Before Clinton Voters Vow to Switch to McCain, Consider…

May 19, 2008 · Posted in Election 2008 · Comments Off 
  • The possibility of a Supreme Court appointment that guarantees an overturn of Roe v. Wade
  • Privatized Social Security, which will hurt working women more than men, since women tend to undercontribute to 401(k) plans
  • A serious deficit in the area of economics. By his own admission, he is not as informed about economic policy as he is about military and security policy. Given that, he is spouting the GOP talking points without regard to any grounding in reality.
  • An attitude toward women that dates back to pre-feminism days. He has no compunction about bullying women in order to dodge their concerns. If you don’t believe me, listen to his response to Erin Kotecki Vest when she asked a reasonable question during his open conference call. And as much as I utterly despise Michelle Malkin, she’s not the only blogger who has been hostile to McCain, but she is the only blogger on his side of the aisle that’s been excluded from blogger conference calls.
  • A complete lack of moral compass in exchange for the realization of ambition. The thing about McCain that has been most shocking to me personally is how he has turned his back on issues he was always solid about and instead embraced the Republican party line, even if it is worth less than a bag of dog food aging on the shelf.

I totally understand how Clinton voters feel, because every time I hear her claim she’s won the popular vote, can attract working white voters, calls the dog whistle for racism, and chooses to ignore caucus states, I feel the same thing. When I discovered that the madrassa story could be traced directly back to her campaign, when her campaign released the photo of Obama that had been in the public for 2 years prior of him in African garb, reinforcing ignorance, when she squandered an opportunity to categorically clear the record with regard to Obama’s religion, when she pushed Reverend Wright, when she pushed Ayers at the press, when she danced around after winning those “swing states” as if there hadn’t been a clear effort to feed into people’s dark fears that a black guy might be dangerous, yes. I get it. I totally know how they feel.

When that happens, I start chanting. Supreme Court. Social Security. Iraq. Economy. Military-industrial complex. $4/gallon gas.

After awhile, I calm down. Clinton supporters, I hope you’ll start chanting too, because 4 more years of the nonsense we have now will surely ruin this country for us, for our children, and for their children at a minimum.

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Diplomacy or Death?

May 16, 2008 · Posted in Election 2008, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq · 1 Comment 
That’s the fundamental choice we all have in the general election. If anyone still believes that John McCain’s inner hawk isn’t dangerous, his statements today should remove all doubt.

I. George W. Bush equates diplomacy and appeasement in a cheap effort to smear Barack Obama abroad.

Of course, diplomacy is not the same as appeasement at all, no matter how hard the gaseous and despicable George W. Bush may twist it. Literacy matters. Bush must have been the child left behind. Here are some definitions, for clarity’s sake:

diplomacy: n.The art or practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements.
appeasement: n.The policy of granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace.

The distinction in that last definition is worth highlighting. In order for there to be appeasement, there must first be peace. Appeasement is the act of offering concessions to maintain peace.

Diplomacy, on the other hand, has no such restriction. Diplomacy is the art of intercession and negotiation. It can be a trade agreement or a peace agreement. It is not conditioned upon military victory, economic performance, or anything other than two parties coming together to negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Joe Lieberman, George W. Bush, and John McCain forgot to check their dictionaries before going off half-cocked today. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Bush is illiterate, but it’s a pity that it has infected Senators McCain and Lieberman with an infection as rapid as the rise of the SARS virus.

II. What they said:

George W. Bush

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

McCain takes it one step further:

“Yes, there have been appeasers in the past, and the president is exactly right, and one of them is Neville Chamberlain,’’ Mr. McCain told reporters on his campaign bus after a speech in Columbus, Ohio. “I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.’

(Note to John McCain: The hostage release was not anything that Reagan did or didn’t do. The hostages were released about an hour after Reagan’s inauguration, and was timed to humilate Carter, mostly because Carter would not engage in any form of discussion with them, choosing instead to launch a failed rescue operation and then ignore them.)

Finally, the pile-on by Joe “hawk-boy” Lieberman:

President Bush got it exactly right today when he warned about the threat of Iran and its terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is imperative that we reject the flawed and naïve thinking that denies or dismisses the words of extremists and terrorists when they shout “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and that holds that — if only we were to sit down and negotiate with these killers — they would cease to threaten us.

Because somehow, words become terrorism and war and diplomacy is appeasement.

III. John McCain was for diplomacy before he was against it.

Two years ago, when interviewed by James P Rubin, Senator McCain said this:

I asked: “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?”

