More Thoughts on a Disappointing Candidate
I might disappoint some of my friends by saying that I would probably vote for Obama if I lived in a swing state - even though 4 years ago I vowed I would never vote for John Kerry no matter what. Since I've never lived in a swing state, it has never been a big issue for me. I moved from Red Texas to Blue California and I've discovered that wherever either party has a stronghold, there is a similar frustration - politicians aren't scared of voters; so democracy is at a disadvantage. Indeed that is the analysis even some in the corporate media are applying to yesterday's bipartisan vote against the Wall Street bailout bill: click here for the analysis on incumbents facing re-election and here for the Wall Street money analysis. The fact that we are close to an election where "the people" actually matter a bit more than big money - if for only a few days - probably has a lot to do with why our government is already squeezing taxpayers for billions to boost rich speculators and investment banks.
Still, I think McCain and Palin are far too dangerous a pair to have running the most powerful country in the world - really running the world. Yes I'm coming out as a lesser evil proponent - it has always been a matter of degree; I just finally think the line has been crossed.
But again, I live in California - a state that McCain is very unlikely to win in November and a state where, I believe, it is more important to send a message to the Democrats in November than to boost Obama's winning score.
The message I want to send is that I do not support much of what the big "D" Democrats stand for. Just two examples - untempered support for Israel and support for this Wall Street bailout. Obama is taking an awful stand on both of these issues despite the fact that the American people disagree with him and he probably would be perfectly safe agreeing with them.
Whereas Obama - the alleged liberal Democrat - spoke before the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee earlier this year to say "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." The present Prime Minister (recently resigned but still in power) of Israel has said he believes Jerusalem should be divided between and Israeli and Palestinian state. According to Time Magazine: "Olmert says Israel should withdraw from 'almost all' of the West Bank and Golan Heights. A former mayor of 'the undivided capital of the Jewish state,' he now advocates dividing Jerusalem with the Palestinians. He wants to keep some of the Jewish settlements that adjoin Israel's pre-1967 border but accepts giving the future Palestinian state Israeli territory in a land swap with a 'close to 1-to-1-ratio.' 'The notion of a Greater Israel no longer exists,' Olmert says, 'and anyone who still believes in it is deluding themselves.'" Not a great position, but a huge step forward under the circumstances - and far more progressive than Obama's stated position.
Wall Street Bailout
Here's what Obama said about a plan pitched by the wildly unpopular Bush and his wildly unpopular counterpart the U.S. Congress: "To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say: Step up to the plate and do what's right for this country ... And to all Americans, I say this: If I am president of the United States, this rescue plan will not be the end of what we do to strengthen this economy. It will only be the beginning." He went on to say, "There will be time to punish those who set this fire, but now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out."
It is the same line being pushed by Mr. Bush when he says, "I also understand the frustration of responsible Americans who pay their mortgages on time, file their tax returns every April 15th, and are reluctant to pay the cost of excesses on Wall Street. But given the situation we are facing, not passing a bill now would cost these Americans much more later." Regardless of what you think of Mr. Bush or Senator Obama, they seem to agree on this critical matter almost completely. Basically Wall Street made a lot of mistakes, but if we don't bail these banks out to the tune of $700 billion in tax payer dollars, we ordinary Americans are going to suffer; It sucks but we have no choice.
Hundreds of billions of dollars could go a long way in helping ordinary Americans without fattening the wallets of the speculators and big bank execs. Obama could set himself apart from the Pelosis and Reids in Congress - again leaders of a very unpopular Congress - but instead he seems to be following their lead. He is a cautious fearmonger, but a fearmonger nonetheless. He is providing no leadership on this - not even bad leadership since he is following the bad leadership of Pelosi and other Democratic politicians. He should be providing good leadership - calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and hundreds of billions for ordinary Americans not the super-rich gamblers who created this mess. But alas - he is stepping up the cheerleading to the silence of the liberals and even progressives who will do anything to see him elected. It is appalling.