Thursday, August 07, 2008

And the Rant Goes On...

Yesterday I wrote about my problems with Barack Obama as a potential president. Today, in the interest of fairness and balance (inspired by Faux News), I'll write about my view of John McCain.

First, the positives: Mr McCain is an experienced congressman, with 26 years of experience in the House and the Senate, often taking principled positions on issues which made him deeply unpopular with his fellow Republicans. He is a genuine war hero with a distinguished record of service. He offers plans and programs which are a bit more fleshed out than those of Mr Obama, but which are still largely pie-in-the-sky (you can read about them on his website here, and compare them to those of Mr Obama here). He has a wealthy and glamorous wife (okay, this isn't a qualification for president, and Michelle Obama is a beautiful lady, too, but it never hurts to have a great-looking spouse. I have Agnes, after all).

Now for the negatives: I have a hard time waking up after listening to him. At a time when the country needs firm and dynamic leadership, Mr McCain comes across as a kindly old grandfather (a role with which I'm passingly familiar). He's not inspiring in the way I believe we need today, particularly when compared to a fresh, dynamic figure and rousing speaker like Mr Obama. He's too closely aligned with the policies of the Bush administration. And he's old. This isn't a bad thing, per se (being old surely does beat the alternative), but he doesn't radiate the force and charisma the country is looking for right now. I think he'd like to be a Franklin Roosevelt, but he comes across more as a Calvin Coolidge.

So, while I have tremendous respect and admiration for John McCain, believe he has the legislative and military experience and seasoning to be president, and is far more qualified for the job than Barack Obama, I don't think I can vote for him. And by the way, if you've been in a cave in Outer Mongolia for the last day or two and haven't seen it, here is the hysterically funny Paris Hilton answer to Mr McCain's campaign ad that implied Barack Obama is only a Hilton-type professional celebrity. The best part is...she has a better energy policy than anyone else!

On a related topic (rant alert here)...

Yesterday I stumbled across this topic on the Cafferty File blog maintained by CNN's Jack Cafferty: What's Better - Gridlock or One-Party Control?

So what the #%@! kind of question is this?

I think you probably can imagine the comment I posted to this. My comment apparently didn't get through the editorial filter and doesn't appear on the site, but this one from "Tony in Oregon" is very close to what I wrote (and much less sarcastic): "Wrong question. Better asked is how to gain consensus on the important issues so that we move together in solidarity to address the nation’s primary needs and common interests."

I couldn't have put it better myself. Until we have legislators with the courage to put aside the siren call of stiff-necked partisanship and blind party loyalty to work with each other in a true bipartisan spirit to do the right thing for the country, we are well and truly screwed.

I'm just as scared of one-party railroading (which both Republicans and Democrats are very good at) as I am of gridlock. I'm well and truly sick of our elected reprehensives solemnly intoning their blame of the other side for every one of the nation's ills. Where are the statesmen? Where's the Henry Clay of 2008?

As far as I can see, none of his philosophical descendants are within a hundred miles of Capitol Hill.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



KKTSews said...

A contributing factor is our 5-second sound-bite world. Too few people read or will pay attention long enough to understand anything beyond platitudes.
Elections these days are usually a choice of the "least bad" rather than "best person". Sad to say I don't think Canada is any better!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

~sigh~ I think you've said it all :(

Mike said...

I think "true bipartisan spirit" has gone the way of the dodo bird.