Posts Tagged ‘presidential election

05
Nov
08

Regaining Face

It’s no mystery to anyone around here that I supported Barack Obama. But as happy as I am about him winning the presidency, I’m not going to cheer about that right now. And as historic as this moment is, I’m not going to talk about that now either and will instead leave that to better commentators from the newsy blogs and the African American blogs to do (well, for a day or two anyway; I’ll have to say something eventually).

Oddly enough, what I am moved to talk about right now is John McCain.

I still don’t agree with many of his policies, but what I saw when McCain gave his concession speech was the John McCain who began this race, and not the McCain he had become. The McCain he should have been all along.

He showed sincerity. He showed dignity. He didn’t let Sarah Palin step up and take away any part of the spotlight. He was proud in a good way and humble in an even better way. When some in his audience booed Obama, he shut that crap down. He didn’t lift up thiny veiled lies about his opponent but instead praised Obama’s skill and lifted up the personal qualities of that opponent. He called for working together, and it sounded honest to me.

If he’d done that all along, this race wouldn’t have been decided as quickly and as decisively as it was for Obama. It would have been a far, far closer race and McCain might have won.

McCain isn’t the first candidate to lose control of his own campaign and let others tell him who he should be and how he should act. He won’t be the last. But he lost primarily because he stopped being himself along the way, and way too early at that. Obama never did that.

I have said some harsh things about McCain in recent weeks, but I have said those things in light of the way he had been acting; the man he had let himself be turned into. I said some harsh things about Palin, too, and we’ll see if I have any reason to change my tune there, but at this point, I assume that she remains an unqualified, power-hungry person with little or no scruples. McCain, on the other hand…well, unless he is still into changing and reinventing himself, and I suspect he’s done with that now, he’s in my book as a man who, while flawed in many ways, actually seems to mean well for the country and willing to stand up straight and do the right thing and call upon all of us to welcome the new commander in chief.

Welcome back, John. I hope you’re back for good. I may not agree with you on many things, but I’d like to regain my ability to look at you and see a public servant who’s got considerably more good points than bad ones.

03
Nov
08

How Would Jesus Vote: The Sequel

I pondered very briefly about how Jesus might vote way back in the earliest days of this blog. My opinion hasn’t changed about how he would vote. He has too much knowledge of human nature and individual sin to have ever been able to cast a vote for anyone, even if such a practice had existed in his days on Earth. He wouldn’t have stood for picking the lesser of two evils and he wouldn’t have used his influence to lift one politician up over another. I just don’t see it.

But should you vote?

Hell, yes!

If you haven’t already voted (and many of us have taken advantage of early voting where it is available, as my wife and I did last week), you must get out and do so tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.

Jesus probably wouldn’t be voting, and he won’t tell you how to vote, but I suspect that in the grand tradition of rendering unto God what is God’s and unto the world what is the world’s (to paraphrase), I think he would expect us to make a stand.

It’s clear from my own postings that I support Barack Obama. You don’t have to. I hope you do, but I won’t tell you how to vote. I’ve pointed out my reasons for having little to no faith in the other team and I’ve pointed out where Obama has been unfairly attacked.

But none of that means that Obama will speak to you. I hope I’ve convinced some people, but as with faith and our souls, only an individual can make a valid decision for him or herself. No one appointed me the steward of all truth. I try to be balanced on most things, and I believe my candidate comes out on top, but you may weigh entirely different factors.

But regardless, this election is too important to ignore. Whether you are someone who wants to see the economy on track again; whether you are someone for whom race is a key issue; whether you are someone who has a desire or a concern about religious faith in candidates this year; whether you are someone who is concerned that the Supreme Court lean one way or the other; whether you are rich or poor; whether you are Democrat, Republican or otherwise—go vote.

It is your civic duty. Please be informed before you enter the voting booth, but for God’s sake: Vote!

17
Oct
08

Sheeple, Sheeple Everywhere

I try to avoid looking too much at the video evidence of how many people, particularly among the poor and working class in various places (especially rural ones), really think that Obama is:

  • A Muslim
  • Will somehow try to do harm to whites if he gains the Oval Office
  • Shifty
  • A terrorist or terrorist sympathizer
  • Against the middle class and working class
  • Etc. etc. etc.

Because, if I look at this stuff too much, I get angry. Not on behalf of Barack Obama but just because I’m tired of sheeple. I’ve used that term before around here; I assume it’s obvious, but in case it ain’t: Sheeple = Sheep + People. In other words, people who can’t seem to think for themselves and just let the big shots tell them what to think.

