I managed to chop a goodly portion of flesh off the tip of my ring finger. Though I tend to think of myself as a two-finger typist, it turns out I do use more, but not now. So, if typos get bad, or posting goes light, I hope that you'll understand.
I do tend to foul temper as regards politics, and one of the primary reasons is that I revile unfounded certitude. Put simply, I like to consider my options, and I don't have a great deal of patience for those who don't, or those who simply won't. Worst of all are those who tell me what I should or must believe. In keeping with this, I have strongly resisted 'making up my mind' as to who I will support in the upcoming Presidential primary, or the election. My early support of Bill Richardson was based on what I know of his experience, his stated beliefs and his strong stance against bankrupting our country in Iraq. And I always knew that my support was a fool's hope. Since then, I've avoided most of the hoohah coming from either the Clinton campaign or the Obama camp, including an avoidance of Obama's rather seductive speaking ability. I've tried to be level headed, and have defended both candidates against the specious and silly attacks that have come as a result of the Conservative Fear of the day (or the liberal fear, for that matter). One needn't worry that I haven't given McCain a fair look. I have, and I would vote for Ralph Nader or Ron Paul ... hell, I'd vote for Mickey Mouse ... before I would ever cast a ballot favoring that man. But that is meat for another post, at a later time.
For a while (after Richardson and Edwards dropped out) I slightly favored Hillary Clinton. In some ways, I still do. Her health care proposals are more mandatory, but if we're going to look to the insurance industry to save our skins, then in for a penny, in for a pound. Despite the unbelievable bullshit coming from all quarters, I *do* believe that she is more experienced at foreign relations than Obama (save that much of her policy is too status quo). No First Lady in modern times has been such a vocal and informed advocate for women around the globe. Like her or hate her, those are the facts. And despite righty wailing that Democrats don't care about women's issues (wingnut reality: womens should be in the house makin' dinner, washing shirts and havin' the babies, and then they'd be happy ... heh heh) Hillary Clinton does care, and so do I.
But a rather inexorable chain of events have led me to favoring and endorsing Barack Obama. Some of that chain was forged by the negatives attached to Hillary Clinton, but mostly, he's just the better candidate.
1) I owe my beloved for this one. Only a complete fool would discount Barack Obama's abilities as a speaker. I had little idea at all who this guy was until the Democratic Convention in 2004. The speech he gave then was ... WOW! My beloved said then that "this guy will be President someday". Yeah, it was that good. So I started looking into this guy, and what I found was a dude who uses his abilities to form agreement. His stances aren't always to my "ultra-left-wing" leanings, but Obama has never failed to get whatever ball he concerns himself with rolling. Since that time, I have avoided his speeches, simply because I don't like being played by fancy speechifying. I have focused clearly on what he wants to do, and how he wants to do it.
2) He's been against the Iraq debacle from the start. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he didn't vote to hand the playground moron a loaded gun. Now, the Clinton campaign would have you believe that he's just politicking because he did vote for $3 Billion to fund the occupation. I can't say that I'm in favor of that, from Obama, Clinton, Tester or Baucus. But I understand clearly their votes to do so. To defund the war is in some respects the same as defunding the troops, and that Obama wouldn't do. Regardless, his rhetoric, his insistence on time-tables for withdrawal, his carrying a torch for the notion that this was a bad fricking idea from the get-go ... he's right on the money. And, unlike many who are 'anti-war', Obama has focused on the facts of the case. We need to hunt down the people who have made it their mission to kill us. Those people are mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not Iraq. As a Senator, his voice is one of many with a vote, which his political opponents make great hay with. As President that role changes considerably.
3) Of all the candidates running for the highest executive office (save Ron Paul), Obama has been the most consistent in pointing out that we are impoverishing our own nation at the expense of others, predominantly Iraq. The Jewish community interprets this as being 'anti-Israel' and has pulled out all stops to crush this rational upstart. To me, that's really the point; Obama is rational about the foreign policy he favors. He recognizes that Israel is our strongest Middle Eastern ally, without being maniacally tied to their desires for money and defense at the expense of the US. It's not a zero sum game ... unless one is terrified that they will not be the special snowflake anymore. Simply put, Obama is correct. We are better off putting our resources into hunting down extremists than in creating American colonies in the Middle East.
4) Obama has played by the rules. The Clinton camp has not. I love most sports. I really do. Nothing disgusts me more than cheating, especially when one has no reason to cheat other than to 'win'. If you can't win without cheating, don't play the game. Somebody should have told the Clinton campaign that little tidbit before they attempted to game the system by bringing in ineligible players (Florida, Michigan), or by relying on a "Super delegate" strategy. The Clinton campaign had everything going for it, but they dropped the ball. Their candidate just wasn't appealing to enough voters. Sorry Hillary. SuperDelegateMan is not going to fly on in and save you. Neither will Florida or Michigan. If you really want to see how sad the commentary coming from the Clinton folks is, the please read the comments to this MetaFilter thread, paying particular attention to the writings of MetaMan.
