Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Hodge-Podge of Political Stuff

(Please scroll down for wordzzles.)

What ever side of the fence you are on (but especially if you are for Obama), please register and please VOTE! Your vote really DOES matter.

Among the things - besides the Presidential vote - that you'll find on your ballot is Proposition 2, which deals deals with the issue of animal cruelty. Something to think about.

And although, I'll try to avoid a rant about the VP debate, I will say that although Palin (as I expected) didn't make a fool of herself in this format (unless you count all the winking), I (biased I confess) felt it was further evidence of how shallow/non-existent her credentials are for such high office. I may like the folks who live next door to me - male or female - but being personable doesn't qualify you for world leadership unless it also comes with substantive knowledge of the law and the Constitution. Being personable, isn't a substitute for being capable of reasoned thinking. Nor is being slick. All politicians stretch and bend the truth. I think that's unfortunate. Palin, much like George Bush, is much too comfortable for my taste, with out and out lies. Her repeated mantra about "thanks but no thanks," is patently false. She campaigned actively for the bridge to nowhere and only changed her tune when it became a national scandal. And although it didn't go to building the bridge, the Mrs. Palin took that earmark money and spent it. Yet she has comfortably repeated this falsity over and over as though it is gospel.

Then there's the question of taxes. Mrs Palin - and the McCain campaign - continue to harp on the totally false claim that Obama will raise our taxes. Here's a comparative assessment of the actual truth of who will ease the tax burden of most of us. It isn't John McCain. Obama does raise taxes on those at the very top of the heap. About time.

Living here on the border of PA, where the airwaves are literally bombarded with McCain commersials, I continue to be disturbed and troubled by both the dishonest and the ugly tone of the ads. Seems like the old repeat a lie long enough and loud enough method of persuasion... Many of you know where that came from. Interestingly, I think that ugliness may have been backfiring on them. I've noticed in the past few days that the tone of ads has shifted.

I don't think Obama and the Democrats are perfect. I don't think they never stretch the truth. They do. They are politicians an unfortunately that seems to be par for the course. Still the nature and tone of Obama's ads is much different from McCains.

I think what upsets me most - almost more than the candidates - is the failure of our media to do its job. Some study in the Midwest rated the negativity of the two campaigns and declared that Obama was more negative. This has been reported widely. But what was the criteria on which they determined negativity? Content? Nope. It was mentioning the other guy's name. This seems like an insane measure of negativity. In fact it makes no sense, but it has been cited repeatedly without qualification. The media's almost complete abnegation of responsiblity for doing their job is criminal and tragic. One Sunday talking head show in an effort at so-called "balance," talked about the dishonesty of one of McCain's ads and then invited Rudy Guliani to close the discussion with a convoluted lie-filled rationalization for it. That's balance?

Even the debates have turned into exercises in extended soundbite exchanges. Is pertness really what we are looking for in someone whose decisions may change our lives for good or ill? I think one of the reasons the Republicans are keeping Sarah Palin farily low on the radar scope - besides her penchant for stumbing on the answers to relatively simple questions - is because winky perky cheerleader wears thin pretty quickly. I just wish the media would do a better job on confronting the lies rather than simply reporting them.

I got interrupted half way through this for about three hours. Probably a good thing. It might have been even longer and more rambling than it already is.

One last thing... Apparently the McCain campaign - the media reports is "going to go negative." Living where I do, it's hard to imagine how much more negative they can go. Maybe they will mention Obama's name more in their ads. Bizarre.


Jeff B said...

We have a Senate race in Oregon this year that is one of the ugliest displays of name bashing I can remember. Jeff Merkley and Gordon Smith have both flooded the airwaves with accusations about the other guy. I honestly couldn't tell you what either of them stand for, but I could go on and on about what they think of their opponent. Talk about frustrating!

I've only seen one add for McCain so far and that was just a night or two ago. It wasn't the bashing variety though. Maybe because this (Oregon) is typically a blue state, he decided not to go that route. Maybe it was a fluke. Either way, I hope it doesn't start up here too, with either of them.

Travis Cody said...

I have written to my elected representatives more during the last two years than I have in my adult lifetime.

One of the letters dealt specifically with the issue of candidates not telling us what they are for. I explained that I can't make up my mind based on what the candidates are telling me about each other. I want to know who they think THEY are, what they are going to do, how they are going to do it, and how they are going to pay for it.

I get so exhasperated by these ads that try to scare me about the other candidate. Please someone just tell me about yourself! If the candidates start telling us about what they are for, then voters can make up their own minds.

Instead, we are stuck with this crap slinging and fear politics telling us some made up story about why the other guy is bad. And then all the extremists come out and pepetuate the fear. Most of it is distortions or outright lies, and has nothing to do with anything.

Sorry...didn't mean to go on like that, but I'm reaching the end of my patience with it.

Raven said...

hi jeff - the PA airways have been absolutely swamped in ads for months now - and the worst kind... you know the ones with that smarmy kind of voice (if you don't know what I mean, check out the SNL skit I posted a week or so ago. They are really just like that. The ran the ones about Obama wanting to teach sex to six year olds, repeated stuff about how he's going to raise my taxes, lies about gun control... and lots of the "celebrity" ones too. It has been virtually endless and relentlessly ugly. I noticed in the past couple of days that they have started running very reasonable polite things, so ugly has apparently not worked as well as they expected. Oh - lots of maverick and "I said thanks but no thanks" too. Aggh.

Sorry. Didn't mean to rant. As in your Oregon ads, the PA candidates just smear each other. I wouldn't want to vote for any of them. Maybe that's what they count on. Not getting people to vote - getting us to be so repulsed that we don't vote at all. What a mess.

Raven said...

Travis - I agree. I think part of the problem with not getting information is the candidates but part of it is the media which simply doesn't seem to care about actually talking about things seriously or discussion the issues. I read something at HuffPo today about the Washington Post, I think, writing about how we don't have any details on the candidates tax policy - details are readily available if you look for them - and then not publishing any details. EXCEPT... in an article for children on page C-8 or some such thing. How sad is that?

I thought you were quite reasonable in your comment and had no need to apologize. Glad you expressed yourself.

Dr.John said...

Wouldn't it really be nice if we had candidates and supporters of candidates who used their air time and their blogs to tell us the good things about their candidate instead of the bad things of the opponents.
It would be so different and make so much more sense.
But it will never happen. Attack is much more satisfying and a heck of a lot more fun.

Raven said...

I'm sitting here listening to Sarah Palin say that Joe Biden and Obama don't love their country, followed up on Face the Nation by someone defending those remarks. Obscene.

I have not heard this kind of viscious from the other side (specifically Biden and Obama) and certainly even now, none of that kind of disgusting remark. Biden and Obama have made efforts to discuss issues. Their ads may not be rich in substance but they offer some.

You have implied repeatedly that my remarks are hate speech. Pointing out the truth is not hate speech. It's pointing out genuine issues. I don't want Mrs. Joe Six Pack, inexperienced, fanatical and dishonest within earshot of the presidency. Her qualifications ARE an issue and a significant one. McCain's health is questonable and he is not a young man. Since he has consistently lied about the other side's platform, that too is an issue. To discuss it is not hate speech. Honesty is a HUGE HUGE HUGE issue for me. Temperament is a huge issue for me.

As I said in my post - the media could change some of this by actually offering in depth analysis instead of pap and repetition of campaign slogans.