Monday, April 21, 2008

Watching politics on TV is like watching paint dry

Seeing as one of the bigger stories for tomorrow will be the Primary in Pennsylvania, I figured I’d speak my mind a bit about this and get this off my chest so that my head does not explode. I have no doubts that this will piss off some of my friends and close associates. I suggest doing something better with your time and not worry about it if you're going to be irritated with what I write. I'm just a simple business consultant with no actual political experience - aside from years and years of boring, frustrating, and tedious political discussions in college. I don't contend that the following is even a fraction of what I mean to say, as there are many threads that have been left unsaid, or only partially covered in this rant.

Not the Democrats's race to win, but the Democrats race to loose

Based on what you'd expect people's feelings would be towards the current administration, I'd say it's the Democrat's election to lose. If this is true, then why are the presumptive Republican candidate and Obama poling even on average? Why is he poling even or beating Clinton in most of the polls? Common sense says this should NOT be happening. If the assumption is that because people hate Bush – a severely mediocre president – they’ll turn against the Republican candidate, they should be beating McCain in a landslide.

The fact that the Democrats have voted in record shattering numbers this year is not some sort of untold story. The turnout has less to do with Republicans than with a growing rift within the Democrat party. If Clinton had been defeated back in January or early February there wouldn't be a huge turnout. Likewise if Obama had fizzled out during that same time period - the same thing would have happened.


Hillary has a great many skeletons in her closet. She’s manipulative. She’s dishonest at times. She will forever be unable to win any kudos from the “vast Right-wing conspiracy.” We know all this. She’s a career politician who will stop at nothing to get at the presidency. She will do this even if it means destroying the Democratic Party’s chances in 2008.

I think it's also pretty clear that a chunk of Dems will just sit at home (or less likely vote for McCain) if their chosen candidate ends up losing. Hillary wants it and if it takes 4 years of McCain for the possibility that she can do it again in 2012 - she'll take that chance. If she "steals" the nomination (which isn't accurate because that's the way the Democratic Party designed the current nomination process in the first place), a large portion of Obama supporters will just not bother showing up to the polls in November.

Call me a traitor to the “vast Right-wing conspiracy,” but Hillary would make a better president of the two Democratic candidates. If you want to know why, the answer is very simple.


To be honest I think Obama's popularity already peaked and will probably be mostly on the downswing most of the way to November. Unlike Hillary, his skeletons are just now starting to come out, and they’re a nasty, mangled bunch.

While I don’t believe he holds all the views that his friends, business associates, wife, and pastor who is also his mentor hold, it’s extremely disconcerting that he’s not more reluctant to disassociate himself from these actions and the hate filled speech that many of them have spouted. Call me bitter (or half-bitter since I don’t own any guns), but his is 37 minute speech on race was little more than a way to deflect criticism away from himself by downplaying the things his pastor said.

There are things that would have killed just about every single other person’s chances at the presidency. It is mostly because the far-left has clung onto this candidate and a bunch of his “moderate” supporters are too carried away with the notion that he’s a “different” kind of candidate.

I don't believe he's been properly vetted like the other candidates have been, and I absolutely don’t think he's as cool under fire as a presidential candidate should be. Whenever someone digs down a bit – like every other candidate has done to them – he or his supporters lose it. He’s "Politics 2.0", a different kind of candidate, a candidate who is apparently unable to take the heat. I guess some people are just shocked that he's not getting his free pass from criticism anymore and more importantly, he apparently is shocked that he’s not getting a free pass anymore. The realization that he's just as fake and manipulative as any other politician; that he's not "Politics 2.0", must be real disappointing for some people out there. Wait, who am I kidding?

Of course Obama isn’t divisive. Someone who wasn’t divisive would never suggest to waste valuable time immediately on being inaugurated to “investigate” Bush’s alleged crimes. Perhaps something said like that is just a platitude, something to get elected. It would probably strengthen this persons chance among the radical support that party may have, and it proves that their campaign was just built upon a bunch of phony-baloney talk about being a candidate that could rise above petty political squabbles and unite everyone together in peace and harmony and where the children would dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles. I’m not saying that something like this should be brushed away, but to use this as a cheap pandering trick to get some radical leftists to vote for you. President Ford is derided quite a lot about his pardon of President Nixon. What people fail to realize is that by doing this, it allowed the nation to move on and kept the country from ripping itself apart. Take a line from your own playbook and MOVEON. Get over it. Cure your BDS.