Obama has done his share of flip-flopping and bending the truth a bit. But no more than his competitor has. Yet somehow people get it into their heads that he’s evil. The man shows more insight, thought, composure, tact and class than McCain, and thus he must be “hiding something.” As if being angry, spiteful and erratic (as McCain has been) somehow should engender our trust and show that a guy is a real stand-up feller.

Look, I come from working class stock. Despite having two degrees, I think and act mostly like a working class guy. My beers may be a little fancier, but it’s still beer I choose over wine most of the time. I can still appreciate a good fart joke in a movie. I’d rather have a comfy couch to watch TV in than to have a fancy looking one that I can’t put my feet up on. So, I’m not slamming the working class and rural folks who say this stupid shit about Obama because they’re working class and rural and in some cases poor.

I’m slamming them because they don’t bother to think.

At all.

It’s the same thing that has turned me off of most brick-and-mortar churches and many of the people who attend them. Just like the Obama-haters, they are often sheeple. Heaven forbid they should study a Bible or question anything a pastor says. Just like the ignorant folks who call for Obama’s head on a bayonet can’t be bothered to read anything that points out McCain’s or Palin’s lies or flaws, can’t be bothered to compare platforms of the candidates side-by-side, and who instead, like good sheeple, just believe whatever Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, their local police chief or nasty hateful bloggers tell them.

Like good sheeple, they go where they are told until the time comes to fleece them or slit their throats and offer them up as burnt offerings to the hungry economic gods.

14
Oct
08

An Open Letter from the McCain Campaign

Fellow Americans,

We the members of the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign would like to apologize personally, and on behalf of the Republican candidates for president and vice president of this great land.

Much has been made of Barack Obama’s name, particularly that middle name “Hussein,” and we have made some unfortunate implications that he might be a terrorist sympathizer, or might even actually “pall around with” certain terrorists, domestic or foreign.

And at various campaign rallies, some members of the audience have shouted things about Obama that sounded a lot like “Terrorist,” “Traitor” and “Kill Him.” We continue to believe that those may have not been the actual words…perhaps “Rarest bits” and “Inflater” were what people were really saying in the first two cases, to reference his rareness (as in not being cooked enough by the fires of experience) and his propensity to make grandiose and airy statements.

And the “kill him” reference probably just meant “kill him in the polls” and not literal murder. Really.

Look, we admit we were wrong to paint Senator Obama as a possible terrorist element or secret Muslim or anything like that. We had what we thought was reliable intelligence on those matters and, frankly, we just got carried away. And if vile things perhaps really were said at McCain/Palin rallies, the candidates themselves certainly were not at fault. They probably just didn’t hear the comments or assumed that Secret Service agents would quietly locate and remove (or shoot) the offenders.

No, we are forced to admit that Senator Obama is indeed a God-fearing, Christian, experienced candidate. He is fully qualified to run for president and possibly hold the highest office in the land.

Still…

…Well, we hate to say this. But you see, because there has been some tension these past several weeks, and perhaps tempers have been inflamed, we have to urge each and every one of you, particularly Obama supporters, to vote for McCain/Palin.

You see, it really is the only choice. If Senator Obama becomes president, we will be living in constant fear, as a nation, that he might be assassinated by one of the few dozen white racists left in the country. And that might incite a race war, or at least some very nasty riots in our largest cities. None of us want that, do we?

Also, because of the concern that some deranged individual or two or three or however many are left in this nation might be overstimulated in their anger, we fear that death threats and risks to Obama will require the Secret Service to expend enormous resources, in terms of money and staff and time, to protect him. In this time of financial upheaval, the United States certainly cannot afford to front that kind of money to protect a black president. We estimate that it will cost upwards of $17 trillion to ensure the safety of a Barack Obama presidency.

Please, as patriotic Americans, make the proper choice in November. Vote the white…we mean, the “right”…choice: McCain/Palin.

Cordially,

The Campaign Staff for McCain/Palin in 2008

01
Oct
08

Decisions, Decisions – Part 1

As we Americans prepare to chart either a bold new course in the future of the United States or try to repave an eight-year-old path that has already led us to the beginning of the destruction of our economy, I am reminded that this nation is sharply split, almost right down the middle, in terms of the presidential candidates and many of the issues we grapple with right now.

In that vein, it strikes me that America is split between “Red States” and “Blue States,” between rich and everyone else, between liberal and conservative, between Democrat and Republican, between working class and “elites,” between the thinkers and the blissfully ignorant…ah, hell, you get the idea.

