Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where have all the statesmen gone?

Shut up. Just shut the **** up.

Don’t waste my time with any more negative campaigning. I’m sick of it. No more personal attacks. We don’t have time to waste on who did what with whom in the past (McCain/Keating or Obama/Ayers). Stop the swiftboating. Who cares?

We have an escalating worldwide financial crisis that will consume the next president. We are fighting two wars. Our jobless rate is at warp speed. Social Security and Medicare beg for a fix as Boomers start to line up. Plus health care, education.

National debt is in the trillions. Our government is at the abyss of socialization.

And the best you can come up with is Keating? Ayers?

Give us a plan. Not a press release.

How long have we been subjected to attack ads? Twenty years? Thirty years? Forever? Going negative only feeds the polarization. Dirty politics begets dirty government. And the bastard offspring are dangerous.

For the sake of the country, don’t vote against someone – vote FOR the candidate you genuinely believe can best lead us over the mountains.

Until further notice, choir practice has been canceled.


The South Plainsman said...

What do you do when there is nobody you can vote FOR?

Ken Martin said...

Well said, George. If only McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden would listen.

Ira Kennedy said...

Lets start by looking at one simple fact: McCain sends out "Pretty Woman" Palin to drag Obama into a mud wrestling fight. Can't trash her, she's a woman.

Obama's relationship with Ayers is a non-starter that only gains traction with slimy innuendo. McCain's involvement with Keating is well documented.

None of this is relevant to the election but if Obama doesn't come back with something, like the Keating scandal, and instead defends himself on the Ayers silliness he looks defensive and the attack begins to have the desired result. I think it's clear to most folks that if McCain would stop the baseless attacks Obama would cease as well.

BTW, I thought "swiftboating" was all about making unfounded charges verging on slander.

Anyway, don't we know Obama's and McCains positions on the economy? I think we will all be relieved when this endless election is over.

Jeff Hebert said...

Archaeologists in France recently uncovered the oldest Neanderthal cave paintings yet found. It was a stick-figure man with the words "Thag suck" scrawled over it, thus definitively putting the date of the first smear campaign at roughly 20,000 BC.

The South Plainsman said...

Candidates do these things because they sell.

I lost an election many years ago because I refused to do it.

I would still refuse to do it.

Of the Keating Five, McCain and John Glenn wee cleared. The Democratic committee counsel recommended before the hearings that both be excluded. The committee refused because McCain was the only Republican who took campaign money from Keating, and they didn't want to make it look like it was all Democrats. They kept poor old John Glenn to make sure they were being "evenhanded."

The other three were censored, and were defeated in subsequent elections or did not run.

Ayers is a unrepentant terrorist who participated in acts of violence many years ago. The ties Obama has with him only give insight into what kind of people he has associated with.

What is more telling is what policies Obama pursued while working with Ayers on the Annenberg Project and the Woods Foundation projects. It is the policy issues that should be pursued, not the guilt by association.

Would the public be able to see the difference?

Jeff Hebert said...

SP, I guess my only question on the Keating thing would be, if there's no "there" there, why did McCain apologize and say it was the biggest mistake of his life?

But putting all that aside, I agree that policies are more important than who hung out with whom. I do think it's legitimate to look at who a candidate has surrounded himself with in terms of advisers. It's perfectly legitimate to ask what influence a Phil Gramm, for instance, would have on a McCain presidency because Gramm actually serves on the campaign now.

Looking at the Keating thing doesn't do much for me, because it was so long ago. But at least it's relevant in a way, because it ties into regulation of the financial markets and has a parallel to current events.

The Ayers thing just confuses me. I don't have any clue what people around when I was eight years old were doing.

I think in both cases, the current American public couldn't care less, because they have a memory span of about ten days. If that. The reaction you're going to get is "Keating who?" and "Ayers who?".

But of course that's not what this is about. A smear isn't about facts, it's about unspoken prejudices that you can't just come right out and say.

So McCain is trying to say without saying it that Obama is a Muslim terrorist who wants to blow up white kids.

Obama is trying to say without saying it that McCain is a bought-and-paid for corporate whore who never met a principle he wouldn't abandon for a buck.

