Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin? Ha!

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." -Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign

Thanks, McCain, for a shockingly bone-headed choice for your VP candidate. Dems, it's time to capitalize on the obvious: the GOP has irresponsibly hedged its bets on a grossly inexperienced candidate for the vice presidency, in an act of sorely misguided scheming. McCain is trying to sell such a clear novice as being "ready for the presidency"... putting her literally a heartbeat away from the nation’s highest office. Keyword there being "heartbeat" - what's the chance that at 72 years old, those beats will putter out while in office? I'm just saying....

I really, really liked Linda Bergthold's reaction, so I'm putting it in full below. Enjoy:

I think we will look back at today as the day when the Republicans most certainly lost the Presidency. In choosing Sarah Palin of Alaska for Vice President, the Republicans have made a cynical but clever choice. At least they think it is clever. She is a woman, young (44 years old), a Governor (only two years), a mother (five children), pro-life, and pro-gun. But what is she not? She is NOT pro-choice. She has NO national experience. She has never been under the intense scrutiny of a national campaign. She is under investigation for some incident in Alaska that is messy and personal. She has no international experience. Her experience governing is in a very small state, famous for its "Bridge to Nowhere" kind of political graft. Her Republican colleague in that state, Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for corruption.

When Republicans and independents go into the voting booth, will they have the confidence to vote for a McCain-Palin ticket, knowing that John McCain has had several recurrences of his skin cancer, and will be the oldest President ever? Can they imagine Sarah Palin stepping into the Oval Office and dealing with all the problems we face right now? The Russians and the terrorists must be quaking in their boots.

It's a slap in the face of other Republican women like Kay Bailey Hutchison, bless her heart, who was forced to stumble through an interview on TV trying to make the case for Palin whom she has never met. There are certainly women in the Republican party who were "in line" for this before Palin. Did the Rovian type advisors to McCain just cynically think that throwing a young attractive inexperienced woman into the mix would satisfy women who long to see a woman president? Women, and Republican women, are not so stupid as to fall for that! It is reminiscent of the Republicans putting up Alan Keyes to run against Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate just because he was black. Voters saw through that pretty quickly.

It's also a slap in the face of Democratic women voters. They don't get Hillary but they get Sarah as the first potential woman President? In fact, I can just hear Biden saying, "Sarah Palin, you are NO Hillary Clinton!" I would imagine that the few remaining Clinton supporters who are wondering if they should support John McCain are even more leery now. There is absolutely no overlap between the positions Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life for and Sarah Palin. The two women are not remotely substitutable. They are as different as they can be.

How will this cynicism play with American voters? It is insulting to women to suggest that just "any" woman will do!

This really is a ridiculous move.

The Sexual Politics of Punctuation: Rules for Text Messaging's that for the title of a white paper on dating? Or maybe a book chapter, or perhaps a book in its own right. Based on my completely unscientific study of approximately N=30 text messages exchanged between myself and [wouldn't you like to know] #1 and #2, I think there is enough for quite the rant. Exclamation points, emoticons, and interchanging abbreviations can be horribly frustrating. And can make me doubt your intelligence.

More on this later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OCD Poll Checking

I'm very excited about Pollster's homepage, which features a beautifully interactive map of mean poll results for all 50 states, including a breakdown of what that poll data means for estimated electoral votes. Although there's waaay too much red on that map for my taste, I really like the current estimate of electoral votes - Obama currently gets 260 while McCain gets 176.

Unfortunately, the site estimates that 102 votes are "Toss Ups." So Obama's "lead" essentially means nothing. Eh, this will be fun to watch in the coming months.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thoughts on Biden

So now that any glimmer of hope that Senator Clinton might be named the democratic Veep candidate has been cruelly extinguished, it's time to offer some thoughts on Senator Biden.
  1. I received the much anticipated text message announcing Biden as Obama's Veep choice at 3:08 AM CST this Saturday. Was that really necessary? No. Thanks for prompting a night of drunken restlessness.
  2. I genuinely liked Biden in the debates of last summer. He's a "straight shooter" and one can't deny that he has solid expertise in foreign policy, especially. However, the "Introduction" video featured on the campaign's website is really lacking in sincerity. I was surprised at how poorly he comes off here. This is one of those moments that I can appreciate Barack's smooth, polished oratory.
  3. Biden cost me four drinks due to unwise betting on my part. Technically not his fault, but I have given myself permission to be upset with him about it. It should have been Hill!!

NARAL Records

Senator Obama's voting and statement record on freedom of choice gets a 100% from NARAL Pro-choice America. Senator McCain? 0%.

Shiny happy highlight from Obama's statements:
"Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect a woman's right to choose... Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America... I believe in and have supported common-sense solutions like increasing access to affordable birth control to help prevent unintended pregnancies... As President, I will improve access to affordable health care and work to ensure that our teens are getting the information and services they need to stay safe and healthy."
[From a statement by Sen. Obama on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 2008. Full statement is available here]
Absolutely abysmal lowlight from McCain's musings on sexual health:
When asked about whether he supported supplying condoms to Africa to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, McCain had the following exchange with a reporter:
Reporter: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?"
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.
Reporter: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"
Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."
[Adam Nagourney, McCain Stumbles on H.I.V. Prevention, The New York Times, March 16, 2007.]

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Anti-Christ

I chuckle (or seethe, depending on the source) every time I hear someone speak with any degree of sincerity about the coming of the "anti-Christ" with respect to modern political figures. So you can imagine my response when I stumbled upon The Colonic's jump to this disgusting attack ad, perpetrated by none other than the anti-Christ himself... I mean, John McCain. (Click on "Web Ad: The One" to view the trash.)

The explicit Biblical reference (Moses parting the Red Sea) coupled with gratuitous religious imagery (shining rays of light hitting a cloud, a staircase; "god's Eye View" of planet Earth) are completely uncalled for and signal (as I suggested in response to Vanessa's post) an attempt by the McCain campaign to tap in to right-wing, extremist rumors that Obama is - literally - the anti-Christ.

As someone who works under the umbrella of strategic research and consulting, it takes very little energy to imagine the focus group(s) that inspired this ad... Or perhaps it was all the internet message-board chatter which convinced McCain's team that a solid group of Evangelicals subscribe to the notion that Obama is fulfilling prophesies of the Book of Revelations. (Just google "Obama anti-Christ" for 747,000 relevant - or shall I say irreverent - links to bullshit!)

I openly and willingly admit that I have criticized Senator Obama (harshly) in the past. But if there's one thing that can win a disgruntled Hillary supporter over to Barack's team, I'd say mutual disgust with the Republican opponent is a great start.

So cheers to you, Johnny Boy, for helping inspire some warm-happy-feelings for my friends on the other side of the Blue Line! And even more, for pissing me off enough to revive my dear Oh Kermie rants. god Speed.