2008-10-08

Vote For Sale!

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Ok not exactly but it is at least open for negotiation, so long as McCain can demonstrate the following 10 things before election day (with a few provisos for Obama):

1. McCain & Palin must hold a press conference on the issues of race and religion immediately. McCain must publicly state that Obama is not a Muslim, discourage anyone from using Obama’s middle name to infer that he’s a terrorist, and that race should no longer be an issue in this country. They should then both (along with Obama) state publicly that they will not support anyone who votes simply because of race. This is an example of why a speech is necessary, and this is an example of how effective a speech could be.


2. Sarah Palin must hold a press conference before election day. She is the least qualified VP candidate in our nation’s history, so until she holds a formal press conference with the ENTIRE mainstream media explaining why this shouldn’t matter, I can’t vote for McCain.

3. Stop the campaign ads (this goes for both candidates). We all have access to Google, 24 news channels, factcheck.org, etc… so we can tell that they're lying, and what’s worse is that whenever one side lies the other side gets to claim the moral high ground (as long as they can ignore the lies of their own candidate). Here’s a taste of just where the “post-partisan” politics we were promised have brought us, as well as the fact-checker:




4. Stop talking about tax cuts. The debt has increased by ~$5 trillion dollars in the past 8 years, we’ve seen one of the largest redistributions of wealth in a century (which for everyone claiming the regressiveness of Bush's tax cuts note that this is the reason why the top 1% now pays more as a percentage of total receipts than they did under Clinton), and we are currently fighting a war on two fronts. So until either candidate states emphatically that no one will receive an additional tax break until we can draw down our troop presence abroad, this point is moot.


5. Start talking about entitlement reform; with specifics. Something must be done regarding Social Security and Medicare before we reach the point of no return that Naomi Klein refers to in the Shock Doctrine.


6. Stop demanding that Obama admit that the surge worked. Even General Patreus admits that the decrease in violence we have seen over the past year could have been achieved without the surge. This is political posturing over an issue that fails to provide a long term strategy in a war that is costing our country $10B per month. The surge "worked" in part because of the following (though I'm sure there are some things I've missed):


a. A cease fire orchestrated by Al Sadr & Iran


b. Payola offered to the Sunni Awakening groups


c. Years of ethnic cleansings


d. A stronger Iraqi force


e. 20% of the population displaced to other nations; and,


f. More troops resulting form the surge



7. Stop talking about William Ayers, the Keating 5 scandal, or any other past associations. The problem with this attack is that a) it doesn't work and b) politics seemingly requires that a Faustian bargain of sorts in order to achieve one's political aspirations. Also, neither of these issues will help me earn the 20+% of my net worth that I’ve lost over the past 6 months, so consider me uninterested. Or as Sean Hannity recently found out, the guilt by association game is not one that anyone enjoys.


8. Stop with the incessant talking points and catch phrases. I don’t vote out of fear that Obama may be a secret Muslim or believe that John McCain shouldn’t be president because he owns foreign cars or doesn’t know how to work a computer (both Obama ads).


9. Republicans must stop booing whenever a Republican mentions the NY Times.


10. Stop talking about which politician is to blame for our current crisis. Sure the government enabled our country to spend beyond its means, but they did not force Wall-Street to enter into off-balance sheet transactions in illiquid markets where there were no adequate pricing mechanisms or risk models. This was a concerted effort by Wall-Street to do what they do best; make money. As an aside, I can tell you that a great number of the deals I see in the M&A world are back and forth conversations with banks looking to legally avoid a) tax positions and b) on-balance sheet recognition. But more on that later…

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sean Hannity is a great American.

JustinWolf on 10/10/08 said...

Mike, I always check your blog and really like what you've got going around here at TOSS, but I've got to respectfully disagree with parts of this post.

First, I agree that Palin is underqualified, but if she holds a press conference explaining why it shouldn't matter that she's the least qualified VP nominee, then I think it's fair that Barack holds a press conference explaining why it shouldn't matter that he's the least qualified presidential nominee.

Second, I ask your readers to actually read that article about Petreus "admitting" that the surge wasn't necessary, and come to their own conclusion.

