Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Partisanship Smartisanship

Wouldn't this be nice!?
In the face of an economy in crisis and a deeply unpopular president, some analysts believe the situation is ripe to give Democrats a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in November... The last time either party had this ability was in the 95th Congress of 1977-1979, when Democrats held 61 seats during President Jimmy Carter's administration... "The fundamentals of this election year could not be more Democratic...You've got a terrible economy, a deeply unpopular president and an unpopular war. You put those elements together and it's going to produce a Democratic victory. ... The only question is, what size?"
What a wonderful prospect!

Let me take a moment to make a radical statement that any self-respecting person with a poli-sci background or even a lukewarm interest in politics would be crazy not to refute (but which I feel down to the core of my "soul" anyway):
I do not believe in bi-partisanship.

Sure, it's a warm-fuzzy ideal that conjures up images of sweaty, cooperatin' hands joined together in lusty commitment to the public good - and as someone who ultimately wants "the greatest good for the greatest number," I feel that dream... really I do.

The problem is that I don't believe bi-partisanship works for those issues I hold nearest and dearest to my heart, such as abortion/reproductive freedom in general, secularism, equal-pay for equal work, discrimination in all its nasty forms, climate change, equal access to education and health care... you get the point. Namely, I'm talking about those societal problems which require truly progressive, liberal policies to achieve what I (and NOW, the ACLU, Green Peace, insert liberal organization name here) believe is the greatest good.

In fact, I think this attitude can be captured by a short and sweet bumper-sticker phrase I'm going to coin - I don't brake for bigots! - in the sense that bigoted (re: conservative) positions on social issues should not be accommodated as part of some "give and take"/compromise/bullshit method of fashioning critical policy.

That is all.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nobel Laureates Choose Obama

I'm so glad I checked out Daily Kos today and saw this open letter from 61 Nobel Laureates endorsing Barack Obama for president.

This year's presidential election is among the most significant in our nation's history. The country urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country's scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government's scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

We have watched Senator Obama's approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation's competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation's and the world's most urgent needs.

Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world's leading country. We hope you will join us as we work together to ensure his election in November.

And yes, I too am fascinated at how I've been able to come full circle during this election season... From outspoken anti-Obamite to full-fledged supporter of his campaign. It's truly amazing what hatred for the GOP can inspire.

SNL Fun with the VP Debate