Friday, October 17, 2008
It's been a while since I've written about politics. In the intervening time, things have heated up quite a bit. I'm too tired to write a coherent article about the subject, so I'll just put down a collection of thoughts I have here, with two weeks left in the race.
* Barack Obama's mantra about how the failed Bush policies of the last eight years have led directly to our current economic crisis is getting repetitive. It's also not necessarily true. The economy has so many different factors in play, it's not fair to put the blame on one person, or even on one administration. Sure, Bush spent like a drunken sailor on leave and has nothing to show for his sprees, but that doesn't mean the economy collapsed because of him and him alone.
*The $700 billion dollar bailout scheme is disastrous. How can an organization that is trillions of dollars in debt bail out an organization that's billions of dollars in debt? The bailout is only a short term solution. It feels rushed, with an edge of panic accompanying it. In the long haul, the economy will still continue to falter unless the government steps in and forces the banks to ease the credit crunch. You can hear rumblings of this already. The administration's recent decision to buy stock in banks is only a prelude to a massive government intervention, one that may stave off a depression but will result in a significant loss of personal freedom. I think both the candidates missed the ball on this one. As my cousin in law said, "We'll eat beans and rice for freedom."
* I caught some of the debates. My general impression was that Obama handled the spotlight well, kept his cool, and laid out his plans with more clarity that he has shown before. However, his oft-repeated mantras of change and how the Republicans have wrecked the country are becoming rather tiring. He needs to come up with something new, something to capture the public's heart once again. McCain spoke with passion and energy, but came across as edgy, disdainful, and maybe a bit panicky. His frequent reversions to attacks on Obama's character showed that he and his campaign are losing their grip a little.
* Speaking of attacks on character, the negativity in the political system is really starting to bug me. Why can't the candidates discuss and argue the issues instead of resorting to personal insults? The Obama campaign's ad mocking McCain's computer illiteracy was pointless and lacked class. They pride themselves on not descending into so-called "gutter politics", but that's exactly what that ad was. Having said that, McCain takes the cake on personal attacks. Even Karl Rove has criticised his campaign for being too negative. Sarah Palin's comments about lipstick on a bulldog were demeaning, but her comments about "palling around with terrorists" were just stupid. Does she really think the American people are that dumb? The Obama - Ayers relationship has received thorough coverage by the media, and no one in their right mind is questioning Obama's character because of it. The two are not even friends. They cooperated on a community service program years ago, and that's aboutthe extent of their relationship. Remember, "palling around with terrorists" is a serious charge in today's world. It makes no difference if the terrorist is Bin Laden or William Ayers. If the relationship between the two men actually was a valid concern, don't you think there would have at least been a legal investigation into it? Mrs. Palin, we are not stupid. Please don't insult our intelligence by bringing this issue up again.
* Speaking of Sarah Palin, I'm a little bit worried about her. All objections about women and their role in government aside, as well as questions about her leadership in Alaska, she doesn't even seem to know what she's talking about. The Katie Couric interview was damning. If you get a chance, sit down and watch some of it.
* I have to say, I love the way the comedy buisness has handled this election. The skits seen on SNL, The Daily Show , and Bill Maher's stand-up session have been absolutely hilarious. The skits skewer both sides mercilessly. It's a refreshing break from the real world of politics. Jon Stewart for President 2012!