Third, William Ayers is a non-repentant terrorist. If he had said, "I was confused back then, and I'm sorry for it," everyone would be happy, but instead, he's said that he wished he had blown up more buildings.

Fourth, John McCain did publicly request that people stop using Barack’s middle name.

Fifth, I agree that it's annoying when Republicans boo at the mention of the New York Times. But surely you've seen the Democrats do far worse at the mention of Fox News. Plus, when it comes to acts of embarrassment in groups, Democrats are the ones who get arrested at the Republican National Conventions for rioting, not the other way around. Democrats are the ones who have hilarious gatherings with the following chants:

"What do we do? Fight the Power! Bush is killing by the hour!"

"Racist! Sexist! Anti-gay! Bush, Cheney, go away!"

"George Bush, you can't hide. We charge you with genocide!"

Anyway, keep the political commentary coming, and I'll continue to be the voice of the radical right.

Mike on 11/10/08 said...

Justin, great comment. I’m proud of the fact that we can “respectfully disagree” at this stage of the game, and I always welcome healthy conversations with anybone who is both passionate about the election and informed on the issues (a rare combination these days).

Maybe you and I could have a back and forth exchange on our sites where we discuss the substantive issues over the next few weeks, in a thoughtful manner. Your first post should be the 10 things you would need to see from Obama before you could ever vote for him.

I would also agree with your post regarding the triteness of political conversations, and I fear that I’m beginning to disobey 2 Tim 2:16 by delving too deeply into this, but we all have our thorns I guess...

Here’s just a few follow up thoughts:
1. I agree with you that the question of experience is legitimate, however there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance at play whenever this issue comes up (on both sides). To equate Palin and Obama is to ignore the fact that Obama has been running for President for the past 2 years, beat one of the most well know political families in our country’s history, and has written two books explaining his background and political philosophy. He’s been interviewed by every major news network (including Fox), and has successfully debated some of the most experienced Pols our country currently possesses.

Palin has given 3 interviews (2 of which were admitted disasters and one was with Sean Hannity and therefore doesn’t count) and she refuses to give a press conference; an unprecedented move by a potential VP. Lastly, I’ll direct you here:

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Info/experience.html.

It confirms that Obama would NOT be the least qualified President, and I’ll again reiterate my previous post that Palin would be the least qualified VP.

2. A military expert I am not, but I call a spade a spade. The surge began in early 2007, yet a noticeable decrease in violence doesn't begin until ~Sept/Oct(www.icasualties.org). What happened in September? The Al Sadr cease-fire and the rise of the Sunni Awakening movement.

Now I’m not saying the surge didn’t play a major part (as I strongly believe in the effectiveness of our armed forces), but you misquoted my comment about Patreus. The article presents a nuanced approach to the war, not a man trying to win political points by making exaggerated claims.

3. Obama visited William Ayer's home in 1995 at the invitation of an Illinois state senator according to Politico.com, and they served together on the board of a Chicago foundation. Are you looking for him to admit poor judgement and that’s it? If so, then it seems that this is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues.

4. I looked that up and found out that you’re right. The more pertinent issue though are the comments being yelled during rallies like “Kill him”, “Off with his head”, “Terrorist”, etc… and for that see today's update.

5. Perhaps I should have said “mainstream media” instead of NY Times, but your argument still falls short. You compare what goes on at a McCain rally to anti-war activism, which is like comparing apples to automobiles (I like alliteration).

The key difference is that neither Obama nor Biden personally egg on anti-right wing media activism (unless there's a link I haven't seen). The same is not true of McCain/Palin.


Hope that all made sense, and keep the thoughts from the "radical right" coming in. Andrea will tell you I love this stuff.

JustinWolf on 12/10/08 said...

All good arguments. This election will be blast to watch, though I'm not too excited about my own candidate. I would be on board for making political posts, but, admittedly, my opinions don't deviate much from Rush Limbaugh, and I have nothing creative to bring to the table. So I would be better off just linking his blog and spending my blogging hours on more nonsensical topics.

This blog will serve as my more left-leaning source of information, and hopefully make me a more balanced, open-minded humanitarian.

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