I think it makes yet another excellent argument against voting for McCain. Please read and think about it, not read and attack someone for a well thought out argument because it doesn’t mesh with your opinions.
Okay, here we are just three days away from the Presidential election. People of strong values on both sides are throwing a lot of mud around. I feel it’s only fair that I chime in with a few facts instead of propaganda. These will be counter points to McCain related points. I know some of you don’t agree with me, but I did the courtesy of reading your posts (more than once in some instances). Reciprocation is all I ask.
First off let me say that John McCain does have some admirable qualities, I will not deny him that. I like the fact that he has never accepted “pork barrel” money. And respect I his service to his country and his time as a POW.
Truth be told, I wish John McCain was the Republican nominee for the 2000 election. I believe that had he been the President during these past 8 years that we never would have initiated the Iraq war. We would have pulled Bin Laden kicking and screaming from his Afghanistan caves, and prosecuted him to the fullest extent of the law. We needed John’s leadership before 9/11, now it’s more complicated. Two wars and a financial disaster later, John McCain is no longer the answer.
The Iraq War was born out of the Bush Doctrine (something Sarah Palin wasn’t briefed on either before or after her nomination). The Bush Doctrine states that we have the right to engage forces where there is a perceived threat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_doctrine). That’s like me punching my neighbor in the face today because 4 days from now I “think” he’s going to let his dog crap on my lawn. Sounds pretty stupid when you think about it. We are not talking about more certain threats like North Korea or Iran who we know have nuclear weapons programs and whom would supply terrorists with those weapons. We are talking about a war based on the presumption of weapons of mass destruction. A war initiated with no real evidence to support itself. By going into Iraq we have destabilized the region to the point that it cannot fend off hostile forces. We have wasted trillions on this endeavor. And the greatest toll has been in lives. More Americans have now been killed in Iraq than were killed on 9/11. More than 100,000 Iraq’s have been killed, many are non-combatants. In the realm of politics those people are called “collateral damage.” Now imagine your country being invaded under false pretenses, and someone you love was killed by that invading force. Now imagine that loved one’s death being referred to as collateral damage. Upsetting isn’t it? This is the Bush Doctrine in practice, a doctrine that John McCain subscribes to. The republicans keep calling this national defense, but a more accurate term would be national offense. Frankly, attacking someone without provocation doesn’t seem that different from a terrorist act to me.
Let’s move onto domestic policy.
Tax cuts and “socialism”. The bailout, which went through last month, is effectively socialism. Our government took the problems of a handful of companies who made poor decisions and dumped those problems on the masses without giving them any say in the matter. Spreading a problem over a nation is no different than “spreading the wealth.” And what’s worse is that John McCain “postponed” his campaign to help spearhead this “socialist” bailout. Then the last person who could have stopped this act of socialism (George W. Bush) signed off on the deal. So it’s interesting that the republicans like to refer to Obama’s tax policies as “socialist,” when it would seem that socialism is a good thing if it serves their means. Do I also have to mention that Bush’s economic policies (which McCain agreed with) helped bring about these problems (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkAtUq0OJ68)?
Obama’s tax proposals amount to an additional 3% to those making more than $250,000. If your are making a quarter of a million dollars a year and can’t afford 3% more in taxes then you’ve got a real problem. If we were making $250,000 a year we could easily pay a 50% tax and still be netting 2.5 times our current gross. So it’s hard for me to be sympathetic to those who will have to pay 3% more. Frankly I’d like to think that someone making that kind of scratch isn’t spending every dime they earn. As for the rest of us, I really don’t care if I get a tax cut. Obama’s plan might be overreaching (in lieu of the 700 billion dollar bailout and the 10 Trillion dollar debt the Bush admin left us with). But he’s not going to have that realization till he gets into office, not unlike a certain other (read my lips) Bush. McCain’s tax plans are the polar opposite, he intends to reward already wealthy people. Both ideas could be called “socialist”. Where Obama would help the middle class and add 3% to the rich, McCain’s plan helps those who have money get more, and does nothing for middle class. While offering the (implied) assurance that rich Americans will use that money to build America. That’s a broad assumption, and a rather unfair one considering the wealthy tend to worry about themselves before anyone else. Poor people are notorious spenders, that’s why they’re poor. Cutting their taxes guarantees the money will go back into the economy.
