Friday, October 10, 2008

Can You Trust Your Candidate?

Did you know there's a candidate who has close ties to domestic radicals supported by terrorist countries, who will impose their wingnut views on the rest of us if we let them get into power?

Yep, that's a link to the "GAME-CHANGER!!!!" . . . . only this time, for Sarah Palin. From Salon. For the ones about Obama, go to any MSM article on "Ayers" and keep clicking. (I can almost guarantee that at least one comment will have the GAME-CHANGER!!!! quote.)

I figured this one was coming as soon as I saw that Republicans had designated Sarah to do the hinting that Obama is a terrorist, though in fairness I'd predicted it would be more focused on Pentacostal weirdness to counteract the Obama/Wright charge, and had totally spaced the Todd Palin/secessionist tie, which is much more juicy. Cosmic justice, I'm sure, but still far-fetched.

Yep, it's mud-slinging time. Yesterday I saw a Rolling Stone in-depth article on McCain that pretty much made him out to be a drunken frat boy riding his family's coat-tails to power, a la Bush.

(Side note: Again, poor Joe Biden is left out. What, nobody has mud left for him?)

Let me summarize it for you: That candidate you think you're voting for? You don't really know them, do you? I mean, they tell you that they're going to do this and that, but how do you know they're not lying? How do you know you're not really electing the next Hitler/Stalin/Bin Laden and they'll take that power to Change Our Country into some Nazi/Communist/Terrorist regime in which your children will be forced to carry a gun to school/wear little red kerchiefs while serving the state/recite the Koran three times before breakfast? We're a heartbeat away from total anarchy! And of course, the media is totally in the tank for the (insert party of candidate being smeared here), so they'll never tell you this stuff. (Which is, of course, why it's all over the MSM.)

This stuff is like the enhance-your-penis spam, spreading annoyingly throughout the 'net because someone, somewhere, is convinced that if they just smack it in front of you enough times you might just start to believe that there really is something to it. Good Lord, what is it about politics that has normally rational, sane people listening to conspiracy theorists - and major publications printing these rumors like they're hard news? And while most people ignore them when it comes to their own candidate, why is it so seemingly seductive to agree with the conspiracy theories that taint the other side? Admit it, you probably had a moment of "But that one's true!" when you flit past the allegations against the 'bad guys,' whoever your own personal bad guys are. You noted the kernel of truth (there's always one) that the whole theory is based on and said "see - how do we really know?)


McCain does have a temper. He doesn't always make the best choices. But he kept his temper during the debates, and I believe he wouldn't go running around crashing airforce one and screaming at other national leaders. Please. Obama was on the board with Ayers and did some educational projects with him. But he's not secretly planning to overthrow society in a domestic terrorist plot. Sarah Palin does attend a rather whacked-out church and her husband was one of those secede-from-the-union types in the past. But she's not going to force us all to speak in tongues or carve the US up into 50 separate states. I still think she's pretty clueless, but she's not the top of the ticket, is she?

The lying thing? Well, let's just say, they're all less than truthful. Check out Politifact for the current score.

Bottom line: McCain's and Obama's ideas are fairly well set out, though you sometimes have to hunt for them. Figure out which you like, and presume that you'll get agitation from them in favor of the ideas - please recall that Presidents can't actually pass legislation, just sign it. You may get some other surprises along the way: I'm pretty sure that before 9/11 there was more concern about Bush's economic policies than military ones. Just remember the rules:
  1. Obama is not the most experienced candidate the democrats could have fielded.
  2. Palin has even less experience than he does.
  3. Experience is not the issue. Competence is.
  4. McCain's POW status is irrelevant to his performance as president.
  5. Incidentally, so is Palin's ability to shoot a moose and Obama's ability to make a three-point shot.
  6. All the candidates have kids. Get over it. PS - nobody really gives a shit.
  7. Anyone who votes for or against a candidate based solely on that candidate's race or gender is an idiot.
  8. Likewise anyone who votes against the issues/solutions they believe in to send some sort of message. Cut nose, spite face.
  9. The President cannot pass laws, only Congress can. They can, however, veto them. The president also cannot create a communist system of government, or outlaw abortion, or fill the congress with their high-school classmates. They can, however, appoint cabinet members and nominate people to the Supreme Court.
  10. The candidates have actual policies. Though they do split along party lines, they are nuanced and they don't necessarily say what you think they say. Do not assume Candidate X is for something just because you think of it as a conservative/liberal issue. Read the damn reports.

Okay, and this is not cool:
With recent polls showing Sen. Barack Obama's lead increasing nationwide and in several GOP-leaning states, some Republicans attending McCain-Palin campaign rallies have taken on a new emotion: Rage. . . .

One member of the Palin audience in Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday shouted out "treason." And at another rally in the state Monday, Palin's mention of the Obama-Ayers tie caused one member to yell out: "kill him" -- though it was unclear if it was targeted at Obama or Ayers. . . .

Some audience members are openly hostile to members of the traveling press covering Palin; one crowd member hurled a racial epithet at an African-American member of the press in Clearwater, Florida, on Monday.

Ya know what? I recall all the rage directed at Bush supporters back when he "stole the election." I remember the bloggers, including myself, being all pissy about the left-wing moonbats that were talking secession. We told them to grow up, as I recall. We told them that the people had spoken, the Supreme Court had ruled, and it was time for adults to grasp the idea that rational people could disagree with them. We called them fringe, out of touch, insane, and basically dangerous, and felt that it was about time the "moonbats" realized a thinking, reasonable person could feel that free markets were the answer, and that enough middle of the road people could feel Bush was the better choice.

Well, now the shoe's on the other foot. It appears from all polls that Obama is going to win. Thinking, reasonable people can also be Democrats. Enough middle of the road people are apparently feeling Obama is the better choice. At this point, I call on all Republican bloggers to practice what they preach, and come out against any suggestion that Obama should be killed. If McCain loses the election, and if there is any (God forbid a repeat) Supreme Court case to be decided and it goes the other way . . . . Grow up. People disagree. You can think they're crazy, you can be frustrated that they don't understand. But be adult.

I'm not blaming the candidates on this one: though I obviously am annoyed at the negative campaigning and fear-mongering, I've come to expect it. And, as I pointed out above, although the MSM is focusing on the Obama/Terrorist angle, I expect the Palin/Secessionist story will likely gain traction here, and possibly the McCain/PTSD angle, so all sides are doing the fear tactic. But how the public responds is up to them. All you bloggers who were so self-righteous about the antics of the left-wing moonbats better be equally so about the right-wing ones. Because if you encourage moonbats, you are a moonbat. Pure and simple. And speaking as one of those middle-of-the-road people, who swung Republican in 2000 and is likely to swing Democrat in 2008, I simply do not appreciate the fact that it is becoming more and more common for the vocal minority moonbats to run the national conversation.

Personally, I think McCain would have run a better campaign and might even be ahead at the moment if he wasn't so concerned about keeping the extremes of his party happy.

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