Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

Exercising the Franchise

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I decided to go to the district polling station before it opened to-day, in the hope of avoiding a line. My thinking was that, while I would be waiting for it to open, I would spend less time in line, for a net savings. In the event, there was already a significant line when I got there, but the line grew dramatically behind me. I might have reälized more savings had I got there five or ten minutes still sooner. On the other hand, there may be times later to-day when the line is much shorter (yet before the polls close).

As per my previous declarations, I did not vote in the Presidential election. I remain persuaded that none of the candidates was adequate to hold so much power. I am convinced that the next President is going to prove a very great fool or a very great knave or quite likely both, and that the next two or more years are just going to be a rolling disaster.

I can feel the devil walking next to me

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

An interesting story has appeared on my radar:

McCain wrote on behalf of ex-trooper now awaiting trial in civil rights slaying by John Fleming of the Anniston Star
In the early 1990s, Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., wrote a letter to the State Department regarding James B. Fowler, who was at the time imprisoned in Thailand on narcotics charges.

In 1965, James Bonard Fowler was a corporal in the Alabama State Police. With a group of State Police officers, he pursued peaceful protestors into a café; Fowler began beating an old man. The victim's daughter tried to protect her father, so Fowler beat her. Her 26-year-old son, Jimmie Lee Jackson, tried to stop this, so Fowler gut shot him twice. Jackson died a couple of days later. Marches held in response to this murder were important events of the civil rights movement in the '60s.

I don't know how reliable the Anniston Star now is; it used to be a commercial newspaper, and it has the honor of having been an Alabama newspaper that argued against racial segregation during the civil rights era. But it is now apparently run by journalism students. The story at least seems legitimate.

Some years ago, Senator McCain wrote a letter in support of CAPCAT — a thoroughly bogus organization used by Griffith Simmons Sean Parlaman for self-promotion and as cover for his pædophilia — one of various acts that jointly persuade me that McCain is a d_mn'd fool.

In the earlier case, I don't think that we have further evidence that McCain is a fool (do we need more?), but it's interesting to find him again having written on behalf of a villain (in whom I happen to have a prior interest), and again with a Thailand connection (about which I had no idea prior to this story).

Blind in One Eye

Sunday, 5 October 2008

It bothers me that some of my friends have become so obsessed with the inadequacy of one of the two major party Presidential candidates that they seem to have quite lost sight of just how inadequate a President the other man can be expected to be.

There is no good choice on the ballot, and I expect greater national despair by the next mid-term elections. (We'll see whether, at the time of the next Presidential election, the other party, whichever it may be, offers a better candidate then, or decides that, in the context of their rivals' failure, they can push the envelope of opportunism, of lunacy, or of both.)

Mating Game

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The media is buzzing with the meme that Barack Obama has chosen or is on the cusp of choosing his Vice-Presidential running-mate.

I think that Obama has taken far longer than was in his interest to make this choice. Although it developed that there would be a second-choice advantage for the two major-party Presidential candidates in their selection of running-mates, each had to make a selection before or during their respective conventions, and the Democrats had already scheduled their convention before that of the Republicans. While there may have been some tiny hope that the McCain camp would toss-away the advantage, the principal effect of Obama's delay has been to allow Hillary Clinton to hold onto attention that would otherwise have gone to his choice of running mate (on the assumption that it were not her). And the Clintons plan to exploit the Convention as much as possible for their own aggrandizement, not-withstanding the costs to the Obama campaign in particular and to the Democratic Party more generally.

Hillary Clinton might be Obama's running-mate. Certainly, if he delays until the convention is under-way, the Clintons will do everything in their power to make it seem as if she has a sort of right to that spot. But Obama will look even more like Just Another Politician if he selects her. Perhaps the buzz about him nearing announcement of a running-mate comes from an awareness on the part of his camp that he needs to head-off the convention.

He has been encouraged to select a Yeehaw as a running-mate, the notion being that this would balance the ticket; I think that it would be a major mistake. A integral aspect of Obama's appeal is that he's not a Yeehaw.

