Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Gloves (And Muzzle) Come Off

I've avoided politics way too long on this forum, and it's time I bust out my old soapbox and start screaming. This is my equivalent of Samuel L. Jackson yelling, "I've had it with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane!"

I am sick to death of seeing candidates on both sides tearing each other apart rather than promote themselves. We are seeing the ugly sides of our candidates, all of whom are engaging in what could be called "Un-Presidential Behavior."

Let's start with my sworn enemies: the Republicans. One candidate, Tom Tancredo, ran exclusively on a platform of immigration policy. (You can guess where he stood on the matter.) Needless to say, he fizzled out by year's end in 2007.

Ron Paul, widely known as a Libertarian, has garnered a large cult following on the Internet and as consequently among my age bracket. He has made it clear that he is the only Republican who wants an IMMEDIATE troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Before I carry on with Dr. Paul, I've got a thing or two to say about the situation now in Iraq. Either George W. Bush is a complete blithering idiot or a member of the upper echelon of great political strategists, as he will be leaving office with his successor in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position. If our next President opts to stay the course in Iraq, the liberals will ride his ass like a child molester on his first day in Cell Block C. If our next President orders an immediate troop withdrawal (or even a delayed removal of troops over the course of several months and/or a year), the conservatives will see this President as weak on foreign policy - though the international community will give our commander-in-chief a resounding high five.

My solution is a gradual troop withdrawal, and for the United States to call on the UN to assist in establishing the new Iraqi government. Meanwhile, we allow our volunteer army three months of paid vacation. Then we invade Darfur, again with assistance from the international community. It would be humanity's greatest hour as we liberate the tormented populace, victims of mass murder, starvation, and diseases that in many parts of the world have been eradicated with vaccines.

The very idea that the genocide in Africa has once again been sidestepped as a campaign issue is a travesty of sickening proportions. The continent itself is a sleeping giant, which if roused and modernized, could become a major player on the global scale. But what needs to happen first is the removal of these sociopath dictators who have kept their citizens enslaved since independence was granted to their respective countries.

Back to Ron Paul. The only remotely sound policy he supports is a troop withdrawal. However, its immediacy is troubling. We won't benefit from making Baghdad this century's Hanoi. We created this chaos in Iraq, and as such letting it sink or swim would be a very callous move on our part.

Other than that, Ron Paul supports such practical mainstream ideas as the complete removal of federal taxation (appealing to the average nitwit) and the reintroduction of the gold standard.

Thankfully, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell.

But then again, a year ago many Republicans would have told you that Rudy Giuliani was a surefire winner of the nomination and (possibly) the candidacy of the highest office in the land. There were people projecting that in the wake of 9/11, that he appeared the most presidential and should consider a bid for 2008.

However, the nation realized all he had to his name was the fact that he could appear calm, stoic, and inspirational behind a podium atop smoldering rubble. Once forced to drop the whole "I was there on 9/11" angle, he performed dismally in the polls.

We turn now to Mike Huckabee. His charismatic appeal as a Baptist minister means that this guy is appealing to the lowest common denominators of the conservative base: Christians. Throw in Chuck Norris' endorsement (hey, only two years after the whole "Chuck Norris beat Mr. T's ass and built the Colosseum in one flick of his wrist" fad on the Internets), and this guy has potential to win. He entered the public eye with his victory in Iowa, though he has not garnered the pole position in any subsequent primaries.

Despite this lack of success, his staying on in the race shows that he is hoping to earn some major victories on Super Tuesday. And that makes sense: a majority of the Bible Belt (including his native Arkansas) have yet to cast their votes. This could very well turn the tide for him and his fellow candidates.

Policy-wise, he's dominated by rightist stances on gay marriage, abortion, building the border fence...but his support of the replacement of the federal income tax with a national sales tax sounds like a surprisingly practical solution. It is but one gold nugget in a pile of shit, though.

Mitt Romney. Oh, this guy...his victory in Michigan was based on the lie he told out of work employees of the automotive industry, that with his experience as a businessman he could rejuvenate a dying industry. In light of the fact that European and Asian cars are surpassing American ones in efficiency, he might as well have told the workers that the Car Fairy was going to descend from Mount Olympus and help get them back on the job.