McCain answered: “They’re [Hamas] the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it’s a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.

During a follow-up conference call with bloggers, he added the following embellishment:

In a reference to Obama’s declared willingness to meet with the leader of Iran, McCain said:

“I think [it] is an unacceptable position, and shows that Senator Obama does not have the knowledge, the experience, the background to make the kind of judgments that are necessary to preserve this nation’s security.”

Yet, I could find no references to McCain’s objection to Iran President Ahmadinejad’s visit to the US last year, nor any objection to Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University during that same visit. Not one press release. Not one public speech. Nothing. Was that visit not “talking”? Why isn’t Columbia held to the same standard?

Those are rhetorical questions, of course. The fact is that there was no political capital to be gained by giving attention to it. President Bush and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain are for democracy until they’re against it. In other words, they’re for democracy as long as the elected party is one they agree with. The Palestinians elected their government, which includes Hamas. It’s democratic, like it or not. The Iranians elected Ahmadinejad in a democratic election, like it or not. John McCain and George Bush do not get to pick and choose the democracies they like. Well, maybe they do, but it exposes the sock puppet argument about the conflict in Iraq being about making Iraq into a democracy. They’ll be for Iraq as long as they agree with the leadership, just like they were for Pakistan until the recent elections put people they don’t like into power.

The fundamental conflict here is not about appeasement. It is about how Republicans pervert ideas like diplomacy into appeasement. It’s about how they make democratic processes into wars.

Refresh your palate with a bit of Joe Biden, straight out of a Senate session and outraged at Bush’s illiteracy:

“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset … and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”

and this:

Biden noted that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have both suggested that the United States ought to find a way to talk more with its enemies.

“If he thinks this is appeasement, is he going to come back and fire his own cabinet?” Biden asked. “Is he going to fire Condi Rice?”

As a final thought point, consider John McCain’s surrogate Joe Lieberman’s statement yesterday with regard to his feelings on bombing Iran:

BENNETT: Listen, I give her credit. She has found her…three things. She’s found her voice. He is very much in the background now, it’s not this, you know, ventriloquial thing, it’s definitely her voice.

LIEBERMAN: That’s true.

BENNETT: And Joe, you know, this is my style. This is a girl who puts on her pearls, goes down, throws down a shot of liquor and bombs Iran, you know. This is…lookout Mrs. Bennett, this is my kind of girl.

LIEBERMAN: Hehehe, it does have an appeal to it.

Diplomacy = Progress toward peace. Why doesn’t John McCain want peace?

Food for thought.

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Blake Fleetwood: Who’s Tough Like Bush?

May 5, 2008 · Posted in Election 2008 · Comments Off 

Haven’t we had enough of tough? Isn’t it rough, tough and swagger that got us into Iraq in the first place? Isn’t it true that if Bush had used a few brain cells (assuming he has them) before letting that “tough” thing take over, we might have 4,000+ young men and women alive and with their families today?

Well, Blake Fleetwood (a Clinton surrogate) thinks the REAL question for voters tomorrow is whether Obama is ‘tough enough’.

“Clinton has been campaigning as the “fighter” and the tough candidate who can get things done – and most voters agree. Seven in 10 think both she and McCain are tough enough to make the right decisions a President has to make. A smaller number — but still a majority — says this about Obama.”

Voters, tough is not what we need. Tough is for bullies. We don’t need bullies.

Different is what we need.

This poll is nothing more than lies, damn lies, and statistics, or put another way, politics as usual. Of course, if voters really think ‘tough’ is what we need, then my response to their whining in another couple of years when they have what they asked for is…

…Tough. Accompanied by my third finger for being stupid. Again. Evidently our children isn’t learning.

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To Omid Memarian – Yes, We Can

May 2, 2008 · Posted in Barack Obama, Election 2008, Foreign Policy · Comments Off 

Omid Memarian is a blogger in Iran, who is writing extensively about the presidential election campaign in English and Farsi. He confirms some facts that I know from my own Iranian friends, but many do not.

He first confirms that Iranians love the US. It’s true, they do. Like many Americans, many Iranians believe that the current hostilities between our countries is the result of flawed leaders, not flawed people.

I’ve grown up with two myths about the United States: Ayatollah Khomeini’s depiction of the U.S. as “Great Satan” on one hand, and the idea of the American dream on the other. Many Iranians prefer to choose the second option. So I write about the myths of America and the real America. The Islamic government spends lots of money to create a dark, evil picture of the U.S. —the same picture that the Bush administration creates of Iran.

