Archive for September, 2008

Sarah Palin – The Last Straw

Chie From Chie:  I wanted to like John McCain. I really did. When you hear him tell his story as a POW and see his tired, broken body, it is very compelling. I watched his acceptance speech at the Republican convention and almost believed him when he talked about wanting to set a new standard for transparency and accountability in government. I almost believed him when he talked about reaching out across the aisle to share ideas – no matter who gets the credit. And at the end of his speech, when he asked us to stand up and fight for decency, faith, justice and goodness – I almost believed him.

I said almost. For despite what I saw at the convention, that John McCain is not the one who is running for President. The John McCain who apologized for not taking a stance against the Confederate flag is not the John McCain running for President. The John McCain who sponsored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill is not the John McCain running for President. The John McCain who called the Swift Boat ads “dishonest and dishonorable” is not the John McCain who is running for President. Instead, what we have seen over the last 18 months is the John McCain from the Keating 5 scandal. We have seen a John McCain who runs campaign ads that are completely untrue.  We see a John McCain who ignores his own first choice and picks an unqualified, polarizing vice presidential running mate in order to pacify his own political party. We see a John McCain who sent a cadre of lawyers to Alaska in order to obstruct an investigation into Sarah Palin – an investigation that was initiated by Republicans.

My fight for transparency and accountability in government begins by voting Democratic in November. Any conservative views that I hold have been completely offset by my distaste of what has happened to the Republican Party and the people they have chosen to lead it.

The Republican Party has been taken over by the so-called “conservative” hypocritical Right. You know who I mean. They hate judicial activism – unless it’s for school prayer. They hate big government – unless it’s for creating an ineffective Department of Homeland Security. They espouse fiscal conservatism – unless it’s for big guns and a war that somehow manages to profit those who started/ran/supplied the war (Halliburton, blind trusts, chummy Saudi princes, etc.) They call themselves “federalists” who believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and then either ignore its precepts or ignore our laws. Pre-emptive strikes and torture have become part of our foreign policy. The Geneva Convention is thrown out the window, as are civil liberties, due process and the rule of law.

When asked what makes America great most people will say Freedom. WE THE PEOPLE have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. We have the freedom to worship God as we choose or not worship at all. We have the freedom to speak our mind, even if it’s against our government. These freedoms are what define America and what make it rich and strong. We also have made mistakes along the way – slavery, McCarthyism, internment camps. But we have acknowledged those mistakes and hopefully learned from them.

The Republican Party however, seems to have learned nothing. Over the last 8 years George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove (our own internal axis of evil) have operated on the basis that civil liberties are an inconvenience that have to be worked around and they have expanded the powers of the executive branch far beyond its original scope. For me, the protection of these rights and the re-establishment of checks and balances in our government are far more important than whether the capital gains tax is 15% or 28%.

I found this quote: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

Sounds like any of our current leaders? It was said by Hermann Goering, Nazi Reich Marshall during the Nuremberg Trials.

Now, some of you may feel that John McCain is not George W. Bush and that McCain will bring our government back from the edge. I might have believed it until he picked Sarah Palin as his Vice President. By picking her to pacify the evangelical conservatives in his party, John McCain indicated to America that he put his campaign first, not his country. 

Even if you can forget the fact that she believes the earth was created 5-6000 years ago (ignoring the Egyptian and Chinese civilizations that were in existence back then), or if you can ignore her belief that certain books should be banned from our libraries (First Amendment) or a women’s right to chose (Fourteenth Amendment), or if you can ignore her pattern of behavior in abusing her power as an elected official, how can you ignore her current actions regarding the Troopergate investigation? Once promising full cooperation and claiming she had nothing to hide, Sarah Palin and the national Republican Party are stonewalling the investigation (if not permanently, at least until after the election). Her husband has actually refused to respond to a court subpoena. How’s that for transparency and accountability in government?

If John McCain chose her because he really believes she is the best possible candidate to be vice president (and potentially president), then you have to question his judgement. Of course, if you really believe she is the best possible candidate, then I have to question your judgement.

Advertisements

September 23, 2008 at 10:37 am 5 comments

She said, She said…

DeeTee  DeeTee:   Hello, everyone… Chie and I are sitting in a Caribou Coffee shop, opining and wining (actually, tea-ing) and we thought we’d share our words of wisdom.  Firstly, we apologize to all three of you for not writing lately… 😉 Sometimes  real life gets in the way of ruling the world.  But in these troubled times, we must make time to advise…

Chie  Chie: Advise? Hardly. Dee Tee is walking too softly. We must make time to CHANGE the world. Most advice, no matter how diplomatically given, or desperately needed, is rarely taken and sometimes a brick to the head is more effective. Of course I’m speaking metaphorically. (Or am I?)