Both are ugly, and unfortunately both are perfectly normal in politics. Mud's always been around, and always will be, because people like it. They like it in the same way they rubber-neck at a wreck while tsk-tsk-ing it, or love talking bad about how slutty the new neighbor is, or patting themselves on the back for being such a good person while they cheat on their spouse.

Politics just reflects who we are, and sometimes, frankly, what we see in the mirror is downright shameful.

Ira Kennedy said...

SP, "The ties Obama has with him [Ayers] only give insight into what kind of people he has associated with."

And the same could be said about McCain & Keating, but like you later stated it's not about guilt by association...

"What is more telling is what policies Obama pursued while working with Ayers on the Annenberg Project and the Woods Foundation projects."

So, what about the policies that McCain and Keating pursued?

What I know of the Annenberg Project and Woods Foundation is about their committment to community service and education.

What I know of Keating is that he put taxpayers on the hook for $3.4 billion and more than 20,000 Americans lost their savings.

I think there is a difference.

sph said...

After sitting in the rain yesterday to help people register to vote and feeling so good about Democracy then today reading all the verbal "nasties" in the newspaper just makes me sad and very disappointed.

Actually it is VERY sad and EXTREMELY disappointed. We sure don't need this....among friends, opponents, right or left. It's bad business.

The South Plainsman said...

It was not my intent to say that McCain did not take contributions from Keating, it I did intend to say he was cleared of wrongdoing. His apology was for even giving the appearance of an impropriety. If you look at his record since, he has been a persistent reformer. The same was true of John Glenn. It was the other three that were engaged in improper conduct.

Obama, of course, was not engaged in any terroristic conduct as well, and nobody should infer that he was or would approve of it.

What the focus should be on are the policies and programs each candidate has favored through the years.

I won't try to post what the Annenberg Project and the Woods Foundation projects were during Obama and Ayer's tenure, but I have read up on it, and suggest that everyone else do so.

It might show you what you could expect from Obama on education if he is elected.

One thing they did in passing out all that money was give it all to non-public schools. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

"The Ayers thing just confuses me. I don't have any clue what people around when I was eight years old were doing."

I wasn't around when FDR was president, but I was able to talk to folks who were and, gasp, I read a few books about it!

Obamamania--the power to cloud men's minds!

The South Plainsman said...

About the Ayers thing: just assume that it is not Obama and Ayers. Pretend it is about McCain being political allies with David Duke. What would that say about McCain?

Ira Kennedy said...

Without torturing logic too much, I would say Obama knew Ayers and McCain knew David Duke.

I get hung up on the "political allies" point. First you would have to assume that Obama and Ayers are "political" allies.

Folks may serve on the same board of directors and not be political allies. Then again they could be political allies even if they don't serve on the same board.

I am more concerned about what each of the candidates have done, and will do while holding public office.

The South Plainsman said...

Ira, give me a break. Ayers started the Anmnenberg Challenge and got Obama to chair it.

Obama's first political introduction to Chicago was hosted by Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dorhn. They introduced him to the "powers that be."

Obama would still be organizing get out the vote campaigns without Ayer's help and his connections. (That is an overstatement, I know, but you get the drift.)

Ira Kennedy said...


"Pretend it is about McCain being political allies with David Duke. What would that say about McCain?"

Okay, I give up. What would that say?

"Obama's first political introduction to Chicago was hosted by Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dorhn. They introduced him to the "powers that be."

Are you suggesting that Obama should have refused the political help from someone who also desired to improve the life those impoverished in Chicago?

sph said...

Is anybody on this BLOG the same person they were 20-40 years ago?

As "inexperienced youngsters" did anyone of us participate in less than diserable relationships and learn from it?

Ayers has redeemed himself. Keating went to jail.

Get over it and start to work on TODAY.

Both candidates are horribly disappointing and you posters on this BLOG are lowering my high expectations of you.

There, I feel better.....

Ira Kennedy said...

SPH, my fellings are hurt! the south plainsman and I are having one of those back and forth discussions that is, I reckon, still the hallmark of democracy.

You stand out in the rain registering people to vote and then you write, "Both candidates are horribly disappointing and you posters on this BLOG are lowering my high expectations of you."

