Saturday, September 6, 2008

Help me out here

As many of you know, or could guess, if the election were held tomorrow I’d be voting for John McCain. However I wouldn’t be pulling the lever with 100% conviction; like most people, I suspect, I have my doubts and questions about my man, and I see the appeal of the other guy.

I long ago gave up the idea of anything I say here changing anybody else’s mind, but I’m open to having my own reality altered. So here’s what I’d like to do now. Over the next few days I plan to lay out, in brief fashion, the factors and arguments that led me to where I stand today. Your job is to shoot holes in each (or to agree if you feel that way).

But please – try to stay on point. Let’s not let this drift into a wide-ranging argument. If I say I don’t like Obama because he has big feet, don’t say, “oh yeah, well McCain has hemorrhoids;” tell me why big feet are good, or why they don’t matter.

Here is factor Number 1.
I fully appreciate why many of you would not vote for any Republican for President. In fact, had Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee or Thompson won the GOP nomination I’d likely be voting for Obama. But the fact that McCain is running on that ticket matters very little to me.

First of all, the national parties are nearly meaningless today. Ever since the “reforms” of the ‘60s and ‘70s the parties are loose coalitions of people with similar (but not identical) views who vote together most of the time and watch each others’ backs when it is convenient. Most of the time, however, they are independent loose cannons.

Second, John McCain is despised by most of the Republican elite. He voted against them countless times in the Senate, drove the campaign reform bus, advocated immigration reforms that infuriated most of the party, was the key guy behind nailing Jack Abramoff, which deeply embarrassed the GOP, and he nearly picked Joe Lieberman, a New England Democrat without a home, as his running mate. Finally, he stood on the podium the other night and lambasted the current administration for failing the American public the past eight years. Some Republican.

In short, I’m voting for the man, and not the party, in full confidence that the party will wilt under the force of John McCain with an electoral mandate. Conversely, if I thought Barack Obama was one-in-the-same as the Democratic party he’d have no shot at getting my vote. I don’t want Nancy Pelosi running things any more than you (or I) want the religious right running things.

So, tell me I’m wrong.

26 comments:

Woody said...

Dennis, your reasoning is similar to mine. McCain's politics would move the executive branch to the center whereas Obama's politics are too far left of center for my personal taste. I agree that we need changes but the scope and magnitude of Obama's policy changes appear too drastic and may crash the system. I also think that the Democrats are going to increase their majority in both the Senate and the House. If the two branches are split then they will screw things up at a slower pace. McCain would also choose, in my opinion, more moderate judges than Obama.

hankster said...

The quote that keeps coming back is, "John McCain of 2000 would not vote for John McCain of 2008."

He has lost the one thing which appealed to the other side, his integrity. In catering to the far right, in claiming his selection of judges run to the Roberts ilk, in his embrace of GWB and his policies, his desire to "win" in Iraq [what exactly does he mean?], back pedaled on torture and wire tapping, his pick of an anti-science/ pro-creationist, non-environmental, fundamentalist, unseasoned VP, Karl Rove as campaign resource, he has decided he can alienate the other side of the aisle. How can he say FY any more clearly? If this is integrity, he is now true to a different persona. Only a homeopath could find the active ingredient of integrity in his current incarnation.

To democrats he has clearly stated that he intends to give us 4 more years of GWB with a new theme song.

d'blank said...

Hankster -- you're telling me McCain has 'roids. i think it will be enlightening to break these arguments into smaler bites and discuss them rather than having both sides fling canpaign speeches at each other. i promise to do it for both candidates.
so what about the argument that we're voting for candidates -- not parties?

NOBAMA said...

Taxes. I work way too long and way too hard to keep supporting lazy good for nothing unmotivated unemployed losers living in "affordable" housing year after year and decade after decade sucking off of the government for life. I'm changing from Independent to Republican for life!!! Get a job or move to Germany with the rest of the Obama supporters. Have a nice day!

hankster said...