One of the most hilarious things I’ve heard in recent weeks was the banter from someone who claimed that Obama wasn't being critical of faith (or guns). He was apparently being critical of corporations for decimating Middle America, and of politicians - like McCain/Clinton - of allowing them to do so. I kid you not; this was directly from someone I overheard while out and about. Where was the leap in logic that led him to this conclusion? To me it sounded more like he saying that religion is just a crutch for people who are bitter. Make the people happy and they’ll drop their outdated dark-age mentality and become good little atheists.

Are "the corporations" to blame for them non-city folk being bigots as well? I mean, Obama sugarcoated it, but that's essentially what he said when he spoke: "antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment". People were more religious and had at as many if not more guns 25 years ago in most of these places - how does Obama explain that? Why would so many people stay in the same area for generations if they didn't have the jobs necessary to sustain the region? Are "the corporations" to blame for that as well?

Of course, I also hear about Barack’s position on the war. Obama was never in favor of a full scale pull out. Something like this should be a wakeup call to Obama followers - ones I know have been speaking of his immediate pullout of Iraq - and stressed that as a key factor in why they were supporting him. Obama’s campaign and advisers have already talked about leaving a 60,000+ strong 'strike force' in Iraq. Regardless of who's president, we'll have troops there until at least after the mid-term elections in 2010. Then again if he bombs our Pakistani allies - I suppose we'd need the troops there instead, so I guess we'll just have to see. He said he would go even if he did not receive Pakistani approval needed to attack within the country. By that very definition - it's attacking our allies.


A new strategy for partisans is to label McCain as a “third term” for Bush. Hardcore “neo-con” Republicans absolutely hate McCain. If you listen to the blowhard talk radio hosts, most of them glossed over Bush's part in the amnesty push saying they were "disappointed" with his viewpoint while simultaneously attacking McCain as a "liberal apologist." To this day McCain gets the majority of the blame for these matters - because they're uncomfortable with the way he honestly explains his viewpoints and doesn’t pander or grovel to them - something Bush doesn't do. Many of the people supporting Bush still don't realize that most of his policies are even more liberal than what Bill Clinton pushed through in his 8 years - and probably don't care how fiscally liberal he is as long as he keeps up the facade of his "social conservatism." The moderate part of the Republican Party likes McCain - and simultaneously dislikes most of what Bush has done. They don't like him, they don't support him, so quit making more lies up about it being some sort of "third term." Heck, even Obama has backpedaled on this exact point in the last week or so.

If anything the news that McCain will veto any and every bill with earmarks is a plus for me. Discouraging the use of earmarks is a good start to reforming the way that politicians run our government. If I recall correctly, earmarks and pork bloat are at an all time high. It's not a shock that the Congressional approval rating is around 20%.


It's nice to know there's at least two moderates left running in this election. One is center-left, one is center-right. These are the only two candidates that could honestly have any chance to bring "us" as a people together. Obama is quickly looking like the candidate who will not be able to do this. His viewpoints are turning out to be fringe-left, as he continually ostracizes the right and moderates across the country. He will be completely unable to deliver on his so-called promise to "bring us together."

Perhaps I’d be singing a different tune of Obama turned out to be the kind of candidate most everyone thought he was back in December – a candidate separated from the bitterness of race, questionable ties to shady businessmen, and honest about his involvement with special interest groups. He’s just another politician, and an inexperienced one at that. Since Obama is all but the de facto candidate, the choice is simple. I'll stick with the man who's capable of reaching across the aisle and bringing ourselves together despite our differences.

But in the end, we'll get whoever is elected. If it's the person I want in the white house, I'll be happy. If it isn't - someone else will be disappointed. One of the best aspects of this nation is that we actually have the ability to elect our government every 2, 4, or 6 years. It'll certainly be interesting - and that's putting it mildly.