5) One of the reasons that I favored Clinton was that she would drive the right-wing absolutely batshit insane. Witness their ability to hand the crown to her (so they could beat her to pulp) before any real Democrats ever got a chance to voice their opinion. Now, you have notable head-cases like Limbaugh and Coulter endorsing Hillary Clinton. If one actually stops to think about it for two seconds that one would realize that they don't favor the woman they call Hitlery, nor do they so revile that RINO McCain. They are fricking terrified that Democrats might believe in somebody. Their only hope of Conservatism's survival is to keep Democrats disgusted and disillusioned. Conservatism is a failed philosophy. Many on the right have a nightmare, and that nightmare would be that we on the left might believe in something, in someone. Obama is that someone. Like watching a bad horror movie, I am seriously enjoying the idiotic terror coming from many on the right. And I'm hungry for the pay-off ... when they realize that an angry nigra is sitting in the White House and we're (white Christian men) all DOOMED!!! And now, many on the right are stating with sour-pussed aplomb that Obama is finished. He's toast. He can't win ... hand the Oval to McCain. Except ... they're still focused on Obama. If they actually thought the threat was Hillary Clinton, we'd be back to the Hitlery ball-buster rhetoric. We're not. We won't be. They are terrified of Barack Obama, because he will likely be the next President of the United States ... and I'm loving the discomfort that affords to some. To a misanthrope like me, that alone is reason to favor the man.
6) The "More Perfect Union Speech". I have a degree which required that I read enormous numbers of good speeches. This speech was easily one of the best. The right wingnuts are already spinning it, and they will fail. They really don't get it. I've been saying that for years; I've been notifying them of their deep stupidity for years, but they just won't get it. Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show fame, had it exactly correct. Obama treated us as if we were adults, and could have a rational discussion of racism in this country. Apparently, Obama has more faith in the human animal than I do. That's precisely why I support Obama at this point. He believes better of us than I do. Clinton doesn't. She manipulates. McCain doesn't. He panders. Obama told the truth, to us and the world. That he believes that as a value is worth it to me for endorsement.
All of this together would not get my endorsement. I was going top wait until I went to Butte, and hopefully (my hearing is screwed) listen to the man speak in contrast to the woman that I really admire. I needed to believe that he could pull things together for the country. I don't need to wait. Someone else said the right thing at the right time.
7) Bill Richardson's endorsement. THIS is what puts me over the top. I can't tell you how huge this is to me. Richardson is a personal friend of the Clintons. And yet he chose Obama. He has more *real* foreign policy experience in his big toe than the other candidates combined. For him to endorse Obama, well that's huge. He just lent his credibility and his experience to the next President of the United States. I'm certain that there are assholes who will claim that Richardson was just hustling for a job. To which I can only respond ... who the fuck better? That's like saying that Michaelangelo is hustling for a job as an artist. *YES* Richardson might be hustling for a job, but what job would you deny him and why?
I haven't minced words about this. The next Presidency is going to be a fricking minefield. This person will be under attack constantly, until the dinosaurs doing the attacking are urged to fade away, harshly. Clinton won't do that, and McCain is a dinosaur. Obama, with proper support, can pull this off. And, as my beloved has so well pointed out, he can get the support to do that very thing. Good speechifying is a great thing if it motivates people to action. Obama can do that; he has already done that. To me, it's no longer a matter of sitting on the fence waiting for the pretty promises. Nothing that any of these people promise will sway me. What they have the ability to do will sway me. And Obama has the ability to sway support in his favor. Let the dinosaurs wail, and let them pass. It's time we enter the 21st century, and deal with the problems left to us from the 20th. Obama can see that.
Gee, let's see. Considering I've never gotten one red cent from the guy, I'm thinking ... not. That won't stop the stupid from thinking so. One can only assume that in their universe the appropriate amount of money will cause them to drop on their knees and su* ... lets just leave that. It's probably more to the point that Wiley is on the payroll and can't see beyond his own nose, which is stuck deep in ... let's just leave that too.
And, since my response comment is "in moderation", and I don't trust Republicant astroturf as far as I can throw it, I leave my reply here:
See that middle finger waving there? That’s for you, Wiley.
I didn’t leave myself “an exit strategy”. I was dead serious. That’s
called integrity. Look into the concept, you insulting pissant.