He's a liar, he's a phony, and I cannot support any political candidate who makes the bawdy claim that this country is better off having a President with experience in running a big business. Moreover, he is making this claim as a put-down to fellow candidate John McCain, who has been a senator since 1982. We need someone with legislative experience running this country, not some handsome CEO-type prick who put Massachusetts in the dark ages with law prohibiting gay marriage.

Senator John McCain is the only Republican who in a parallel universe would get my vote. He believes in immigration reform, supports stem cell research, and when he was asked a little under a month ago what he thought about President Bush saying we may be in Iraq for fifty years, he had this response: "Make it a hundred. We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me."

So he's a crazy war-hawk. Next!

I was a proud Democrat when I was opposed to the war in 2003. I did a point/counterpoint in the school newspaper where after that "Mission Accomplished!" photo op, a fellow writer titled his article 'The Beginning Of The End.' Mine? 'The End Of The Beginning.' I predicted that the conflict would become more drawn out over time, that public support would dwindle - especially since we were told it was over in May - and that civil war among the Iraqi factions would break out.

I had people telling me I was an idiot, unpatriotic, and that I had little faith in America.

But here's the thing: not only would I be the first to tell you that I AM an idiot, that I AM unpatriotic, and that I DO have little faith in America - I've been right so far. Joke's on you guys for supporting it.

I supported John Kerry as he campaigned against President Bush. I was ashamed when on Letterman he was asked if he would end the war in Iraq upon election, and Kerry dodged the question. When Letterman called him on it, I was all the more ashamed that he STILL was dodging the question. But it didn't matter to me - a vote for Kerry was a vote against Bush.

Allegations of corruption in the 2004 Election aside, Karl Rove's maneuvering along with the Swiftboat Veterans (let the record state: they were LYING through their teeth) meant we got four more years of Bush. On a technical note, because of his illegitimate victory in 2000, he could very well enter the race one more time. I do breathe a sigh of relief as he coasts through his last year as our leader, possibly in a constant state of inebriation, and remains (possibly even more unapologetically) the most un-eloquent leader this side of the stuttering Roman emperor Claudius. (But at least HE had half a brain...)

My faith in the Democrats remained steadfast as the Congressional majority shifted. But then Pelosi and Reid were unable to back their promises. Senator Barbara Boxer, whose inflammatory anti-Bush rhetoric should have been accompanied by a dramatic orchestral score, has disappeared from the public eye. Despite my constant wish for it to be so, she didn't enter the race for President.

Instead of ending the war, the Democrats cut a deal with the Republicans to delay such legislation.

And what of the movement to impeach President Bush? All that has happened thus far is Congressman Kucinich's proposal to impeach Vice President Cheney...which Pelosi shot down, saying that "Impeachment is not on our agenda."

Thanks for nothing, pussies.

Jack Cafferty on CNN posted this question on his blog. Writing my answer prompted my rant.

When it comes right down to it, why won’t we vote to really change things?

In two words - complacency, familiarity.

In more words: The American public, despite its outcry, is lazy and afraid of change. We have known Hillary since 1992, and McCain has been in the public eye since 1999 when he began his run for President.
Republicans don't like Hillary, some don't like McCain.
Democrats don't like McCain, some don't like Hillary.
I could wager that the last few elections have seen the populace casting their votes AGAINST the opposing candidate, rather than FOR their candidate.
Rather than read about how the other Democratic candidates besides the three (now two) front-runners held more experience, the public is in favor of candidates who would rather make the election a personal feud. Never mind that it's been apparent since 2003, when Hillary's book came out, that she's been intent on running.
And the media/elite have been intent on making it happen.

My answer ends here.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards all hold the least experience among the other Democratic candidates.

Senator Joe Biden is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He previously ran for President in 1988 and briefly considered running in 2004. Many considered him a candidate for Secretary of State in a Democratic administration.

Senator Chris Dodd has been in the Congress since 1975 (and a Senator since 1981). He is chairman of the Banking Committee and was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997.

Governor Bill Richardson served as Congressman from 1983 to 1997, at which point he became the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He later served as Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton from late 1998 to 2001. He has been Governor of New Mexico since 2003.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich was considered among the worst mayors in the nation's history until it was found that his refusal to sell Cleveland's utilities out to a big business had actually spared the city $195 million dollars between 1985 and 1995. He's got an admirable record: voted against the USA Patriot Act ("because I actually read it," he contended at a CNN debate several months ago), voted against the Iraq War before it was cool to be opposed to it, and as previously mentioned has put forth legislation to impeach Cheney.