Rather than belabor the point that I’ve been making for some time now that Obama is good and McCain is the effluent coming out of Satan’s septic system, let me provide you with what (it seems to me) are the most endearing pairs of archetypes that we seem to want to handle our nation’s problems.

Crime

Superman

PROS: Virtually indestructible and possessed of stupendous powers. Sees things very starkly in black-and-white/good-and-evil. Supports policies of whatever president is in office, no matter how contradictory from one term to the next.

CONS: He’s an alien. Not just an illegal alien but a space alien. Where’s his damn Green Card? Also, boring as hell.

Batman

PROS: Will take down criminals expediently and, when necessary, violently, but actually does good detective work as well, and has a strong no-kill, no-torture policy. Access to substantial financial resources, and his weapons are always at least as good, if not better than, his enemies’. Has really cool outfits and some nice rides.

CONS: Often grim and humorless, and only works at night.

Healthcare

Jesus

PROS: A hard-working, dedicated, selfless humanitarian who loves everyone and puts holistic health and complete healing among the top items in his priority list. Works 24/7 for you and never slacks off. Has very high-level connections and is able to prepare a complete wine-and-cheese get-together with just a couple barrels of water and a couple small hunks of cheese and bread.

CONS: Prone to sarcasm and irritation at times when confronted with boneheaded lack of faith or inability to understand simple parables; known to be destructive toward moneylenders’ tables and fig trees that fail to produce fruit.

The Grim Reaper

PROS: Very effective at ensuring that people don’t use up their medical insurance benefits and fantastic at population control. Helps drive business in several sectors, including pharmaceuticals, medical care and mortuary sciences. Doesn’t have a discriminatory bone in his body…er, well, he is all bones, isn’t he?

CONS: Wants you dead as soon as possible. Yes, you.

Christian Values

Joel Osteen

PROS: Great smile, winning personality, and a huge congregation. Tells a great story and presents himself well. His dad was a well-regarded pastor.

CONS: Seems to lack the ability to actually preach the “Christ” in “Christianity,” in favor of self-help platitudes and “you can be wealthy too” sentiments instead. Seems to like the spotlight a bit much.

Charles Stanley

PROS: Solid grounding in the Word of God and ability to preach the cold, hard truths of God’s plan while also highlighting the loving and warm parts. Doesn’t seem to be profiting unduly from his ministry. Seems humble.

CONS: Looks and sounds a bit too much like the grandfather whom you love but didn’t much enjoy visiting for an entire day.

Public Policy

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins

PROS: Well loved Hollywood figures who know the issues and are in agreement on a strong left-leaning approach. They are willing to stand on their beliefs and dedicated to educating others about what the right path is.

CONS: They’re freakin’ actors, for God’s sake! And preachy ones at that. They can’t shut up sometimes. Go do a movie already, OK?

James Carville and Mary Matalin

PROS: Provide a well-balanced team as one spouse is ragingly Democrat and the other one is devoutly Republican. They know lots of people in the political world. They’ve been around the world and they’ve seen all kinds of things that would make your hair curl, I’m sure.

CONS: The only things they seem to agree on are what to eat for dinner and the fact they like screwing each other still.

Terrorism

Jack Bauer of “24”

PROS: Dedicated to truth and justice and the welfare of Americans. Works hard and often resolves problems in one day. Will cause himself and reputation harm if necessary to get his job done. Has integrity to spare and knows just where to look to find the bad guys.

CONS: Kinda moody.

Rambo (or any of a number of other Stallone characters, such as Judge Dredd)

PROS: Shoots everything in sight. Doesn’t talk much.

CONS: Poor communicator. Shoots everything in sight.

  

.

24
Sep
08

They Call Me Chickenshit McCain

I’m not even going to put up a front on this post. I’m not pretending there’s any spiritual angle here. I’m not trying to get one iota of religion in this one. I simply need to spew.

If there are any readers of this blog out there who genuinely support John McCain for president, I implore you to tell me how, after today, you can have any respect for this man. Look, I don’t care if you tell me you just hate Barack Obama’s political stands and you’d rather have the reek of McCain because it’s more comfortable to you.

Just don’t freakin’ tell me you have any respect for McCain anymore. Lord knows, George Will sure doesn’t, and he’s as conservative as they come, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he might swallow his own tongue if a black democrat became president. Now he’s almost tacitly supporting Obama simply because he’s ripping John McCain a fresh new sphincter.