DeeTee:  OK, let’s talk about CHANGE, since that seems to be the catchword of the hour.  Obama is for change, and now, so (allegedly) is McCain.

And we, the people, say  we want change, but in reality we fear the unknown.  It’s safer to stay the same and just bitch about everything.  BUT:  what if the only thing holding us back is our lack of belief?  People fear Obama because they believe he really CAN change things.   

Chie:  Well as much as I hate to disagree with DeeTee, I do not think that people fear Obama because they think he can change things. I think they fear/don’t like/won’t vote for him for lots of other reasons. He’s not black enough, he’s not white enough, he’s a Democrat, he’s a man, he’s from Hawaii, he’s from Illinois, he’s from Harvard, he’s…….whatever. This is going to be a highly adversarial election which has nothing to do with actual issues. Especially lately. It’s all emotion. And I also think that’s why Obama has stirred such passion in people (on both sides) because he touches something innate inside. He is the change. The very fact of him is what scares people.

DeeTee:  I think Chie and I are saying the same thing.  She’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I think she’s saying that Obama being who he is — the sudden celebrity!  The new Messiah!  He came out of nowhere to a meteoric rise; will he now come crashing down like a falling star? 

Most importantly:  Is he real?  And how could  he be real when he’s so sudden?  So, he’s emblematic of our desire to change, but scary because the change could really happen… and what then? 

There’s an old joke, one of my favorites: 
[1st guy]:  Doctor, doctor, ya gotta help me, my brother thinks he’s a chicken! 
[2nd guy]:  Well, bring him in and I’ll cure him! 
[1st guy]:  Can’t right now, Doc, I still need the eggs!

Chie: While I think his meteoric rise makes a lot of people nervous, I am uncomfortable with using words like messiah and prophet. I know DeeTee is being facetious, but I can already hear our critics, if any exist, accusing us of “annoiting” Obama. For the record, we mean no such thing.

One thing I think is obvious: Whether you are pro-Obama or just anti-Bush, something’s gotta give. But first, let me clarify what I mean by change.

More than just a personnel change is needed in Washington. We need a cultural change.  Away from a government that looks for ways around the Constitution and back to a government that understands the importance of the Bill of Rights and our system of checks and balances. Away from a government that passes rules to allow torture as a policy and back to a government that follows the rule of law and Geneva Convention. Away from the attitude that  God is on “our” side and back to an understanding that God is not a Republican or a Democrat or white or black. Away from a petty partisan Congress that looks like 2nd graders at recess (I apologize to 2nd graders everywhere) and back to civil, respectful debate on the issues (I know I’m really reaching here).  And from what I have seen so far, a McCain/Palin ticket is not going to bring about that kind of cultural change.

Some people believe change can happen through the top-down theory that begins with leaders with vision. Others believe that change can happen via grass-root movements brought about by the masses. I believe that given the scope of partisan politics and the inertia that permeates government bureacracy, both methods will be needed to effect any substantial change. We need leaders with vision and a citizenry that’s invested.  Going back to something DeeTee said earlier, what if the only thing holding us back is belief. Maybe that belief extends not only to a Presidential candidate but also belief in ourselves. Belief in the power that WE THE PEOPLE can bring about change. Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Let’s start by making sure everyone gets out to vote.

DeeTee:  Yeah, get out and vote… for Obama!  ;0

Complete agreement for what you just said, Chie!  What worries me is the “we the people” part… so many people seem more concerned with the personalities than the issues you just mentioned.  Apprearance of change is not really change.  Example:  People say it’s time we have a woman in the White House.  Sure!  But:  how about a qualified woman?  Why do people think that just any woman will do… why do some women seem to believe this?  I wish everyone would read this great article by Gloria Steinem, “Palin: Wrong woman, wrong message”  (thanks for the link, Chie).  Other than gender, what difference is there between Palin… and Bush?  So it may appear  to be change (gender) but it’s really not (policy the same, ignorance of issues the same, mis-pronounciation of “nuclear” the same).

I agree that WE need to be the agents of change… to elect the persons best qualified to lead that change.  We all know a change is needed, but we decry it at the same time we demand it.  To trust a leader who we don’t truly know — who seems intelligent and thoughtful but is not a proven commodity — takes a leap of faith.  I think that will be required of us, that leap, that belief, if we truly are to make a change in our government… in our own lives.

Chie: Leap of faith? Crap – now we gotta talk about religion. Or not. Why don’t we just leave this right now and see what kind of comments we get.

DeeTee:  OK, over & out… for now.  Chie, are you really letting me have the last word? 

Chie: No.

September 17, 2008 at 11:09 am Leave a comment


Calendar

September 2008
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category