Part of the reason that the Democrats have been comparing Obama to John F. Kennedy is that they want to look past the last three Democratic Presidents — Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon Johnson. There had been a sort of forced nostalgia for Bill Clinton, but once Obama came over the horizon, Democrats became more willing to look critically at Clinton and at his Presidency; Jimmy Carter was an even more incompetent than is the current President; and Johnson is largely remembered for the Viet-Nam War. Looking past those Presidents to Kennedy is looking past three Yeehaws (the most distant a Cowboy-Yeehaw) to a Yankee. It doesn't do much good to point-out that Kennedy chose a Yeehaw as his running-mate, 'cause that running-mate was Johnson, later one of the Democratic Presidents past whom these Democrats now want to look. And the highest profile Democrat Yeehaw under some consideration this time was John (Epic Fail) Edwards.

Meanwhile, for the last 14 or more years, the public faces of the Republicans have been largely Yeehaws — men such as Jesse Helms, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, and of course G.W. Bush. (Karl Rove is arguably a faux Yeehaw, but he manages to sound like one.) Democrats are alienated from these Yeehaws because they are Republicans, and Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are alienated from these figures because by a great many measures they have been very great failures. When Republicans look back, it is to Reagan, a man who liked to play the Cowboy, but who was raised in the Midwest and rose to importance in California.

As far as balancing the ticket goes, Obama isn't in a great spot. While many Yeehaws really themselves don't want a Yeehaw, they also don't want their nose rubbed in the political mess. Obama might do best to choose a Cowboy, as Yeehaws tend to blur the distinction (hence, for example, the conflation of American country music with that of the Old West), though the rest of the country doesn't place Montana or Arizona in the South.

McCain, who has long positioned himself as a Cowboy, can more easily balance his ticket. Regionally, he can choose a Yankee or a Yankee-Midwesterner. He probably shouldn't choose a plain-vanilla Midwesterner, as then his ticket will be mocked as white-bread.

Post-War Presidential Elections

Tuesday, 5 August 2008
1980ReaganFaux-Cowboy Midwesterner-CalifornianCarterYeehaw
1984ReaganFaux-Cowboy Midwesterner-CalifornianMondaleYankee-Midwesterner
1988Bush, GHWWannabe-Cowboy-Yeehaw YankeeDukakisYankee
1992ClintonYeehawBush, GHWWannabe-Cowboy-Yeehaw Yankee
2000Bush, GWCowboy-YeehawGoreFaux-Yankee Yeehaw
2004Bush, GWCowboy-YeehawKerryYankee

McCain has chosen to be a Cowboy, and Obama a Yankee-Midwesterner, though neither of them seems to have been raised thus. Nancy Pelosi is pressing Obama to accept a Cowboy-Yeehaw as running-mate.


Sunday, 24 February 2008

I can offer a few theories as to why Ralph Nader has announced that he will once again run for President.

The first, and that to which I subscribe, is that he takes some sort of perverse pleasure in functioning as a spoiler. Whatever were his intentions in 2000, he was a spoiler for Gore, which resulted in the election of George Walker Bush. Nader had less of a chance to spoil things for the Democrats in 2004, and certainly less of a chance to move the Democratic Party to the political left, but he could and did spoil things for the Green Party, destroying them by running against their candidate. In 2008, Nader doesn't have a good chance of spoiling things for the Democratic nominee, but it's better than were his chances in 2004; McCain is not as loathed by the left as was Bush.

An alternate theory would be that Nader is trying to give Obama some center cred, on the presumption that Obama will indeed be the nominee. Seeking first the nomination of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton and Obama have each positioned themselves significantly to the left of where the last successful Democratic Presidential nominee, William Jefferson Clinton, did when he was running. McCain is a war-hawk, and a conservative on some issues, but he is a centrist or even to the left of center on other issues. To win the election, the Democratic nominee will have to seem more centrist than presently does Obama or Hillary Clinton. On top of some rhetorical restyling by the candidate, it could help if Nader provided apparent contrast.

Of course, Nader is more likely to function as a spoiler if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, because she has at times been a war-hawk, and there is less expectation that she would withdraw troops aggressively from Iraq than that Obama would do this. So it is possible that Nader has announced when he has in order to further weaken the Clinton campaign. In that case, we have Nader acting as a spoiler of some sort for Clinton (and possibly for the Democratic Party), and positioning himself to make Obama look more centrist should he gain the nomination.