Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Politics

For regular readers of the blog, you'll probably have noticed that I attempt a steady neutrality when it comes to non-publishing related matters, with the exception of things like basketball, movies, and coffee.

Today I'm going to break that rule and link to two articles about the election. This will be my only post on the subject, and I hope readers won't be too frustrated by even this one exception. But unfortunately I just can't not write about this today.

I should preface this by telling you that I am an independent - I find myself and my opinions out of step with both Texas (my place of birth) and New York (my place of residence). I'm certainly more conservative than my current friends and colleagues, but also much more liberal than my old pals back home.

I supported Hillary in the primary, for reasons I find unnecessary to get into. Barack Obama is now getting my support and vote in the upcoming election. On the issues that matter most to me he is most in sync with my views, and I believe he can achieve change that is good for our country.

I have always liked John McCain as a person though, even if I didn't agree with him much on the issues. He's always been known as selfless, incorruptible, and a man of his word, someone worthy of and given immense respect by people on both sides of the political spectrum.

But in recent months, and especially in recent days, my opinion of him has faltered. In desperation, he has stooped to tactics that have smeared his reputation with foulness. With fear-mongering, race baiting, and just flat out lies his campaign has tarred his legacy forever.

Here's an editorial opinion from The New York Times that summarizes all of this quite well, and here is a bit more about race baiting.

I thought McCain was better than this.


Dwight said...

GAH! Really? Darn it.

Looks like McCain better not count on those 31 electoral votes from New York after all.

And after Republicans were so cocksure they were going to win New York again!

Well, at least the GOP can count on those sweet 55 electoral votes from California to counterbalance the loss.

Robena Grant said...

I couldn't have said it better. Thank you. I had to leave the room for a few minutes, while watching the recent debate, when Senator McCain showed his mean side. He's a man I used to admire, but in the last debate he left an awful smell.
Senator Obama politely listened, didn't respond out of turn to the insults but came back in a firm, authoritative voice to defend himself. He showed me he's calm under pressure. He will represent this country well.
Thanks for the links. said...

Here, here! Though I didn't agree with a lot of his views, I did always have respect for McCain. Until now.

Anonymous said...

Always been known as incorruptible? Can we say "Keating Five"? What short memories we Americans (and the press) apparently have. With our financial system blowing up around us, how can we forget how McCain and his cronies intervened on behalf of a major campaign contributor to divert a regulatory investigation of Lincoln Savings & Loan--a bank that later collapsed, costing us, what, $2 billion? Sorry, but this man is no "maverick," nor is he the "ethical" man his campaign paints him to be.

Ann Victor said...

Lovely to read a well-balanced, decent and polite personal commentary on the US election.

Not that I can vote (I live too far away!) but my first choice was Hillary Clinton. I've since come to believe that Obama is a man meeting his destiny: he is not just the change America needs. He is the change the world needs.

I have faith in the American public in their role as citizens of one of the most powerful countries in the world. I'm predicting they'll vote Obama to win over the sad figure of John McCain by a landslide majority.

Viva Obama!

Dana said...

Here, here! I likewise, couldn't have said it better. I followed McCain closely in the 2000primaries, and he is not the same man now that he was then. It saddens me because that man would have made a good president.

L.C.McCabe said...

Thank you for your measured words on this subject.

I used to respect John McCain as well, but I lost respect for him back in 2000. After the South Carolina primary to be exact.

He and his family had been slimed terribly by the Karl Rove whisper campaign/push polls. I was aghast when I heard what had been said and insinuated about his family, particularly his adopted daughter from Bangladesh.

I could not understand why he allowed a defeat in that primary to effectively be the end of his candidacy. I felt then and continue to feel today that he should have stood up forcefully on behalf of his family and decry those tactics as being beyond decency.

Instead, he basically conceded the nomination to G.W. Bush and began carrying his water.

I think McCain sold his soul at that point for the promise of future power and now has surrounded himself with those same miscreants who attacked his family with such viciousness.

It demonstrates that he has lost his moral compass, and that is why I have no respect for him as a person.

I thought that long before he became the nominee in this election cycle.

Lafreya said...

I am african american and while I had never agreed with Mr. McCain I did respect and admire him for his service to this country. I'm more hurt than angry that he has resorted to this. My two Republican brother don't even know what to say. They were big time McCain supporters now they just feel betrayed. They haven't said but I suspect they will be voting for Obama.
Thanks for this post

Anonymous said...

It is disturbing that it McCain/Palin do not seem to interested in calming or correcting any of the controversial comments made at their rallys. It gives the impression that they are encouraging or enjoying this type of behavior. The incident with Sheriff Mike Scott is very disturbing!!

Sheriff Mike Scott can vote and support any presidential candidate he so chooses, it is right to do so--but not on duty or in uniform. He has violated the trust of his office and the public by a comment and subsequent salute that was disrespectful not to just a presidential candidate but to those within his community that may bear the name, religion, origin or race to whom he has mocked. His response...because I wanted to.

I certainly would not live in his community or have any faith that he would be impartial in his duties as a sheriff. I cannot believe someone who wears the uniform and took a public oath would dishonor that uniform and his office of public trust to use his influence at a presidential campaign.

It is very sad to watch this happen in a public venue without correction or apology.

plez... said...

like you, i didn't particularly agree with McCain's politics, but i thought that since the Keating 5 flare-up, he had carried himself with dignity and was beyond smear campaigns and the such.

over the past couple of months and particularly, the last week, his campaign has taken an ugly (and i hate to say, xenophobic) tone with this feeble attempt to align Obama with an aging "domestic terrorist" who is nearing retirement age!

after the way he was smeared by bush in 2000, i thought that he could stay above the fray this year. i guess his ambition and lack of a winning issue to champion (the war in iraq was never going to be a good issue) has led him to believe his ONLY CHANCE of winning will be to sully his opponent.

unlike george w. bush in 2000, mccain has decided to climb down into the gutter to manage the slinging of mud himself... he hasn't realized how much of the sleaze is blowing back on his self!

i've been an Obama supporter since BEFORE he launched his campaign, but i thought that mccain's integrity was going to make this a very tight race. mccain's tactics are going to turn this into a landslide victory for Obama.

Anonymous said...

McCain used to be a decent guy with opinions different than my own. His campaign continues to deteriorate into one blatant smear tactic after another. It's disgusting to watch.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in politics, and there's an old saying that all politicians know well: Only the amateurs stay mad.

A year from now, no matter who wins, Barack Obama and John McCain will be smiling and shaking hands again. It's the nature of the beast.

ChrisEldin said...

I disagree with the last anon.
'staying mad' is different than one's reputation. McCain's reputation has been tarnished. People won't forget that.

Anonymous said...

Um...and Obama and Co have been behaving like pristine buttercups?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Why comment without actually reading the link that a post refers to?

I'm not saying Obama smells like roses, but simply that McCain's candidacy now smells like a mixture of sewage, poop, broccoli, dead mice, and dead flowers.

clindsay said...


Thanks for pointing this out to me.


Anonymous said...

If you're referring to the NYT op-ed, I did read that. It didn't cast any blame on Obama, other than a rather bland "Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison."