Election

Just a couple of quick observations.

I drove through Oakland last night shortly after the election was called.  Wow, folks were excited…at MLK and Alcatraz there were a hundred people in the streets…dancing, hugging, crying, and generally whooping it up.  A sight to see.

Palin did not cost McCain the election…he had no chance regardless who he chose as his running mate.  Palin was a hail mary pick, hail marys seldom work.  McCain lost because he never got back to angling for the center, he played to his base and his base voted for him, the center did not…no big surprise there.

Prop 8, gay marriage.  We just voted on this a year or two ago, gay marriage lost big.  Then the courts stepped in and said we don’t care about your vote, we are making it legal.  Prop 8 was a backlash against the courts overturning the will of the voters.  This was more anti-activist judges than anti-gay.  It set civil rights back 20 years and you can thank the California judiciary for that.

Not voting, why?

Last time I voted, I was made to feel utterly foolish.  It was Bill Clinton’s first term, I was excited, I had seen all the candidates, been to their rallies.  I saw Bush the elder, Clinton, Gore, and (almost got my ass kicked seeing) Quail.  (Come to think about it, I almost got beaten at the Bush rally too.)

Clinton promised hope, and like a sucker I bought into it.  I was not that young, but I was definitely overly optimistic in the process.  “We” beat Bush, it was heady times.  Excitement crackling in the air.

The day Clinton took office he bombed Iraq…I think it was like 2 hours into his regime.  I knew I had been made the fool of.  Clinton did nothing to bring hope to the nation–I seem to recall that it was Clinton that deregulated the banks.

So, 12 years later, along comes Obama, offering change.  Fool me once….  I was considering registering to vote for Obama, jury duty be damned…

Then along comes the economic crunch and the splurge debate.  Did Obama rise to the occasion, did he offer hope, could I tell him apart from the DC apparatchik?  No, no, and no.  He was very staid, he offered no change, he was a conventional Democrat to the core.

This is not change.  This is Democratic machine politics in its most traditional (and blighted) sense.  Obama had the opportunity to transcend politics, he failed to take it.

With Clinton, I spent 8 years feeling dirty.  Obama dropped the ball before I sullied myself with supporting him.  So I won’t vote again…and consequently, come January I won’t feel dirty.

Sure, some so-called progressives are excited, but they are deluded…there ain’t no change here…let them spend the next 8 years feeling dirty and used.

I made myself a promise 12 years ago.  I promised to never again vote for someone that I did not want to win.  I promised that if it came down to voting for the lesser of two evils, I would abstain.

This Saturday is the last day to register to vote in November.  It seems that once again, there is not a candidate that I can get behind.  Sure, I want Obama to beat McCain, but not enough to sully myself.

What is your take?

The Presidency….conventions, VPs, and whatnot…

I thought Obama’s acceptance speech was great theatre.  If I thought he could deliver 10% of what he promises I would vote for him.  Choosing Biden as his running mate really puts a damper on his “change” theme.  I like Biden, but he has sat in the Senate since 1973!  Yep, that’s all about change…

McCain chose Palin, evidently she is the Governator of Alaska.  I haven’t heard that she has any economic experience, or that she has any foreign policy experience, or much of anything.  But, unarguably it is historic, in January we will either have a black president or a female vice president.

That is both heartening…and sad…at the same time.  Who can argue with the fact that McCain chose her because she is a woman?  McCain’s thinking probably went like this, “I need a woman, a woman who is against abortion, a woman who is against abortion and has no skeletons…”  Then they went off to find someone to meet that criteria, and Palin fit the bill.

And McCain is old…crazy old…will the voting public accept a noob as VP, one heart beat away from the presidency?

