Sunday Election Issues - 24 August 2008
The Best Books on Aging

The Final Stretch of the Long Election Campaign

category_bug_politics.gif At last, after more than 18 months of presidential election campaigning, the opening of the Democratic Party Convention today in Denver ushers in the “real” campaign season – ten weeks of speeches, debates, attack ads, counter-attack ads and dubious promises along with some form of swift-boating of one or both candidates. You know, politics as usual.

That is, unless an unwelcome surprise from the Hillary-Clinton-or-I'll-Vote-For-McCain contingent disrupts the proceedings. Their venom is so irrationally nasty, it leaps off the computer screen and punches you in the face. Scroll down and read the comments on this post to see what I mean.

The policy differences between Senators Clinton and Obama are minuscule, and those who support Senator Clinton's positions and would now vote for Senator McCain are much more than sore losers. They are ignorant reactionaries who have no interest in the welfare of their country.

Senator Obama is not an ideal candidate, but he the only hope those who believe the United States is in terrible trouble have got and for me, this election is a no-brainer:

• If you want the U.S. to be in Iraq for 100 years, vote for Senator John McCain.

• If you want more young soldiers to die in new wars over the next four to eight years, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think veterans are respected and well taken care of, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think the Cold War was good for America and would like to see its return, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you want more tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think your share of taxes is not big enough, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think privatization of Social Security is a good idea, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you want Medicare benefits cut and the cost of healthcare coverage for your children and grandchildren to soar, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you believe it doesn't matter if 45 million Americans continue to live without health coverage, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think public education is as good as it can be, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think the way to reduce the federal deficit is to cut social, health and education programs, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you want to see the toughest assault yet on Roe v. Wade and possibly lose the right to abortion, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you want more jobs shipped overseas, vote for Senator McCain.

• If your salary is meeting your needs, or your children and grandchildren don’t need future wage increases, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think our energy needs can be met by placing oil drilling rigs off every coast in the U.S., vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think market-based solutions – that is, corporate interests – will successfully address global warming, greenhouse gases and climate change, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you believe more corporate lobbyists in Washington is just what our government needs, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think there isn’t enough secrecy or there is too much accountability in government, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think the Bill of Rights should be further eroded, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think the Supreme Court could use more justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you think it doesn’t matter that every country in the world hates the U.S. or whether allies cooperate with us, vote for Senator McCain.

• If you want more presidential one-liners on serious subjects like President Bush’s “Bring ‘em on” and Senator McCain’s, “Bomb, Bomb, Iran,” vote for Senator McCain.

If you have enjoyed the Bush administration and if you believe you, the United States and the world are better off now than eight years ago and you would like more of the same on steroids, vote for Senator McCain.

On the other hand, if you think the United States could use a dose of integrity, intelligence and thoughtfulness in dealing with the serious difficulties we face individually and as a nation, then Senator Barack Obama is your man.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Peter Tibbles has a childhood tale of Pet Snails.]


...and you might have added: 'If you want the lunatic fringe of right-wing religiosity to continue influencing every politicial decision in this country, vote for Senator McCain.'

Voting for the other side just because your favorite candidate didn't win the nomination is the most stupid and childish response I have ever heard of. And I thought these people were against sexism. Changing your vote simply because of the gender of the candidate is about as sexist as you can get!!

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Let's hope these people, who are thinking only of themselves, step back from the edge. If they jump they will take the rest of us with them. How selfish and immature can you get?


I suppose there are some "sore losers" who will vote for McCain because Hillary is not the nominee, but I honestly feel they are few and far between.

Just listen to the Republicans today.You would think Hillary was their candidate. According to them she is so wonderful, would have been the best choice and they can't understand why Obama was chosen over her.

Can you say "Swiftboat"? We are being taken for a ride by Rove and Co. They are trying to stir up as much animosity as they can between the Obama and Hillary camps. Please don't fall for it. Most Hillary voters are intelligent and politically savvy and will NEVER vote for McCain.

I think most of those letters you asked us to read from Hillary supporters who claimed they were voting for McCain were written in a Republican "boiler room".

You can say what you want about Hillary fans but I don't think you can say they are DUMB. Voting for anyone but Barack Obama would be dumb.........

A recent study released last week, forgive me there have been so many, I can't remember who released it, but it said that over 52% of Clinton supporters were voting for Obama. 27% were undecided and 47% were leaning towards Obama. McCain's most recent TV commercial stands, not to polarize Clinton supporters to come to his side, but to do just the opposite. Clinton has been campaigning for Obama steadily over the last month.

The conventions of old always had roll call votes to give those candidates who got votes in primaries, their respect as most of them were elected officials and the convention stood to publicize them to a national audience. Recently this has stopped so that now conventions are an expensive rubber stamp of the primaries. Clinton's name will be introduced and she will then release her delegates to support OBama. While some question this, there is no doubt in my mind that this is orchestrated to make the most of a united democratic party.

To me, the highlight of the night will be the presence, if his doctors five him the green light, of Senator Ted Kennedy

Yesterdays poll said that 30@% of Hillary's supporters would vote for McCain. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot or 'biting off your nose to spite your face.'

Can't those sore losers see that they are every bit as radical as those on the far right that they disdain?

I do think that after they get their day in the sun at the convention they will settle down and see the error of their ways. I would hate to think that we have a 'left' as well as a 'right' American Taliban.

It is so nice to see the coming elections in such simple terms.

If any serious number of Hillary's past supporters vote for McCain (which I seriously doubt), it will be because their vote for Hillary was more a protest against the nomination of a guy they didn't think right to be President than a vote for a woman they did like.

