Monday, November 3, 2008
The Inevitable Presidential Endorsement Post
Four years ago I started Slapinions as a political blog t in the wake of the 2004 election. The blog was never supposed to feature my children, movie reviews, humor, or rants about AOL.
Well, the last time I checked 'politics' has consumed only around forty posts out of a thousand, proving once again that in politics even the best of intentions often fall to the wayside.
Still, in honor of the site's origin I'm going to give my two cents about this election. Sorry - by this late date I bet you thought you were out of the woods.
It's no surprise to readers that I'm voting for McCain. Lisa would say it was inevitable, that I believe the party is bigger than the individual and automatically mark an 'X' by anyone with an (R) next to their name. Eh, that's a wee bit strong - I'm not a Stalinist for Pete's sake - but she's got a point. But I don't think that's the case here.
Personally, I see no value in listing the reasons why I think Obama is a poor choice for President, at least in any depth. Minds are made up, his backers are frighteningly zealous, and frankly going negative wins no fans.You'll have to take my word that it is more than mere distaste, and trust that I'm intelligent enough to think it over, whether you disagree or not.
Let's leave it at this, in 200 words or less: I think 'Hope/Change/Hope/Change' is not a policy, and that for all his impressive eloquence he is woefully inexperienced and unprepared for the office. I believe that while he is a loyal American he is one of many who believe our faults outweigh our positives. I think his economic policy does not add up - literally - and that his foreign policy will either be a wilting failure or, on the other extreme, a harsh, unduly aggressive approach to negate his critics. I don't look forward to either path.
[One snide observation: when the housing bubble burst and the (idiotic) economic bailout went through he was quick to say that it would hinder his proposed programs. That's true to an extent, but it's also convenient, and to me it reeked of a man who bemoans the fact that his car broke down before a trip to the in-laws, while secretly thanking the Heavens it took him off the hook.]
On the other hand, I am not a huge fan of McCain. I brought up Eight is Enough in a post yesterday. That show was based on the life of Crossfire's Tom Braden, who was often miscast on the panel as a liberal. Timothy Leary famously said that era of Crossfire was like watching 'the left wing of the CIA debating the right wing of the CIA'.
Well, watching this election is like watching the left wing of the DNC debate the right wing of the DNC.
I think, for lack of a better term, McCain is a Democrat at heart, or what the more extreme of the party would call a RINO - a Republican in name only. He's strong on defense, sure, but prior to '68 there was nary a Democrat who wasn't, and I don't see that as exclusive to one party.
That doesn't make him a bad person, but I didn't like him (as a candidate) in 2000, and I'm not in love with him now. It's curious, really, how quickly Dems have turned on him, given that three years ago they'd have sung his praises. I assume most of it is election year b.s., because anyone with common sense can see his move to the right is for show, just as Obama caters to his own base.
Of the two I still bow to McCain's experience, his strength on defense, and the fact that no single party should control both houses of Congress and the White House. It didn't work recently, it didn't work in the past, it won't work in the future.
Additionally, McCain has a true talent for bipartisanship. Oh, Obama preaches unity but he's essentially running the same campaign Bush did in '00; the last eight years were bad, we need a distinct change, I'm really different than the last guy, vote for me. He's earning the love of his fans and the deep animosity of his opponents, and that's just a recipe for more of the same.
Not the strongest of endorsements, I admit, but by far McCain is the lesser of two evils.
It might shock you, but I still think the best candidate isn't on the ballot. Hilary, for all her faults, was an intelligent, forceful, and experienced choice for the office. It was that second bit that killed her, as it's sad that even today a woman can't exhibit strength without meeting the wrath of the masses, many of whom turned on her and called her 'arrogant' or worse. (Dan, you're a Republican? What about her lefty-loosy ideas? 1. She's pragmatic and 2. There's just enough of that sexism to deny her a free reign with Congress)
So, I'll go to the polls and vote for McCain. I hope he can squeak out a victory, but if not . . . well, I'm not going to stock up on rifles and move to the hills. I'll suck it up, honor the office, hope for the best (especially on foreign policy) and get on with my life. I'll be quick to point out his mistakes, which will be numerous, but I'll acknowledge his successes.
Hey, it's more respect than the left ever offered Bush, before, during, and no doubt after his administration.
Get out there and vote, and God Bless America.
graphic hat tip to And Rightly So!