No doubt McCain’s interests are protected in his plan. It warrants mention that his wife only paid 26.3% in federal taxes for 2007 (http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE49G7DM20081018 ). Which based upon the 2007 Federal Tax Rate Schedules (http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=164272,00.html ) she effectively paid only 1.3% more in taxes than we did. Under the 2007 tax rate schedule she should have paid 35%. So it would seem the rich are already getting a pretty sweet deal. Maybe the McCain’s have to watch every penny. After all, they do own 7 houses, 13 cars, and a corporate jet. But isn’t it also interesting the number of wealthy people who are actually pro-Obama. Billionaire Warren Buffett, Oprah, and dozens of well off reporters from the “liberal” media come to mind, but also the torrent of celebrities who are appearing in the bi-partisan “don’t vote” videos ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDRVKDcXQo , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TGf2o4qeBo ). It would seem there are some wealthy people who don’t mind that pesky 3%.
With regard to taxes someone said Obama is trying to oppress freedom through taxation and implied that such oppression is a slippery slope, that “religion, guns, and free speech” would be next. What’s wrong with this? First off, the Federal Income Tax was originally instituted to pay for war and on Aug. 5th 1861 it became part of the revenue act of 1861. Though eventually repealed after the Civil War, it was later reinstated in 1894 as part of the Wilson-Gorman tariff, making it the first peacetime income tax. Income tax has pretty much been a staple ever since. My point is that the original reason of the Income Tax was to pay for War, a cause fought for Freedom. Seems kind of hypocritical to imply that Obama’s taxation oppress freedom when the Republicans started wars based on the premise of protecting freedom. Given the national debt having doubled during the Bush administration it’s clear they entered into the wars without any clear and defined means of paying for it. Taxation is the cost of Freedom! As for Obama’s goals leading to the oppression of the of the 1st and 2nd amendments… The concept is beyond stupidity. Amendments have been amended and added to the U.S. Constitution since it’s inception, but the core values of those Amendments have remained in tact. No single man has the ability to make the changes that the republicans are implying. All three branches of government must approve such changes. In order for that to happen, a majority must vote in favor. Indicating that more than 50% of the house and Senate approved such a modification, and then the President. To think that one corrupt man (even the president) has the authority to destroy the foundations of our government is ignorant at best. The (unrealistic) Republican fear is that with a democratic Congress, and a democratic President the odds of this happening are overwhelming, it’s just not true. Keep in mind that the first 6 years of the Bush administration the republicans were the dominant force in congress, and not a single democrat panicked under the minute possibility that they would undermine values we’ve held for 200+ years. The idea of it gets stupider the more you think about it. Someone tries to pass a bill to restrict speech or religion, that’s someone who’s out of a job, regardless of party affiliation.
John McCain has been rather outspoken about a progressive income tax while forgetting that a personal hero of his, Teddy Roosevelt, was a strong proponent of such a tax.
“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered, not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective, a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.” – Republican and former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt.
One more thing about socialism, every year Alaskan residents are given a stipend ($3,269 in 2007) from the oil companies for nothing more than being in Alaska. Imagine that? A whole state, “spreading the wealth”. Does that make Sarah Palin a socialist? (http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/10/28/joe-biden-should-have-told-the-truth-sarah-palin-is-a-marxist/)
Let’s talk about healthcare.
This is another one of those things that apparently makes Obama a socialist. When Michael Moore made Bowling for Columbine he got a quote from some Canadian kids who were skipping school. He asked why they should have healthcare provided by the state. To which a pink haired girl replied, “because everyone has a right to live.” It’s so basic and elegant. And it’s so ironic that the same Christians who drown on and on about the Pro-Life movement really don’t give a damn about their common man who can’t afford medical care. Maybe we should refer to the uninsured as REALLY late term abortions, and then maybe these people can see the error in their judgment. After all didn’t Jesus say, “That you do unto the least of my brothers is that you do unto me”?
McCain wants to give individuals a $2500 tax credit and families a $5000 tax credit so they can go buy their own policy. It sounds nice, but what if you have a good Catholic family with 6 kids? 5K isn’t going to cut it in the majority of cases.
Both healthcare plans are going to run at a deficit, and this isn’t a problem with a black and white solution. Assuming that either of the candidates gets into office and does as promised (reign in government spending), then either plan could be paid for. And if we can withdrawal from Iraq we can more easily afford these plans. As a common sense strategy we should do this, our goal should be the preservation of life. Both war and a deficient healthcare system cause death. And dead people can’t pay taxes. Does that make sense?