Not only has McCain flip-flopped on multiple issues with sometimes mere days (or even hours) between one stand and the opposite one that he now insists he always believed in, not only did he pick his running mate virtually sight unseen and fail to vet her, not only has he used dirty and deceitful tactics in his campaign commercials…but now he had to take a break from campaigning because things are too crazy right now?

……..Hmmmm…..

At a time when we desperately need to know how our presidential candidates stand and what they plan to do, McCain wants to put off the presidential debates (which, conveniently, would force the vice presidential debates back, too, likely meaning that Sarah Palin would never had to do one before the election). He expects people to believe that in the next couple weeks, if he works really hard and Obama stops campaigning too and joins him, they and the rest of the government can solve the anal reaming that we’re getting in our economy thanks to eight years of total ineptitude. Just like that.

Poor Johnny Boy can’t juggle too many things at once. Oh, and he also called off his appearance with David Letterman, too, phoning him to say he just had to run off to Washington, D.C., instead. Yet he didn’t leave town, but instead stayed in New York and did an interview with Katie Couric, someone desperate to hold onto her own job and probably eager just to have him on her set, and thus perhaps less likely than Letterman to skewer him on the air like a well-cooked hunk of kabob meat.

So, McCain can’t multitask, he lies to get out of an interview, and he wants to protect the woman who would be second in line for president if he wins from the media and from debating her democratic VP opponent…and we’re supposed to trust this man with our country?

Really, once again, any die-hard McCain supporters. Please tell me, if you still respect this guy and trust him…

…what kind of drugs are you taking and where can I get some?

13
Sep
08

Election 2008: The Stakes – Christian Values

Yeah, yeah, I know. I just posted one of these Election 2008 items just yesterday. But since I’m still waiting on Miz Pink to post her Saturday post, and since I’ve gotten a bit worked up by the blind devotion to Sarah Palin that I’m seeing at some of the Christian blogs I frequent, I’m here again.

As I noted before, I try not to get too much into politics around here. But with this year’s presidential election and all that has been done wrong in the country for the past eight years, this is a pivotal time and we need to clear the air about some things.

See also:

Sept. 7 Post – Election 2008: The Stakes – Experience

Sept. 12 Post – Election 2008: The Stakes – Our Troops

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The headline for this post should probably have been “traditional conservative Christian values” and not simply “Christian values,” but I only have so much room up there. This is at least one area in which I will admit that a Barack Obama-Joe Biden win would be “bad.” It would move the conservative evangelicals backward politically speaking. Also, some baseline Christian value issues that crop up across various Chrisitian lines, like gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research—things many working class and conservative middle class and upper class Christians hate—will get support.

So what?

I don’t mean that to be dismissive of Christian values. I have Christian values. Many of them conservative, though I’m sure some of the Christians who visit here might not believe that from what I talk about and how I present things. But last I checked, we don’t have a theocracy here. Our government is not about religion. In fact, we say that we support religious freedom and freedom of expression, so having a government that is willing to cram Christian doctrine down our throats legislatively, as George W. Bush has done, as some politicians before him have done, and as I think a McCain-Palin presidency would do (along with the help of ultra-conservative justices that they would no doubt be in a position to put on the Supreme Court).

This is a representative democracy and as such, I am not ever going to vote for a candidate based on religious views or because he or she will uphold Christian values. This is a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans and so many, many more. To uphold Christian values as the standard is just plain wrong.

Christian values are something to be handled in our churches and our families, not on the national or even local political stage. Yet many people who support McCain now are doing so fervently because a very conservative Christian is now running with him, and she is a person whom many Americans relate to because she is an “Average Joe” (though why we would want an average Joe in charge of the entire nation potentially is beyond me). There are actually some Christians out there who are praying not only that McCain and Palin will be elected but that God will bring McCain home soon thereafter so that Palin can step up to the plate.

My dad is Catholic from all the way back, and devotedly so, and he hates abortion. But you know what, he is a working class man who realizes that by and large, the Democrats are the ones who have supported the needs of the working class more than the Republicans. We were talking politics and he noted that he hates the level of support the Dems put behind the pro-choice camp, to the extent they almost look like they support abortion (being pro-choice and pro-abortion really are two different things, by the way, and my dad realizes it and you should to if you don’t already). But he also told me that he is not going to vote against his own interests and the interests of the nation and vote an angry, confused man and an inexperienced, extremist woman into office. Making a decision about the presidency based on one or even a handful of religious issues is wrong, he told me.

