Archive for August, 2008

McCain’s VP Pick

Posted in 2008 Election on August 27th, 2008

Sen. John McCain really needs to step up and announce his choice for Vice President and running mate. Politically speaking this is the absolutely best time to make the announcement, directly in the middle of the Democratic national Convention.

At least as important as when McCain should announce his running mate is who he should announce as being that person. The odds on bet seems to be Sen. Joe Lieberman (CN), but he seems a poor choice.

Personally I think McCain should choose Gov. Sarah Palin (AK) as is Vice President. From a purely political standpoint she could draw off more of the Clinton supporters and other women than any male candidate could.

That’s far from the whole of her appeal though. Gov. Palin would bring a lot to the campaign and to McCain’s Presidency:

  • She must know how to fight a campaign. She’s Alaska’s first female Governor and its youngest Governor.  She was elected by first defeating the incumbent Republican governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan Governor in the general election.
  • Palin would reinforce McCain’s stance against earmarks and pork-barrel spending. During her tenure as Governor she managed a successful push for an ethics bill, crippling pork-barrel projects supported by fellow Republicans.
  • She is strongly pro-life and belongs to Feminists for Life of America, the largest and most visible pro-life feminist organization in America. Palin and Feminists for Life of America believe in “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion — primarily lack of practical resources and support — through holistic, woman-centered solutions.” Gov. Palin recently gave birth to her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome.
  • Palin opposes same-sex marriage but used her very first veto as Governor of Alaska on legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to gay state employees and their partners. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples.
  • She is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and a life time member of the National Rifle Association.
  • Palin seems to have a balanced approached to US energy policy. She believes in increasing domestic oil and natural gas drilling, but in April 2007, she announced plans to create a new sub-cabinet, to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within Alaska. In 2003, as Ethics Commissioner on the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her political career by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that corruption.
  • She has gone into the war zone! In July, Palin went to Kuwait where she visited the Alaska Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, a unit that is made up of about 575 Alaska men and women.  Her eldest child and only son, Track Palin recently enlisted in the US Army and is expecting to be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Let’s face the truth. Sen. McCain is a crochety old man. Sarah Palin is young, beautiful, and reported to be both sharp and charming – a wonderfully dangerous combination. She holds similar views to McCain on a variety of issues, but approaches them in a more holistic manner except when swift authoritarian action is absolutely required. Can anyone think of a better choice for VP?

Related Reading:

Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party (Studies in Postwar American Political Development)
Presidential Elections 1789-2008 10th edition
236 Pounds of Class Vice President: A Memoir of Teenage Insecurity, Obesity, and Virginity
The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
The Vice President

Hillary’s DNC 08 Speech

Posted in 2008 Election on August 27th, 2008

On Tuesday night, the second night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Hillary Clinton stood up in front of the crowd of Democrats and delivered a speech. It has generally been hailed as a very good speech.

It was a concession speech!

Clinton never used the word  “concede,” but that is what the speech was all about – Hillary giving up the race and supporting Obama as the Democratic Nominee.

Now the Democrats will have to wait and see if Clinton can manage to sway her supporters. So far the response has been mixed, with some some Clinton supporters seeming willing to support Obama and others somehow seeing this as another example of mysogyny in America.

Any thoughts?

Related Reading:

The Democrats: A Critical History (Updated edition)
Educating for Critical Democratic Literacy: Integrating Social Studies and Literacy in the Elementary Classroom
The Politics Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
Red Pepper and Gorgeous George: Claude Pepper's Epic Defeat in the 1950 Democratic Primary (Florida Government and Politics)
Obama's Race: The 2008 Election and the Dream of a Post-Racial America (Chicago Studies in American Politics)

American Prayer?

Posted in 2008 Election, Religion on August 26th, 2008

A host of music and film personalities have joined their voices with former Eurythmics frontman Dave Stewart in a hymn like Barack Obama for President video, entitled “American Prayer.

Alright, does anyone else find this video deeply disturbing due to its cult like qualities? It’s like they see him as The Messiah, The Savior, The One.

The lyrics are even more disturbing when read.

This is my American Prayer
This is my American Prayer

This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see

American Prayer
American Prayer

And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you’re gonna land

American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my
Couldn’t get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the lights brighter

And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can’t see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they’re yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

I find it both telling and disturbing that the creators of video do not seem to see Obama as leading America to some Promised Land as much as they seem to look forward to his transcendence or Ascension.

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

There’s not a lot of the hope that Obama is selling in that last verse. Those are the words of followers who feel unworthy of salvation. They are the words of worshipers who hope that Obama, their Savior will ascend into his reign and look down upon them in blessing and give them a bare glimpse of His kingdom.

Again I must ask does anyone else find this disturbing?

Related Reading:

The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election
President Obama Election 2008: A Collection of Newspaper Front Pages Selected by the Poynter Institute
Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace
Cult Child