Added note: John McCain has never NOT had socialized healthcare in his adult life. As a veteran John has received government-assisted healthcare, and as a U.S. Senator he continues that care paid for by the American Taxpayers.
Obama’s views on abortion are not a departure from the current standard. He has made NO comments indicating a desired change in the current Roe v. Wade inspired laws. Someone misquoted Obama as having said, “I don’t want to see someone who has made a mistake punished with a child.” (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Stop_these_abortions_.html) It’s intentionally selective quotes like that which the republicans use to paint Obama as a monster. This is his actual quote “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old, I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information. “. Obama was taken out of context while trying to address sexual education in lieu of Abstinence programs which have a high rate of failure (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/13/AR2007041301003.html) . His position that knowledge of contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancy was twisted into an endorsement of casual abortions. If anything Obama wants less abortions, that’s why he wants sexual education programs. To those who get this stuff from only right wing sources, please consider the source and do additional research before assuming it’s 100% accurate. Google is an easy, wonderful and bi-partisan tool!
Joe the Plumber
Oh man, where do I start? How did this guy become an Everyman? A microcosm of Americans? I’m not so sure. You see Joe Wurzelbacher could have easily had his life ruined by John McCain. Up until John pulled poor Joe into the limelight no one knew he was an unlicensed plumber. Now the whole world knows it! Now call me crazy, but it’s been my understanding that having household maintenance done by unqualified contractor can open up a nasty can of worms, especially if problems arise after a property is sold. Take that into consideration and you can imagine that Joe’s plumbing days are over. Since McCain has destroyed Joe’s ability to continue to work as a trusted plumber he has helped his Everyman status by getting him a publicist, a book deal, and maybe a country western album, I shit you not!
(http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24581913-663,00.html , http://www.cmt.com/news/news-in-brief/1598224/joe-the-plumber-may-have-country-music-plans.jhtml) But maybe McCain should stop beating this dead horse because my ability to relate to “Joe the elitist author/singer” is eroding with each passing second. Not to mention that someone who already had tax problems probably isn’t the smartest person to dictate tax policy. That’s like asking an oil executive to dictate policy on alternative energy.
Someone said Obama was “embarrassed” by a question from an honest plumber and spent a week trashing the guy. I don’t know what clip they watched, but I saw Obama clearly tell the guy that his taxes would go up. He didn’t lie to him, but Joe did in fact poorly present himself. Obama didn’t spend a week trashing Joe, the media did that. It was all true, and it was easy, because Joe was a fraud. An unlicensed plumber, with a $1200 tax lien, making less than $100,000 a year, and about 0% chance to buy the business he was talking about. If anything Joe has a lot to gain from Obama’s tax proposals. Unfortunately for Joe, the Republican’s keep contesting and purging voters whose information doesn’t quite match up with the Voter register, and his information is skewed just enough that his “provisional” ballot could be worthless. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/uselectionroadtrip/2008/oct/17/uselections2008-ohio)
John McCain’s health
From a statistical standpoint, John McCain at 72 years old is more likely (speculatively 7 times more likely) to die of natural causes during his administration than Barack Obama (http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-mccain-lifespan-01-oct01,0,2007761.story) . This is particularly troubling for me because it leaves Sarah Palin at the helm of the world’s most powerful nation. And though she has more formal education (a degree in journalism) than John McCain, she has no foreign policy or economic policy experience. As an added note, John McCain would be the oldest person to ever get elected to the U.S. Presidency. With the runner up’s being Ronald Reagan at 69, and William Henry Harrison whom died 30 days after taking office at the age of 68.
“Willingness to abandon the people of Iraq”
As I said previously our entry into Iraq has destabilized that area so much that leaving now would leave the country open to attack from several outside influences. It’s a mess we got ourselves into, and it’s a mess not easily resolved. Obama is not now nor has he ever pushed for an immediate troop withdrawal. Even when McCain accused him of not approving legislation, which supported our troops, it was done because that legislation was missing a deadline for total troop withdrawal. We cannot just walk out of Iraq and act like nothing happened, but by the same token we need to make our exit. As much as McCain has been resistant to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfknKVjuyNk) the Iraqi government stated this week that is wants the U.S. out of Iraq by 2011. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article5032531.ece) So unfortunately regardless of the Republican’s desire to leave when their damn good and ready, they are being shown the door by someone who isn’t Obama. At that time the stability of the region will no longer be our responsibility because that is what the Iraqi people chose.
