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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman
October 29, 2008
Just after "Guilty" was heard in the courtroom where US Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska (the longest serving Republican member of that chamber) was tried, the wheels were put in motion of his promising that he would stay in the race to keep his seat should the people of Alaska send him back there.
The people of Alaska can place a punctuation mark on the election this year by throwing him out.
The 49th state is one of the reddest in the nation. It's hard for any Democrat to get elected there much less beat a long-timer such as Stevens. The race between Stevens and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich was tied at about 45 percent apiece prior to the Guilty verdict, one made possible by Stevens' testimony in his own defense.
Will the people of Alaska say "No", in unison, to re-electing someone convicted of a felony? Or will they, for the first time ever in US history, send a felon to the US Senate?
Our eyes have already been trained on Alaska due to the introduction of Governor Sarah Palin by John McCain to our national stage.
Isn't that enough?
In 1997, John McCain had this to say about a bill requiring the US Defense Department to purchase American-made motorcycles versus those made overseas:
"The worst, most disgraceful aspect of the legislative process in Washington. I can not be more strong in my views without using four letter words. Itís crazy for us, because ball bearings are made in a certain state, to somehow prevent the United States Defense Department from purchasing ball bearings if they meet quality standards from our allies,"
-McCain, from an article in Defense Daily, 1997
Of course, that was eleven years ago and people are prone to change their minds when ideas - their ideas - are bad ones. For example, McCain was against the Bush tax cuts before he was for them...
Wait a minute here - that's a good idea turned bad... Never mind.
One would think that as John McCain tours manufacturing centers which now "boast" double-digit unemployment rates in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio (not that other areas of the country aren't affected, but that's the area where McCain has focused his "wooing" efforts) that the Candidate Formerly Known as "The Maverick" would change his view of American-made goods.
"I am also disappointed that the bill once again this year contains a department-wide 'buy America' requirement, and specific language directing the Secret Service to purchase American-made motorcycles. I firmly object to all 'buy America' restrictions, as they represent gross examples of protectionist trade policy."
As I listened to the Ed Schulz Show this morning, which was being broadcast live from the United Steel Workers headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the union's president, Leo W. Gerard, quoted McCain directly as calling the use of American-made goods as "disgraceful".
When I heard the quote, I simply didn't believe it. Surely a man with presidential aspirations, as late as 2005, wouldn't suggest that we do away with American manufacturing in favor of International competition... would he? Surely a man who said "our workers are the greatest in the world" wouldn't recommend, as late as 2005 when he was organizing his bid to become the 44th President of the United States, that we purchase anything from overseas without giving our own, home-based manufacturers a fighting chance at gaining those contracts... would he?
You bet he would.
Today, while on the campaign trail in Florida, McCain said the economy will get better and implied that patience is what we should show while it gets there. Just what are we waiting for? Does John McCain believe that the next President of the United States should just stand pat and make no plans or policies to help fix the economy?
You bet he does.
With McCain's belief that we should be purchasing more from overseas manufacturers, one wonders if that belief extends beyond manufacturing. Maybe our government should begin outsourcing itself to India and China and elsewhere around the world. Maybe you should have to call India to get your driver's license or send your vote to China to be counted.
We're all familiar with calls similar to this: "Hello, this is Dell support from India. How may I help you?" But maybe we should get familiar with this: "Hello, this is the US Government of John McCain from India. How my we screw you?"
There are reasons why the American worker looks away from John McCain and the Republican Party to help their personal economic situation and look towards Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to fix it: They no longer trust the Republicans to fight for them, no matter what rhetoric McCain uses.
As we watch the elections develop, we hear GOP candidates nationwide say that the electorate should vote for them otherwise the Democrats will get a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the US Senate. The assumption here is that McCain is going to lose. Conversely, the McCain campaign warns that the Democrats will get that 60-seat majority and, along with huge gains in the House of Representatives, the American electorate has no choice but to vote for him for the sake of "checks and balances"
Really? Is that the reason why Americans should vote Republican? Is that the best argument they can come up with to sway our vote?
It's just pitiful.
McCain has offered up more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans - a plan he repudiated when President Bush first came out with it in 2001 - claiming that the failed policy of Trickle-Down, disproved by the likes of Herbert Hoover leading up to the Great Depression, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush over the past eight years, is the only way to go.
It isn't and as many as two-thirds of the nation down to the obvious "fifty percent plus one" know it. You grow an economy from the bottom up. You grow an economy by putting money into the hands of the middle class, not by destroying them. You grow the economy by putting dollars into the hands and pocketbooks of people who will spend those dollars in malls and supermarkets not on golden umbrella stands and $150,000 shopping sprees.
And in the end that's all we need to change things.
Someone Else's Turn
The reason Barack Obama is ahead in the polls is simple: When people look at the Republican Party's candidate, John McCain, they see a veteran of nearly thirty years in Washington politics and, more importantly, eight years of doing it the GOP way.
While it's certainly true that most who are choosing Obama over McCain are looking at the Illinois Senator's message of "Change", the truth of the matter is that many would rather not cast a vote at all than vote for another four years of Republican rule in DC, and for good reason. The Republicans had "their guy" in the White House along with the friendliest, same party Congress and Senate for most of the time they were there.
They had their chance and they screwed it up.
We've all heard the noise from the Right telling us that Bill Clinton was "lucky" and that his administration benefitted by being in the right place at the right time. Those are arguments which should be used by gamblers when they blow their paycheck on "sure things" which turn out to be not-so-sure, not by those who run our nation and are entrusted with our future.
These guys and gals were playing with our money, futures and the lives of our children.
It's now time to let the other party, the Democrats, have their turn at trying to make things better. If the Clinton years were just "luck" then maybe we need a little of that "luck" back again.
Now is a time when I'd rather be lucky than good.
All during the Bush years we heard how well the economy was doing; we saw stock prices rise while the value of our dollar diminished; we saw our purchasing power fall along with our disposable incomes; and we saw the backbone of the our great society - the Middle Class - get taxed with giant increases to health care, gas, food and just about everything else and lose many of their number to debt and unemployment.
The Bush administration tried everything that fell under the guise of the "free market" to convince us they had the answers. Even until the day the bottom fell out of the market, they, along with John McCain, said that everything was going to be okay.
"The Fundamentals of our economy are strong,"
-McCain's comments as the market was crashing
"Our economy is in crisis,"
-McCain, two hours later
The Bush administration, with the help of John McCain, and other in the then-Republican Majority not only allowed our jobs to go overseas but encouraged them to go there. And while they were allowing our jobs to leave they told us that we would be retrained in "the jobs of the future".
Well, the future is here and we've lost nearly one million jobs this year alone. Where are those jobs of tomorrow anyway?
Those who have made the greatest strides in the past eight years are those who needed to do so the least. Those of us who truly needed that hand up were left clutching the air with nothing to hold on to other than a flimsy strand of hope and the promise of better things to come
The hope never came and the promise was never fulfilled.
Why are Americans rejecting John McCain? Probably for no other reason than he represents where we have been, and that is a road none of us wish to travel down again.
Why are we accepting Barack Obama? We are accepting Obama because it's our turn now.
After years of losing our surplus and creating the greatest deficit we've ever known; after years of destroying the middle class and putting people out on the street because they can't afford to pay their doctors' and hospital bills; after years of promising the moon and the stars but delivering nothing more than the false promises of political rhetoric we are truly ready for a change.
They had their chance and now they have to move over to allow us to effect that change we need.
In response to, "What does Sarah Palin bring to the table other than "Aw shucks" and "golly gee"? Dorothy Schwartz writes:
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