So, where do you get your enthusiasm to register folks; and should we here shut up? What would you have to read?

I'm beginning to like SP more and more. He's better than a cup of coffee. He challenges my thought process. Is that awful?

Jeff Hebert said...

So McCain's involved with a convicted criminal who cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in an arena McCain himself was directly responsible for overseeing, but since the apology was just "political convenience" it doesn't count.

Obama, meanwhile, serves on a board with a guy on a project to help kids read and survive in the impoverished ghettos where he worked. Neither of them had any political power, neither of them did anything illegal in the entire association, and they made the lives of poor Black kids better. But that doesn't matter because when Obama was eight years old, Ayers was a son of a bitch.

Meanwhile, all these years later McCain STILL surrounds himself with paid lobbyists for an industry which is costing taxpayers billions, as a result at least in part due to legislation his chief adviser Phil Gramm wrote and which McCain championed.

Obama, on the other hand, has also continued helping the disadvantaged get a leg up, still challenges the wealthy and powerful, and still involves himself in projects that are of direct benefit to his constituents and the nation as a whole.

The problem isn't that each man has had questionable relationships in the past, the problem is that John McCain said he regretted what he did while he kept on doing it right up until today.

Obama served on a board with a scumbag to make poor kids' lives better. John McCain partied on a rich scumbag's yacht to make himself and all his friends even richer.

Jeff Hebert said...

Last post I'll make on this, because we're engaging in the very thing George wrote his post asking people to stop doing. But, I wanted to paste in this quote from libertarian Radley Balko (as quoted by Ed Brayton) about the current state of the Republican Party, because I think the current effort of the McCain campaign to turn this from a debate about the economy and the war to who hung out with whom twenty years ago is a great example of what he's talking about.

This growing anti-intellectualism on the right is alarming. It isn't that Palin is dumb. I don't think she is. It's that she has no interest in learning, no interest in reading or experiencing anything that might challenge what she already knows she believes. She thinks with her gut, as Steven Colbert might put it. She's a female W. And they seem to love her for it. The GOP has gone populist. Knowledge, worldliness, and learning are to be shunned, swept aside as East Coast elitism. It's all about insularity, earthy values, and simpleness. Remember the beating John Kerry took in 2004 for daring to use the word "nuance?" There's no room for complexity on the right anymore. It's good and evil. Black and white. Us and them.

As Ed says, sadly the modern Republican Party, once home to bright intellectuals like William Safire and George Will, has become not just irrational but anti-rational.

I say this sincerely, not trying to be a butt-headed partisan -- the very best thing possible for the Republican Party is to lose this election in a huge, huge way. That will give them the freedom to kick out the worst of the worst and get back to representing true conservative values instead of the bread and circus faux populism and knee-jerk christianism for which they've sold the soul of their party.

sph said...

Oh Ira, I wouldn't miss a word of your posts and I, too appreciate the Plainsman greatly. He is the ONLY one of Obama's detractors I know that hang in there and keep trying to make sense. I lost the last Republican who would disagree amiably this morning. The exchange between you two has sent me searching for facts, that’s for sure.

I just agree with Phenix, this "he said, she said" gets nowhere and I would genuinely have more pride in my candidate if he could keep from retaliating but the BS is so thick I guess he has too. Palin is off the charts with falsehoods and McCain just sounds desperate, bless his heart as we say down here in the south.

Can’t wait to read all your posts after the debate tonight.

Ira Kennedy said...

Jeez, SPH, Now I'm liking you too, and yes this is a tough election and the desperation gets worse with each passing day. Tempers and patience are in short supply.

I reckon we will all be glad when it's over... whatever the result.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to post any more comments until I get a firm answer on why Mystery Lady hasn't begged for my poster above her bed!!!!Perhaps the illustrious Mr. Phenix can't stand the competition--Goose

George Phenix said...

We haven't room enough for a triptych.

Ellis Nadler said...

well said

sph said...

Would you hurry up with the debate post please I gotta go to the food bank.

triptych - I always thought it was a dinosaur, no offense Goose.

The things one learns from old farts.

Anonymous said...

What is a tryptich?

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