Dennis, the bottom line is that you are voting for the party in Presidential and Congressional elections. Less so in Gubernatorial, and even less in Mayoral voting. Therein lies a basic fault of a 2 party system. I voted for Hillary for Senate because it would come down to a party line vote on Supreme Court Justices. This is how it is with few exceptions.

Consider who John McCain is surrounding himself with now. True or not, the word we got was that he wanted to run with Joe Lieberman as VP but that was nixed by his handlers.

If you feel it is the candidate, not the party who you are voting for, why had John McCain plainly stated he will pretty much continue the current White House's agenda?

zeke said...

Obama has zero experience. Enough said.

d'blank said...

I don't believe McCain has ever said he would continue the White House agenda. can someone source this? it's like the "he voted with Bush 90% of the time" line. what the hell does that mean? Bush doesn't vote and doesn't express an opinion on every bill in front of Congress, so who calculated this BS "fact." he's only ever vetoed one bill i believe so that puts Bush in agreement with a lot of Congresspeople.

GAGA said...

MAYBE THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EITHER CANDIDATE. MAYBE YOUR FINAL DONE WITH VOTING FOR "THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS" & YOUR READY TO VOTE YOUR IDEALS. IF TRUE YOU'LL HAVE TO GET PAST THE "THAT WILL NEVER FLY","HE CANT GET ELECTED" BRAIN WASH.

hankster said...

Dennis, do I need to go to primary sources? I assume those people who write about these things are correct or they get called on them. Does McCain's stance on keeping GWB's tax cuts for those in high income brackets sound wrong to what you have read? On a related topic of energy independence, although not specifically a Bush agenda, Thomas Friedman reported that on the 8 defeated bills which would have included incentives to small alternative energy developers by extending credits for wind and solar power, McCain was absent on all of the votes. But he is in line with GWB on switching his position to now favoring offshore drilling.

True, the President doesn't vote directly, but he does influence policy. The White House has an agenda. It pushed hard to get us involved in Iraq. Can you say it hasn't pushed to wire tapping and torture? What are your readings of McCain's past and current positions on these?

Woody said...

Regarding voting for the man and not the party, Lieberman was crystal clear about this issue in his speech at the RNC. Lieberman cited many instances when McCain voted with the Dems. Lieberman said that he could not recall a single instance of Obama reaching across the aisle. So if you vote for Obama you are voting for the Democratic party. If you vote for McCain you getting a 90/10 split minimum.

Birdman said...

Senator McCain would have us believe that, when he becomes president, he would be the independent maverick voice in the wilderness that he was during his short 2000 campaign when he was the happy warrior. I voted for that man in the virginia primary. First, and only, time I've voted for a republican in my life.

Like it or not, it is my belief that when you get McCain, you get the whole republican car load of baggage with it. I don't think you can vote for the man without considering the party he will bring to every political appointment exercised by the executive branch -- most important to me is judicial appointments (which McCain has promised to duplicate the appointments of GWB) and the Justice department.

In my opinion, the republicans have not earned nor do they deserve another chance to run the government.

I don't think this is saying McCain has roids. It's political reality. At least as I see it.

hankster said...

Bird, thank you, thank you. I have been holding down the fort but Dennis had me in a half nelson and Woody was pummeling me with rabbit punches. You'd think the man was never the object of "kill the catcher."

Woody, you could say the past is the best predictor of the future. However, just today I read (can't recall the source now) that Sarah Palin worked well with Democrats on common agenda as Governor. If you can believe words from her lips just last week, those days are over. Besides, the Presidency is a different mantle than Senator. And, if both houses are in solidly in Democrat control he will have no choice but to work across the aisle a la Clinton. Realistically, this is politics, not altruism. Power will press as far as it can given the circumstances.

Go McCain said...

Gallup Poll has McCain at +3

AY said...

1. Yes, both parties are eroding and Indies are looming large, but the fringe group of each has had an influence on both candidates, e.g., McCain dumping Liebermann for Palin and the Obama flip on late-term abortions.

2. The 95% vote w/ Bush claim is true according the Congressional Quarterly's Voting Studies. In 2007, it shows McCain voted in line with the GWB's position 95 percent of the time.