Update #1: Excuse me, little dog, but it's pathetic to call my reaction "venom" when you've just accused me of being 'purchased'. And I don't give a crap what you think I'd be like in person. Truth in a teacup, if you come up to my face and call me a whore, I'm likely to take issue. A coward such as you may think yourself clever that you can do so while hiding, and isn't the Internet grand. I am a decent guy, undeserving of your bullshit, and you ... show what you know, cupcake.
Looky what's I got in my e-mail, a missive from the Montana GOP titled "Answers Montanans Deserve To Know!". You'd figure, with such an impressive header, that they would be asking Denny Rehberg whether he believed his continued support for the Iraqi boondoggle is good for Montana, or will more likely bankrupt the country. Perhaps Montana Republicans want to know why Senator McCain, their Presidential candidate, can't tell the difference between Iranian Shi'ites and Sunni al Queda.
But no, in a classically retarded bit of 'concern trolling', they want Montana Democrats to find out where the Democratic candidates stand on a gun-ban in a city 2000 miles away from Montana. A gun-ban ... in Washington D. C. Not the fact that the national economy is going down the crapper. Not the continued borrow-and-spend policies of the Republicans, which has put our dollar below the currencies of most every 1st world nation. Not our continuing military losses in the eternal occupation of a country that doesn't want us there and was never a threat to us. These things affect Montana. But, no, what the Montana GOP wants Democrats to ask of the candidates, candidates that Republicants will *never* support or vote for, is a gun ban that has already been challenged and heard by the Supreme Fricking Court.
Every rational intelligent person already knows that the Supreme Court will endorse the individual right of citizens to keep firearms. The only real question now is whether the Republican Bush administration has argued effectively that the "reasonable" term of law equates to local governments limiting access, such as to handguns in DC. Montanans needn't worry about such trifles because our right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in our own Constitution. We can, however, hope for a loosening of gun restrictions (contrary to the hopes of the Republicans) based on the SCOTUS interpretation of the term "reasonable". Perhaps Iverson and the Montana GOP have missed this point, and don't get that it's now a non-issue to Montana. Or, more likely, they're playing the 'fear card'.
"The GUBMINT gonna take your guns and HitleryoBamamuslimangryblackman gonna let 'em!!!"
What a bunch of retards.
The Montana Republican Party understands and appreciates
the excitement Montana Democrats feel about having their leaderscandidates come
to our state. But it's our hope they will also use this wonderful
opportunity to demand answers to issues important to Montana.
I'm sure we will. But Heller v. DC ... that just ain't among them.
I've noticed something that I want to throw on out there for a bit of review. It's an oddity, to be certain.
Whenever a 'leftist'/Democrat/'moonbat' embraces an idea or person (or more to the point, an idealistic person) the Right will denigrate that very human response and attachment. That, in itself, is not surprising. They really think we're 'self-loathing', 'ignorant' and/or crazy'. This has been happening for some time now, and though we on the leftward side of policy and issue would often like to blame Bush for this 'with us or crazy' kind of thinking, it actually was codified into appropriate public behavior by, not surprisingly, an actor.
What is somewhat surprising, perhaps only because I've never had reason to notice it quite so strongly before, is that they do it in denigrating religious terms. For instance, those who mockingly refer to Barrack Obama as 'the Obamessiah' or "the Obamasavior'. See, that's really rather striking. It would be simplistic to offer the explanation that they believe 'us' to be worshiping a 'false prophet' in the light of the truth of their own savior, Jesus. Except that many who do this come from a-religious or atheistic viewpoint. This isn't a matter of 'dueling messiahs' (though I'd love to hear the guitar riffs that would settle that cosmic fight.) No, this is a manner of thought that holds that belief is itself a form of worship; and that if one believes the wrong thing, or in the wrong person, that one is worthy of spite, derision, damnation as the belief is to be ridiculed.
In essence, it's a denigration of several ideals. Trust, faith, admiration and hope. If one holds to value any of these things, but stands in opposition to the Right, than what must be dismissed is not only the object of these values, but the values themselves. Trusting Obama is worshiping Obama. Not only is the trust misplaced because Obama is bad (an uppity Negro) but trust itself is equated with what must be held to scorn: worship.
"I think Obama was very forthright and honest in his speech about racism."
"Ohhh, you just ~worship~ Obama!"
Notice, the emphasis of scorn is on the idea of "worship"; that to have faith in, to believe in, to appeal to ... anything ... is a shameful act of itself. It is cast as 'religious' and must be mocked. But Religion, the act and behavior of being religious, is to worship. If worship is to be mocked than religion is worthy of mockery, as evidenced by the very behavior of those who mock worship.
So, I cast it out there for all to peruse. Does the Right just despise religion?