This is the evil of what the Bush administration is doing and what has been magnified by Hillary Clinton’s promise to “obliterate” Iran in the debate disaster.

But look at what he has to say about how Iranians regard Barack Obama:

Many Iranians are obsessed with Barack Obama. If he goes to Iran, I’m sure he could fill Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, which has a capacity of 100,000. To a large extent this is because of the nature of Obama’s message about change and hope. Iranian people truly want to change their situation, get rid of decades of marginalization and restore their reputation in the world. They feel connected to his message of change. They are tired of living under the threat of economic sanctions and military attacks. Obama’s remark about initiating a dialogue with Iran translated for many Iranians into hopes of normalizing the relationship between the countries and Iran rejoining the international community. For many Iranian women struggling for women’s rights, Hillary is incredibly inspiring.

This echoes what I hear from others in other countries. We have a real need of our own to rejoin the international community and abandon the cynical, greedy and reckless dealings of the Bush administration with foreign governments.

Keep in mind, Iran has not attacked our country. Iranians are part of an ancient and respected culture. The Iranians I know are hard-working and successful. If there is a lesson to be learned from Memarian’s blog, it is for us not to confuse the Iranian government with the Iranian people. (It would have been good for us to do that with Iraq and Afghanistan, too, but unfortunately Cowboy George was too stupid to understand that.)

Memarian is right. Hillary Clinton should apologize for what she said. Their complaint with the UN nails it. Her remarks were provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible. I would add the descriptors impulsive and inflammatory to that list of adjectives.

Iran shouldn’t be viewed through the lens of their corrupt leaders, any more than this country should. The difference is that we have an opportunity to clear out the corruption and rebuild our reputation. Iran is still struggling, and threatening them does not seem to be a reasonable way to conduct ourselves.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

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MOMocrats ask REAL debate questions; Obama answers

April 30, 2008 · Posted in Barack Obama, Election 2008 · Comments Off 

After the ridiculous debate on ABC, readers and writers over at MOMocrats alike were outraged. While countless prime-time minutes were spent on pins and pastors, we were robbed of an opportunity to learn about what Senators Clinton and Obama planned to do about global warming, torture, poverty, the credit crisis, food safety, relations with China, health care, child care costs, the rising cost of fuel, and education funding.

As a mom, I know how frustrating it is to see something important trivialized and set by the wayside in favor of fluff, non-issues and stupid conflicts. My first instinct is to fix it, or go find the answers on how to fix it. The MOMocrats are no different. They took matters into their own hands, compiled a list of questions from readers and writers alike, and contacted the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

Barack Obama responded to the interview questions, and MOMocrats has posted the interview on their blog*. (Read the press releases here or here)

The significance of Senator Obama’s response to the MOMocrats’ inquiry shouldn’t go unnoticed. It puts legs to the words he speaks about building a movement from the ground up, instead of the top down. His willingness to address their questions seriously and in good faith (not to mention timely) shows an unprecedented commitment to transparency and two-way communication.

His choice to respond directly to a group of bloggers who are clearly influencers, but have been organized for only six months (though their writers have been blogging much longer than that) reinforces the strength of his commitment. If I were wearing a hat, it would be off to Senator Obama. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation for eight more years.

Long live the MOMocrats for taking the initiative and getting REAL answers to the questions we all care about.

*Note: as of this writing, there was a technical glitch with getting the interview posted, but it’s expected to be published within the next couple of hours. If it’s not there when you click, keep trying…they’re getting it posted as fast as they can.


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Miles from Nowhere

April 29, 2008 · Posted in Barack Obama, Election 2008 · Comments Off 

They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either.

Full text of Senator Obama’s remarks.

In my opinion, this ends the controversy. If anyone wants to re-ignite it, they should feel compelled to examine the sermons of Rod Parsley and John Hagee as well, remembering that those endorsements were courted. To be clear, an endorsement means that the endorser believes the endorsee most closely parallels the endorser’s goals and objectives.

You can sit in church for 20 years and disagree for 20 years. Trust me, I’ve done it. Or you can sell out and court the extremists, pandering to the worst underbelly of the self-righteous.

Or we can drop the whole thing and move on to what really matters, like hunger riots, escalation in the Persian Gulf, incoherent economic policies, stupid ideas like gas tax holidays, and taking back our government.

Bob Cesca has it right:

If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging President Bush as they have been about watchdogging Reverend Wright, it’s very likely we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq

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