And he’s right. It’s the financial, foreign relations, social, labor and infrasctructure issues that will define how economically viable and internationally relevant we will remain.

Countries that are run by religious leaders tend to be the ones that spawn terrorists, and the ones that we often most fear. Why would be want to emulate them by voting with our Bibles?

12
Sep
08

Election 2008: The Stakes – Our Troops

Normally, I try not to get too much into politics around here. But with this year’s presidential election and all that has been done wrong in the country for the past eight years, this is a pivotal time. Time once again for me to share with my Christian brothers and sisters (both those who agree with me, those who don’t and those who are on the fence), why the Republican ticket is not only bad for our country but not doing much to serve God’s will either.

See also:

Sept. 7 Post – Election 2008: The Stakes – Experience

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God doesn’t sanction wars these days. Frankly, the ones he did sanction back in Old Testament days were part of a necessary process of showing that the Hebrews were his chosen people, and getting the path laid for Jesus to arrive and begin the real process of healing the breach between humanity and God.

Unfortunately, we’ve been reminded now, thanks to Sarah Palin’s comments and stories about the views some of her pastors hold (yes, they held a pastor against Obama; they deserve the same treatment), that there are actually people who think we’re fighting God’s war over there in Iraq and Afghanistan. Funny, I wasn’t aware that God needed protecting. Are the militantly radical Muslims going to blow up something in Heaven?

God’s assistance and directives to the Hebrews were about setting a place for them on the map, spiritually, physically, politically and otherwise. Even those wars didn’t do anything to help God; they were about advancing His plans and helping the Hebrews get started. The conservative Christian contingent in this country is right that we’re in a war related to God, but that’s a spiritual war against Satan. It has nothing to do with warring against other countries. Sure, we should defend ourselves, but our continued presence in Iraq in particular has nothing to do with defence and everything to do with powermongering and greed.

God wants us to wage a war against sin in our own lives and against ignorance and misinformation about Jesus as we reach out to people day-to-day and show the light and love of Christ. But that’s not what the GOP is ramming down our throats. And McCain has said if we’re in Iraq another 100 years, so be it! Yes, I know he was using hyperbole and that even he isn’t that crazy with unresolved anger issues. But the fact that he isn’t willing to see that we’ve already stayed too long and done too much damage is frightening. I’m not saying we have to pull out all at once and right away, but it’s time to stop acting like our huge presence there is a good thing.

I recall that one of the speakers on the night of the GOP convention when McCain accepted the nomination (I forget who it was) was ridiculing Barack Obama for wanting to get out of Iraq in the near future. He actually said that Obama was disrespecting the work of the troops by wanting to leave. He said that honoring the troops meant we had to stay until the job was done.

First, what job are we trying to finish? Making Iraq stable? That’s up to Iraqis. Eliminating terrorism? Anyone who thinks we as a country has the power to do that is insane. So, there is no goal anymore now that we’ve deposed Sadam Hussein. Instead, we’re making excuses to stick around and continue to plunge our nation farther into debt to finance the conflict.

Second, how is keeping troops there honoring them? Our armed forces are already stretched too thin and have been forced to serve too many tours of duty. Without a real plan and a real goal, we hurt them by continuing to be in Iraq and by people in the GOP saber-rattling to say that we need to target Iran next and maybe Russia, too. Our troops don’t want to be used up like old whores. They want to see their families.

Before you actively co-sign on to more war and military excess by shouting “hurrah!” at our current and possibly future forays, or before you passively do so by electing an angry man who still calls Asians gooks and his sidekick who is already showing no diplomatic ability in her words about Russia and Georgia, remember who they send overseas to fight these battles. Your sons and daughters. Your friends. People you care about or who matter to people you care about.

The folks in the military signed up to defend our nation, not to be used as pawns for political gamesmanship, international grandstanding and corporate interests.

And don’t talk to me about bringing back the draft. That will give more warm bodies to abuse, and more incentive to stay places we don’t belong and to go into new places and conflicts we shouldn’t be tackling. Moreover, remember that the politicians won’t be sending their kids off to war for the most part. Way, way more often than not, their kids and other close family will either be safely practicing law, business, medicine or politics—or if they are getting some military credentials they won’t be in harm’s way.

There is nothing respectful or loving in the way our country has used its troops over the past two presidential terms and nothing Christian about it. We are killing and psychologically damaging our own people for nonsense, and we need someone in office who at least wants to try to put an end to it, not someone who blithely wants to soldier on with the same-ole, same-old.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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