WOW! Really? Just sit back and soak that in.
Okay. The Office of the U.S. President is the highest leadership role in (probably) the whole world. It’s a role where we as citizens turn to for guidance during tough times. The last 8 years have been the worst 8 years since the Vietnam era. We have been looking to our president to lead us out of war, and recession. We look to our president to come to our aide when entire cities are laid waste by hurricanes and buildings toppled by terrorist piloted aircraft. What we got was a dud. When our president was told about the first 9/11 attack before he still made an appearance at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, he was told about the second attack while at the school. (http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayaninterestingday ) Our Commander and Chief Sat there like a dumbass for 7 minutes reading “The Pet Goat”, clearly not grasping the gravity of the situation or even choosing to act on it. Flash ahead to Hurricane Katrina. Bush waits 2 weeks to tour the damage. As of this day there are places in New Orleans that still look like a war zone. Bush was briefed on potential levee failures before Katrina, he did not ask a single question, or attempt to act. Iraq, a war based on lies. Osama Bin Laden, whom orchestrated the largest act of terrorism on U.S. soil, still AT LARGE! Bailout, direct result of banking deregulation spearheaded by Bush and the republican party, and a gateway to what’s shaping up to be the worse recession since World War II (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=456380&in_page_id=2&ct=5) .
Now McCain and his supporters are apt to point out that he is not President Bush. However, you can find him making several statements where he admits that he has voted with the president 90% of the time. What does that tell us? Well, it tells me that what the McCain camp calls a “Manufactured Messiah” is a better hope than one who has supported policies and actions which have doomed America in the eyes of the world. They need that name to try and belie the possibility that Obama might actually do something better than they can. Frankly the bar is so low now that it’s hard to imagine anyone capable of doing a worse job. I suppose when you look at it that way, McCain is still kind of a good thing.
Let’s talk about William Ayers
Bill Ayers was a war activist during the 60’s and 70’s whose actions by today’s standards would be prosecuted aggressively in line with the Patriot Act. His motivations are probably something that few my age could understand since that understanding can only come from living in and experiencing the political environment of that era. By the McCain camp’s definition Ayers is a Terrorist, plain and simple. His acts were certainly reprehensible. However, the McCain camp definition of Ayers is a lie. Ayers WAS a Terrorist who has since reformed and shown no ill intent for nearly 3 decades.
Why does Ayers matter? Because Barack Obama and William Ayers both served on the board of an anti-poverty group called Woods Fund of Chicago. And between 2000 and 2002 the two met 12 times in service to that board. The McCain campaign is trying to imply that these 12 instances have somehow groomed Obama to be a terrorist in the making. The idea that merely being among evil people somehow motivates good people to do equally evil things is as retarded as the idea that homosexuals can convert straight people. John McCain’s connecting Obama to Ayers is equally pathetic. They go on to misquote Ayers as saying “We didn’t do enough.” This is the same pathetic selective quoting they use against Obama with regard to Abortion. Ayers’ actually said, “The one thing I don’t regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being…. When I say, ‘We didn’t do enough,’ a lot of people rush to think, ‘That must mean, “We didn’t bomb enough shit.”‘ But that’s not the point at all. It’s not a tactical statement, it’s an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, ‘we’ means ‘everyone’.”
A new addition to the McCain camp’s arsenal. Khalidi is a professor at Columbia University who was a PLO supporter, apparently publicly lavished praise for Obama making it seem as though there is some clandestine connection between Barack Obama and an Anti-Semite. Problem is, the McCain campaign wants to link Obama straight to the PLO and skip Rashid Khalidi all together. Why is that? Because in the 90’s a group that John McCain led (the International Republican Institute) gave Khalidi nearly half a million dollars. It seems as though the guilt by association game is catching up with McCain. How’s it go? People in glass houses….. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/mccain-funded-work-of-pal_n_138606.html) And would you believe there’s an Ayers connection in there too? (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27461933/)
Look what I’ve done here. I not only gave you my opinions, I gave you non-partisan resources to back up those opinions. Not a single resource comes directly from the Obama camp. Why? Because there is enough empirical evidence to prove Obama’s integrity, sincerity, and humanity without resorting to the hate and fear mongering which has been popularized by the McCain camp.
We have made several campaign contributions to Barack Obama. He is our choice! And barring a verifiable genetic link to Osama Bin Laden, our vote will not change.