There was a mercifully brief period where The Editors was nowhere to be found. The Poorman Institute fell silent, and we grieved with the loss of the Keyboard Kommandos, and all the funny which flowed so freely before. Turns out, The Editors was just writing a book.
When you respond to wingnuttery of this sort, you are not responding to
sincerely-held beliefs. You see, when the wingnut feels threatened, it
excretes a foul substance which forms a protective layer of
disingenuous stupidity designed to deflect dissonant facts and beliefs
which could damage the wingnut’s tender underbelly of pure stupid. In
order to harden this protective layer into an impervious carapace of
ignorance, the wingnut needs to come to believe this tactically-held
nonsense - needs to incorporate this protective layer into its body of
stupid beliefs by making itself believe them for real. But then, of
course, if this carapace is threatened, it too will have to be
protected by a layer of disingenuous stupidity, and so on and so on
until you start writing books called Liberal Fascism.
It is very similar to the process by which an oyster creates a pearl,
except that instead of being ‘beautiful’ it is ‘fucking stupid’, and
instead of being ‘worth money’ it’s ‘fucking embarrassingly stupid’,
and scallops don’t run the country and get treated as very serious
people whose every rancid effluence is a noble contribution to
political discourse. Indeed, in the course of my study I have
identified 15 distinct types of stupid and pantomime stupid which make
up the Wingnut Ego Defense Superstructure, and I’d love to talk some
more about them, but I have to go rub habanero juice in my paper cuts.
Comedic brilliance. Of course, after this post here, I really want to have The Editors' love baby.
There was a letter in the local fish-wrap just recently warning people that kvetching about Exxon's record profits (new records set in 3 successive years) showed an ignorance of how profit margins work, and expose us to the sin of Envy. It's the latter point that I laughed at most harshly. Ya' see, the rich have rigged the game in their favor, and to *not* recognize that is just simply stupid. It's not envy. It's the crushingly certain knowledge that you have too little, and what you have the richest will find a way to take. They'll even use your government to take what you have so they don't lose what they've already stolen.
Never do I want to hear again from my conservative friends about how
brilliant capitalists are, how much they deserve their seven-figure
salaries and how government should keep its hands off the private
The Wall Street
titans have turned into a bunch of welfare clients. They are desperate
to be bailed out by government from their own incompetence, and from
the deregulatory regime for which they lobbied so hard. ... The biggest, most respected investment firms threaten to come
crashing down. You can't have that. It's just fine to make it harder
for the average Joe to file for bankruptcy, as did that wretched
bankruptcy bill passed by Congress in 2005 at the request of the credit
card industry. But the big guys are "too big to fail," because they
could bring us all down with them.
Enter the federal government, the institution to which the wealthy
are not supposed to pay capital gains or inheritance taxes. Good God,
you don't expect these people to trade in their BMWs for Saturns, do you?
In a deal that the New York Times
described as "shocking," J.P. Morgan Chase agreed over the weekend to
pay $2 a share to buy all of Bear Stearns, one of the brand names of
finance capitalism. The Federal Reserve approved a $30 billion -- that's with a "b" -- line of credit to make the deal work.
Just like that, some people’s stakes of $100 million or more in Bear
were ravaged, and senior executives like Thomas A. Marano, the head of
mortgages, and Bruce Lisman, a co-head of equities, were furious.
Entering the weekend, Bear executives felt confident that the firm
could be sold for several billion dollars, if not more. But
$236 million — how could Bear have sold for such a price? Why didn’t
the firm seek financial help earlier, they and others asked, ... For James E. Cayne,
the firm’s chairman and former chief executive, holding on to his Bear
stock was a point of pride, and he rarely, if ever, sold. A billionaire
just over a year ago when Bear’s stock soared past $160, his 5.8
million shares are now worth about $28 million at Monday’s closing
price of $4.81.
I've been saying for years that pandering to the rich (trickle down economics) was just one more way to heap their burden on your own back. How does the load feel now? I even warned (though probably poorly) Geeguy and his readers that distributing wealth to the companies getting rich off the Iraqi boondoggle, while borrowing money at enormous rates to foster the illusion that 'we're just like them in our riches' was going to come back and bite us right in the ass. Notice, that would be "bite us", not the Wall Street banking Welfare Queens.
Mr. Cayne will have to make do with his $28,000,000. Many of his employees, very much like investors in Montana Power, are now in indentured servitude to the riches of the richest. WE, you and I, are too. We've just underwritten the loans of all those poor dupes who borrowed money on false promises (kinda like the President, except he only promised to pay back our money.) Geeguy is waking to the idea that the rich own our asses because we will be required to service them.
Me? I'm just tired of this shit. And it's going to get worse.