Monday, September 29, 2008

Is There Anything Left To Say?

I have to admit, I was kind of excited (hm, I don’t know if that’s the right word) on September 15th. It was really a turning point in this election. Finally, we were able to stop talking about pigs and lipstick and feigned sexism. We had real problems on our hands, and the candidates were given a chance to speak on real issues. I didn’t want to be one of those people using negative economic events to Democratic advantage, but there I was.

In the generic polls, Democrats had a lead in economic issues, and Obama was able to capitalize on that. He was smart, thoughtful and presidential. McCain looked schizophrenic, unsteady, totally unsure, and definitely not presidential. We were back on top and I felt so good. It’s entirely possible that I spent a lot of time gloating to my Republican coworkers. After all, it was their stupid greed and legislation that put the grease in that fire.

And then the bailout came along. Oh the free for all; hardcore capitalists and libertarians now begging for a big government band-aid. What irony. Privatize the profits and socialize the losses. Admittedly, I was undecided on the bailout. I saw both sides of the issue, and, while I’d rather give $2,300 of my tax money for universal health care than bailing out Wall St, I don’t want to see America slip into a depression.

So, now the bill failed. Are Republican hurt feelings to blame? Was it a bad plan? Will the economy survive without the bailout?

But, I’m not feeling so good about this now. Obama’s got a strong lead, but how will this affect the next presidency? After January 20th, all the fingers are going to be pointing at that administration. I don’t think that Republicans can clean up this mess, considering how their policies and greed got us here, but the opportunity for a brilliant Democratic administration has been stolen by this crisis. Of course, I think a McCain administration would be far worse for America. I’m just sad for the fact that a Democratic President will be harangued by the blunders of a disastrous Republican administration. I believe that Obama will prevail, but it won’t be easy. And the Republicans will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. It’s going to be ugly.

This is just a really fucking depressing situation.

At least we can still be sure of one thing. John McCain is a complete joke. First of all, the suspension of his campaign (that was not actually a suspension) was probably the most absurd thing that’s happened in modern politics (except for the choice of Palin as a running mate). Who does that? Obviously it was a stunt, but maybe he should have double-checked the choreography. And even though McCain has been for and against and for the bailout, he was busy taking credit for its passage…before it failed. Maybe he shouldn’t have counted those chickens. So now is he taking the blame for the failure? Obviously he didn’t secure Republican support. But, it continues the image of his campaign as a circus. That, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin (he’s a moron…not even the high-functioning type).

Should have put my money under my mattress…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Enough! This Election Is NOT About Obama

Is America regressing? Seriously. What is going on with this election?

In our personal lives we change jobs, dump boyfriends and return products when they don’t live up to our expectations. Why don’t we do the same when it comes to our politics?

This election is not about Barack Obama. It is about whether or not we as Americans want to turn our backs on the failures of the past eight years and make positive progress towards a better future. It’s about reining in the corporate interests that have poisoned our economy and restoring trust in America both at home and abroad.

The past eight years have been fraught with lies, destruction, and greed. Like a cheating spouse that begs for forgiveness yet again, John McCain pleads with the American people that he is the agent of change. McCain holds Sarah Palin aloft as evidence that he is different now, different than “those” Republicans. He swears it won’t happen again because he’s learned his lesson. No matter that, since his crushing defeat at the hands of Karl Rove in 2000, his voting record shows that he votes with Bush Administration more than a majority of the time (when he manages to show up). And make no mistake, Sarah Palin isn’t a pitbull in lipstick, she’s Dick Cheney in drag…and probably a better shot.

John McCain may not think you’re stupid (that’s the purview of Karl Rove and Steve Schmidt), but he thinks you’re forgiving. He thinks that if he pleads long enough and hard enough, you’ll forgive his transgressions and give him and his friends (because, let’s be honest, John McCain is bought and paid for) just four more years. Of course, John McCain’s friends also think that your suffering is part of a mental recession and that because Americans can go to an emergency room, there's no such thing as an uninsured American.

Reality provides a different look at the situation for Americans. McCain knows this so he wants to shift the debate (and thanks to our spineless media, he’s been able to). He doesn’t want this election to be about the issues or the problems that Americans are facing. He doesn’t want to talk about the economy or the war in Iraq (the Surge is ok though); he doesn’t want to talk about renewable energy or the soaring deficit. Because he knows he will lose if Americans demand an explanation for the last eight years. He knows he will lose when people ask him “How will you help us?” and he has no answer. No, John McCain wants to make this election about Barack Obama. Just look at his ads. Doesn't look like the "respectful campaign" he promised, does it? A majority of McCain’s ads focus on Obama because McCain is attempting to force the debate away from the real issues of this election. The fact that these ads are largely based on falsehoods is lost on most Americans (thanks again, “journalists”).

