Pittsburgh–but Harrisburg and the rest of the state are dead red.

Political ads from Barack Obama and John McCain have flooded the airwaves, but Obama is outspending McCain three to one. Obama spent $3.5 million on ads in Pennsylvania in September while McCain spent $1.2 million. Both campaigns will have spent even more this month because both need to win the state.

Polls put Obama ten points ahead in Pennsylvania, but depending on the demographic, the numbers narrow. For example, Obama has only a one point lead among men–46-45.

What do the all these numbers mean? *Every vote counts.*

I will be casting my vote for Barack Obama.

I did not originally support Obama. I worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign and then on the campaign of Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate. Obama was too conservative, and his votes with George Bush, particularly on warrantless wiretapping, were disturbing. The sexism promulgated by the Obama campaign in the primary was appalling, as was the shell game played with the Florida and Michigan votes.

So I was not an Obama supporter, and fully expected to be voting for McKinney–a strong African American leftist with a stellar anti-Bush record from her years in the Congress.

But the events of recent weeks have convinced me that I have to cast my vote for Obama because this election has become a referendum on two things: the past eight years and racism.

Unlike some, I don’t think John McCain and Sarah Palin are evil. I believe that they want what’s best for America. I just don’t think what they believe is best happens to be what *is* best.

My decision to vote for Obama isn’t just about ideological difference. It’s about morality. There has been an undercurrent of racism at rallies the Republican candidates have held in recent weeks. Whether it was their intent or not, they stirred the pot that brought this tone to the boiling point.

If they didn’t intend it, they should have stopped it every time.

Every four years the Republican guard runs the line that whoever the Democratic nominee is has socialist leanings or is too liberal. The last truly liberal Democratic nominee ran in 1972. The Republicans need a new line.

If Barack Obama really were the socialist that the Republican Party has been claiming he is for the past few weeks, I would be ecstatic. I would like nothing more than to see the leftist progressive wing of the Democratic Party revived.

But Obama is, like John Kerry and Al Gore before him, a left-leaning centrist. So once again, the Republicans are lying. After eight years of Bush Administration lies, I have no stomach for more.

I don’t believe that McCain-Palin would continue the Bush legacy. I do think they want to break from the neo-con Republican Party of the past eight years. But they are still Republicans and the Republican Party isn’t represented by so-called “moderate” Republicans like Arlen Specter and John McCain claim to be. The Republican Party is not represented by people who can cross the aisle. The Republican Party is represented by extremists.

Obama might be in the center of the political spectrum, but to the left of him lies the Democratic Party platform. McCain might be (I’m not convinced) in the center, too. But his Party is to the right of him and includes the likes of James Dobson, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson. Compared to those guys, Sarah Palin is a flaming liberal.

There’s a bottom line in every election. The bottom line in this one comes down to what we really believe America stands for.

I believe America stands for diversity and equality. I believe this election is about embracing both.

John McCain and Sarah Palin have devoted their lives to public service. That’s commendable. But I do not believe they can, together or separately, move this country forward. Nor do I believe they understand that their perspective is on the wrong side of history.

Maybe Obama can move America forward and maybe he can’t. But he certainly won’t take the country backward. George Bush is inarguably the worst president in American history. He’s done tremendous damage both domestically and globally. The next president will have to clean up that mess and it will be a daunting and arduous task. Obama appears ready to take it on.

Beyond that is the subtext of this election: Race.

I would have liked to have seen America smash the gender barrier in this election, but we weren’t ready to do that. Nearly half of all Americans still believe that women aren’t tough enough to be president. And no presidential candidates have ever faced the media assaults and bias that Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have.

The gender issue will have to be addressed in future elections, but we can address race now. A vote for Obama is, unquestionably, a vote against racial bias.

Do we have the numbers move the country forward from its racist past?

In 2004, more Americans voted in the presidential election than in U.S. history. Just over 62 million voted for George Bush and close to 60 million voted for John Kerry. Bush got 286 electoral votes and Kerry got 252–the difference was Florida.

In 2000, George Bush got 50,456,002 votes and Al Gore got 50,999,897. Although Gore won the popular vote by a half million votes, Bush received 271 electoral votes and Gore got 266–a difference of only five electoral votes–as many as Nevada.

The past two elections should serve as a cautionary tale for the current election. Obama is ahead in the polls–but so were Gore and Kerry. Obama has registered many new voters, but so did Gore and Kerry had registered more new voters, particularly college students, than any previous Democrat.

So why isn’t President Kerry running for a second term? Because while a majority of Republicans always vote, Democrats are notorious for not voting.

More than 30 states have early voting. There are more registered Democrats than there are Republicans. But if Democrats don’t go to the polls, Republicans will continue to win elections. Republicans have learned to count on Democrats not voting.

And polls cannot be trusted. Obama and Clinton were tied in the polls for Pennsylvania, but there was a ten percent undecided vote. Clinton carried 63 of the 67 Pennsylvania counties, taking the state–and undecided voters–by a large margin.

Now, among likely Pennsylvania voters, a full ten percent say they could change their minds about who to vote for–the difference of Obama’s current lead.

Since the past two elections, the unfunny joke told about Democrats is that they are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The Republicans are counting on that once again.

The only way to change that legacy is to vote. Don’t presume that the polls are right and Obama has a big enough margin that your vote doesn’t matter.

If you are one of those undecided Pennsylvania voters or one who might change your mind between now and November 4th or one who just isn’t quite sure of Obama, think hard about the past eight years.

Even if John McCain isn’t George Bush and doesn’t want to continue his legacy, the Republican Party does–and McCain brings that party with him.

Think about the numbers: thousands killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan, more and more people losing their homes, jobs and savings, millions without health insurance, millions more in poverty. And that’s only part of the legacy of the Republican Party over the past eight years.

Think about the numbers: more registered Democrats yet two terms of George Bush. What happened? Republicans voted and Democrats meant to but didn’t.

Think about the numbers: Even after eight years of George Bush, Obama has only a slight lead in the polls. That means every vote is especially important because the Republican Party still has half the country in its thrall.

Voting is a right in America, but it is also a privilege. We’ve lost a lot of our rights as well as our privileges under the Bush Administration. November 4th would be a good time to try and get some of them back. Vote Obama.

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-Noah Greenberg