Was this really a good thing for women?  Hillary bought her Senate seat based on her name…rode her husband’s coattails, coasted into the primaries with the idea that it was her right to be the nominee.  What do young women learn from this?  Grab a strong man and ride him to the top, put up with his philandering ways, suck it up and you too can one day be a contender for the presidency.  And now Palin–with a two four month old special needs child–gets chosen simply because she has breasts.  I am an outsider…but to me…this seems…a set back.

Edit: So I thought we–as a society–had gotten beyond the stone age, but, alas, I was wrong. It seems that Palin wants creationism taught in schools, does not believe in global warming, and fought to keep beluga whales off the endangered species list (and is in fact suing to keep polar bears off the list). Put this together with her links to the oil industry and her support of drilling in ANWR and we catch ourselves sliding backwards…it seems that she may be more of a Neanderthal than Bush–welcome to the Pleistocene, maybe next election we can rise to the level of Neanderthal.

Outta Here…Vacation Bound…

In 24 hours I load up my van, shoo in the dogs, and head East…

I’ve got something like 5 or 6 weeks to take in the sites and enjoy myself. Take off out of here on June 30th…four days to get over to Columbia, MO…stay there about 4 days…spend a week in Monroe/Toledo…a day in Grand Rapids, MI…then into the highlands of Colorado for camping and hiking in the area surrounding Leadville for about 3 weeks…then back to home and work sometime between August 2nd and 9th.

Welcome to the show, Mr. Nader.

Finally,  a candidate that I can get behind.  And to listen to the so-called lefties rant against him makes me hope that he throws the election to McCain.

Had the dems paid lip service to a progressive agenda, I am certain he would not be running.  But they have failed to do so.  The dems have control of both houses of congress, name me the progressive legislation that they have sitting on Bush’s desk?  What?  There has not been a single bill?  But how can that be?  Aren’t the parties sufficiently different?

Mr. Nader, I for one am glad that you are running.

In 2000 the lefties accused Nader of losing the election for Gore.  Bullshit.  Gore lost the election on his own.  Why did he not run on a progressive platform?  Why did he choose the right wing war monger for VP?  Why did he do jack squat for the environment during eight years of VP when he really had nothing else to do?

Run Ralph run…throw the bums of the ruling duopoly out.

What we need to ask the candidates…

Will you close Guantanamo?  Will you end the secret renditions?  Is water boarding torture?  Will you end torture?  Do you believe in unilateral first strikes based on a hunch?  Will we join Kyoto or its successor?  Will we reinstate the ABM?  Will we hold off deploying an anti missile system until we know it works?  Will we push Israel to comply with UN resolutions?

All of the candidates speak of restoring our place in the world, but without specific answers, what does it mean?

Who for president?

Since none of the above is not on the ballot…I have an “anybody but Hillary” hope for the democrats and an “anybody but Rudy” for the GOP.

The nice thing about the democractic race is that as Edwards stumbles we seem assured that the dems will nominate either a woman or a black guy–a first and it is hard to fault that.

But I really dislike Hillary…she is shrill, the right hates her–so we will continue divided…our nation needs healing and Hillary is not the person who can do it. And really, what kind of message does it send to young women, the first serious woman presidential candidate got there by riding her husband’s coattails….is that the message we want to send? So I truly hope she cracks and folds…anybody but Billary.

On the other side, Guiliani comes off as a fascist one trick pony. Has he ever answered a question without invoking 9/11? This guy comes off as more Bush than Bush–and that scares me. I really want a president that will denounce torture in all of its forms–Rudy is not that man. So anybody but Rudy. I would rather have Huckabe than Rudy. (I don’t think Huckabe is as right-wing as people think–he is just playing identity politics with his Christian beliefs, he comes off as a warm and personable soul.)

I will not get my wish of the election being between Richardson and Paul, so I must hope that the worst get weeded out.

Full disclosure: I don’t vote. I believe that I have every right to choose my own master…but I do not have the right to choose yours. And while you are contemplating that, keep in mind, you have no right to choose my master either.

I refer you to multiconstruct for one view on voting–start at the second paragraph