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.

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Election prediction (guess)

337/201 Obama

Senate 57/41

House 264/171

This is not to infer that voting in new people will make any difference.

Post election fact check:

Actual results:

365/173 Obama

Senate 59/41

House 257/178

Something to keep in mind….

The stock market crash of 1929 did not cause the Great Depression.  The depression was almost a year later after the stock market had recovered 74% of the pre-crash value.

In short, we ain’t out of the woods yet.

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.