Yes, he did rail against his party at the RNC, but he had to after all the red meat thrown by Huckabee, et al. He had to give something to the Independent voters.

He was despised by the GOP for his social politics which he has slowly "righted" over these past two years: global warming, no support for the minimum wage, courting Gary Bauer with now agreeing that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, Bush tax cuts, immigration overhaul is now just border security.

I was on the fence for a long time, but for me it was his summer gas tax suspension as a economic boost, "We are all Georgians..." -- and the coup de grace -- picking Palin as his VP.

I can't vote for McCain.

Gaga said...

As far as continuing the White House agenda in McNovacains' acceptance speech he mentions IRANs' connection to terrorism. Thats how GW got us off Bin Laden & into Iraq.

kgwhit said...

I do not believe that McCain will appoint "moderate" judges. I do not believe that McCain will do anything about health care in the country. I do not believe that McCain would do anything to address energy issues in the US except to recommend giving oil companies rights to more land to drill on. Unless oil prices soar again, American oil companies will not drill anymore than they do now because it isn't cost effective and there interest in not US energy independence, it is to make a profit.

I suspect he will do nothing to end the politicalization of the Justice Department.

He also will be more likely to attack other countries than Obama. He was a fighter pilot not a diplomat.

Ian Charles said...

You have to vote the man and not the party. That' the problem with the vote today--too many people don't understand the issues much less the candidate and only vote Republican or Democrat. Take a look at this recent blog posting http://ianmorgancharles.blogspot.com/2008/09/talk-is-cheap.html

jb said...

Having lived in FL for the past 23 yrs, one ca not vote in a primary unless affliliated with a party.

I like voting so I would change back and forth between parties just so I could vote in the primaries.

The reason being is I am a part of both parties. I want to vote for the man (my apoligies to the ladies out there but I have yet to see a woman respond to this blog)

I vote the man. I am not voting for a dictator and the parties make sure of that fact. Pick your favorite cause...if it is worthy there will be people willing to help.

I am concerned in this order ,

1. security
2. economy
3. security
4. economy

Only in America can a guy and a woman rise to such hieghts so quickly.

My man is McCain as I am voting for the man. PSSSSS

Fl moved its primary to an earlier date and the democratic party said "We are not going to count the votes in FL" FLORIDA! We are not going to count the votes in the fourth largest State in the Union...the head of the Democratic Party...Howard Dean.

kgwhit said...

If we question Barrack Obama's patriotism because his wife once said that for the first time she was proud of America, should we question Sarah Palin's because for years her husband was a member of the secessionist party in Alaska?

How much can she love America if her husband wants their home state to leave?

rsb said...

Can't think of McCain as a maverick when his campaign mgr is Rick Davis a former lobbyist. McCain says he's going to go Washington to shake things up. Really how’s that going to happen.

Hard to trust McCain to be in charge when he had to have Lieberman explain the difference between a Shiite & a Sunni. In a country he wants to keep us a 10 billion a month war.

Hard to believe that someone who lets everyone talk about his past as prisoner of war voted AGAINST the vet's bill to help returning soldiers.

Then there is the fact that if he is elected, a 72 unhealthy man would not survive the full 4 years in office we would be stuck with a lying runner up beauty queen as prez.

warrenoutohio said...

What are BO plans for energy. The goverment does not own energy like they own NASA.Plans for immigration. C'mon he is no better he came from the political machine aka Daily from Chicago.National Healthcare,do anyone of you want the federal goverment owning healthcare.Besides, we never really know the health of a president. Let alone the VP. Chaney wasn't going to live out the first term. Besides, with the feds now backing freddie and fannie and soon bailing out the big three our tax dollars are already spent. Does Obama really believe everyone desrves to own a home? It time to tighten things up. BO is not going to do it. At least Mccain said he would try.

DMJ said...

Obama's comment regarding lipstick and pigs is way off base. I am from Ohio where you CAN put lipstick on a pig!

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