Now, conservatives will point to the fact that Democrats have been in control of Congress since January 2007 and, by that simple fact, it means that they are somehow responsible for our current situation. But, until one of those yammering heads can point to what legislation, exactly, the Democrats have passed that would have caused this, their argument is moot. Unfortunately, the Dems in Congress have capitulated on every issue. They haven’t forced an end to the war in Iraq, they haven’t repealed the Bush tax cuts or ended oil subsidies, they caved on FISA. And they took impeachment off the table, right up front.

Now, in the rare instance where Congress manages to pass meaningful legislation that would actually help Americans, such as Children’s Health Insurance or enforcing the Eighth Amendment by banning torture or improving the Medicare system, Bush goes and vetoes it. So, next time your child has to go without medical care or you hear of Americans being tortured as retaliation for the torture at Guantanamo, don’t look at this Congress. Cast your disapproving eye to the Republicans who refuse to actually help Americans.

So, in the words of Barack Obama: Enough!

Enough with this fake-outrage BS. Enough with the circus and non-issues. I don’t care who is wearing lipstick or which side can feign outrage faster. This has crossed the line from tedious to ridiculous. This election is not about Barack Obama. It’s about the crises that have been created in the last eight years and what we are going to do to reverse the damage. If you think the Constitution can stand one more pass through the shredder, then go ahead and vote for the old guy who keeps changing his positions and his fundamentalist sidekick. I, personally, like the First Amendment and want to keep it around. After these last eight years, I’m going with the Constitutional Law professor and the Senator with the history of real progress.

(This pretty much sums it up)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Burden of Sacrificing Everything

Let’s be honest – life is full of unpleasant experiences. We learn early on about coping mechanisms for life’s great devastations.

Life is not gentle – gracing us early with that unspeakable break up during the eighth grade dance – and it only gets worse from there. And although we all like lemonade a lot better than lemons – making the analogy work isn’t always that easy.

Life teaches us early on about the importance of coping, of grieving, of recovering, and most importantly – of growing. And as embarrassing as they may be, our stumbles really do make us smarter, and wiser.

This weekend, in the midst of sorting through my emotional confusion regarding the Republican announcement of their Vice Presidential candidate, I was reminded of my own middle school dance break up – and the heartbreak that followed. I was reminded of life’s recovery process – and what we learn along the way as we battle life’s curve balls.

Life teaches you about the five stages of grief:


On the morning of August 29th – as we sat in horror watching Senator McCain stumble through the announcement of his Vice Presidential running mate, many of us plunged into denial – praying, hoping, and pleading that we were victims of a sick political joke. It seemed nearly impossible that Governor Sarah Palin was qualified for the position. She was barely even “googleable.”

When denial wasn’t enough – we became angry – angry that such a pandering, nonsensical choice would be considered – let alone selected.

And then we bargained. We told ourselves, “…Maybe she is qualified.” And so we searched. We checked her record – we wanted to believe – but we couldn’t – because as a mayor of a town numbering less that 9,000 people and as a Governor for shy of 2 years, there was hardly a record to check.

Depression settled in across America this weekend. We looked at ourselves in the mirror. We asked, “Has it come to this? Is this what we’ve become?”

Today, I’ve left depression behind me and I’ve accepted. I’ve accepted that the Republicans and their poor, selfish policies, with their inadequate, condescending leaders, finally broke down their own immoral restraints.

Pain may not always be pleasant, but it makes us tougher – and the events of this past weekend have made me a better, more resilient Democrat. I’ll no longer allow myself to be surprised or shocked by Mc-Cheney-Bush’s ruthless political agenda. My skin is thick – they can’t make me angry any longer. I won’t let them.

I’m grateful for the snot-nosed eighth grader that broke my heart that night on the gymnasium floor during the dance. My heart is stronger – and I’ve learned. I’m a better, tougher woman because of that kid.

And I’m grateful for women like Sarah Palin – who chose to sacrifice her own integrity – her own pride as a woman – simply to fulfill a political agenda.

On Friday, August 29th – I was reminded once again – that a woman’s greatest enemy isn’t that eighth grade kid on that gymnasium floor.

A woman’s greatest enemy is herself.