Senator Mike Gravel (yes, he is still in the race, despite the lack of media coverage) served in the Senate from 1968 to 1980 and while not successful at the time, he campaigned against the draft and the Vietnam War. Thanks to his filibuster where he read the Pentagon Papers aloud, by submitting them into the Congressional Record, he made them public. This man exposed corruption in the most liberal Democratic administration this country has had (besides FDR) - AS a liberal Democrat.

Let's be real, here. My support of Gravel is primarily symbolic. He is staunchly opposed to Senator Clinton - the enemy of my enemy is my friend - and called Hillary out for voting to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, which technically means military action against Iran can be authorized.

I have no quarrel with Obama. Nor with Edwards, though he announced his withdrawal yesterday afternoon, which after the withdrawals of Kucinich and Richardson narrows my support down to Obama.

The Clintons are waging a dirty campaign against Obama. Earlier this month, Hillary arrogantly proclaimed that while Martin Luther King was a great public figure, but that "it took a president" to put the Civil Rights Act into effect. What was she trying to say? Was this an attempt to discredit Dr. King? (If so, I've got a carton of eggs with her name on it.) Was this an indirect jab at Obama, who is also black?

On top of this, Bill is tarnishing his own legacy, going from the best foreign statesman we've ever had to a pushy jerk, sticking his finger in reporters' faces and accusing them of covering only the mudslinging.

Hillary has also said that terrorists will be quick to "test" our new president, and that her experience makes her more qualified to deal with such a situation. This is the same woman who jumped all over the Bush Administration for playing the fear card. And now - she's engaging in the very same practice. Just because it's wrong doesn't mean it's ineffective, I guess.

On the subject of experience, she served (duh.) as First Lady...then moved from a state where she couldn't have garnered a victory if she went door to door giving out free Klansmen robes to New York, where she is now (duh.) Senator. I knew this was fishy from the start, and referring again to Letterman, their occasional "Word Of The Day" was sponsored by "Senator Hillary Clinton - SHE LOVES NEW YORKERS!"

But what did she do BEFORE Bill was elected President? Oh, that's right - the bitch was a corporate lawyer for Wal-Mart! WAL-MART - you know, that American corporation founded and based in America that takes the idea of labor unions and takes an almighty dump on it? That institution that for me represents everything that is wrong with this country? Yes, that Wal-Mart.

Oh, and her crying at that New Hampshire press conference? Probably staged. The lady who asked that question ended up voting for Obama, funny enough.

And what of all that claptrap during the Nevada debates (which was in actuality a casual round table discussion) where she talked about the Democratic Party being a "family?" Guess that was just another ploy...

What happened with the Whitewater scandal? Are we going to just let that slide?

Is it too late for Al Gore to announce his candidacy? Or John Conyers, Barbara Boxer, Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Noam Chomsky?

If that horror of a human being gets the nomination, I am voting for RĂ³ger Calero. He is running as a candidate for the Socialist Workers' Party. (And I actually support his platform 100%.) Sure, voting third party is like taking the ballot and wiping my ass with it, but in my mind I'll be wiping my ass with the ballot and then smearing it all over Hillary's plasticine-sculpted, Botox-injected, soullessly grinning face.

Vote. It's your duty.



crallspace said...

Wow. Now that's a great soapbox!

Lots of great points. I have to say, you know your shit better than most people your age.

I'd have to say I'm right with you on the Obama thing... he's not Hillary. All of my voting life, that has been why I vote for which presidential candidate I do.

Keep on, man. I know it's tough but people like you are the hope for the system that is broken. All these stale old farts and greedy sheisters who've turned our pride into their own personal piggy bank will die off soon, alone, their money meaning nothing at that point.

Thanks for letting me know of the post.

shelley said...

I honestly cannot believe that not one candidate has mentioned anything about Darfur. I mean, isn't it a good thing to help people? Maybe I'm wrong.

I have to agree with not liking Hillary, especially since she was a freaking lawyer for Walmart. Who wants that for president?
Or maybe Walmart is a good organization and I just didn't get the memo.

You got my vote against Hillary.