I'm not buying that there are really very many of them. Most of the vocal ones I suspect of being "concern trolls" -- McCain supporters dishonestly using the hook of Hillary's loss to intervene in a conversation going on among people on the other side.

A recent poll shows 76 percent of Clinton voters moving, happily, to Obama. Eighteen percent like McCain.

I'm sure it will be hard for Obama to reach this remaining group. Most of us vote at least in part on the basis of a swirl of impressions and emotions which we like to describe as rational issue choices. The issue choices are real, and we make them. But less rational impressions also influence us and for some people who may well get counted as these reluctant Hillary supporters, Obama's very presence is like fingernails scratching on a blackboard. (Bet I can use that metaphor here -- it is dying in our school rooms I think. :-)

I experience McCain similarly from my side of the fence -- why is that unstable crazyman doing pretending he could be President? Then I go out and find the evidence for my feelings. Ronni's list is a superb catalogue of reasons and I'll take all of them.

Most of the real Hillary supporters will come around. The others were not so much supporters as lesser evil voters whose rationale we don't understand. They'll do what they do.

I am sure the Obama campaign has a strategy for assembling majorities where he needs them. It may not work, but it will be smart and coherent.

I just watched about 30 minutes of John McCain's TV ads, and I didn't even get to the end of them. They are going to be formidable as opponents in this election season. We MUST do everything in our power to stop the lies and distortions they promote.

Have you seen the ads that intercut Barack's speeches with cuts from Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea? Really dirty. They take Barack's brilliant speaking style and turn it into Hollywood special effects. Never mind that John McCain often can't remember the simplest details about the world he would like to lead. Never mind that he bumbles and stumbles over answering questions about his own real estate holdings. Just tear down the opposition. It is the usual Republican tactics that have been so successful in winning elections and so disastrous for the country after the election is over.

Thanks for nailing the irrational spoiled-sport ridiculous turncoat bellowing of the "If it's not Hillary then I'm not a Democrat anymore" faction. They're nuts and shameful, to boot.

I am thoroughly discouraged at the condition our country is in. I really, really thought that Bush would never win a second term, but there doesn't seem to be anybody out there strong enough to stand up against him and his bloated minions. I greatly fear that they'll manipulate, lie and steal McCain into office as well. All of the things you said, Ronni - everybody knows about all of it. None of it is a secret, and yet we have people actively supporting McCain and even Democrats who are insane enough to say they'll vote for him if they're pushed into a corner and can't have the candidate they really want. Frankly, I don't see how ANYBODY is going to fix the mess we're in now, but maybe they could at least keep it from deteriorating any further. With McCain, we KNOW it's just going to get worse and worse. I really, really fear for the world my grandchildren and their children will come of age in.

I use to think that people who reelected George W. four years ago were morons or simply the fatcats who benefited from his reactionary policies. But the Hillary supporters who intend to vote for McCain are even bigger morons.

I'm with you one hundred percent. Personally, I think any Hillary supporter who threatens to vote for McSame is another Joe Leiberman who can't decide where he/she belongs and doesn't have a full grasp on reality. Who needs 'em??

love your blog. Couldn't disagree with you more about McCain however. Die hard independent here who has voted conservatively for the last 30 years.

I'm not so sure how I like being characterized as the "lunatic fringe".

Guess we all see the world through different prisms.

I agree with this comment:

"Can you say "Swiftboat"? We are being taken for a ride by Rove and Co. They are trying to stir up as much animosity as they can between the Obama and Hillary camps"

Nice to see (almost) all of us on the same page! I'm with your comments and Zoe's....pray and work and pray some more, because I think this is really the last chance we'll get to re-raise America's good name in the world as a true leadership factor. Insist on the facts, and counteract the hateful political Karl Rove tactics at every turn!

Excellent! You help me crystallize my thoughts, and give me reasons I didn't know about. Thanks!

Excellent list, Ronni! Am shocked when I hear any voter say they'll vote for other than Obama, or not vote at all, as I've witnessed our government's disasterous administration these past years.

I just don't know how much more clear the choices can be. How can there be even a hint of a question in anyone's mind about the candidate to support? How petty, junior highish, to withhold a vote because HC wasn't selected. Initially she was my first choice, too, but the stakes are so much higher than any one individual.

Frankly, the next President isn't going to be able to "fix" much of anything immediately since there's been such a mess created that will take many years to correct. There will also have to be a change in the guard of those in congressional offices to those able to act, so meaningful legislative can be passed. But we also need an administration that can set a positive tone, be unafraid to tell the truth, one that is committed to real change and not just mouthing the words of change while dedicated to continuing the current destructive status quo.

I believe this to be the most significant election in my lifetime. The very form of government and freedoms I value are at stake. I want my children, their children and future generations to live in our country with the guarantees of our constitution and Bill of Rights as intended.

Again, as in the previous two elections, every attempt is being and will be made to divide the voters with emotional matters that have no business being legislated in the first place. I can only hope voters have finally recognized how poorly our country has been governed when they elected to office candidates for all the wrong reasons these previous two elections. I can only hope they can see through the well-disguised but transparent efforts to suck them into focusing on emotionally-loaded issues other than those vital to salvaging our nation and its freedoms.

We VOTERS NEED TO STAY ON MESSAGE and re-direct our candidates when they and others attempt to distract us.

We need to be holding the candidates feet to the fire, demanding they discuss the real issues needing our attention including but not limited to: health care, social security, our country's deteriorating infrastructure, the U.S.'s dangerous financial state, the war(s) as always, environmental concerns, regaining the world's respect and these are just a few issues of concern.

Hilary supporters who vote for McCain are like little children who, if they don't get their way, will take their ball and go home.

My biggest disappointment is unrelated to the matter at hand. In the largely Republican state I live in, my vote for Democrats is an exercise in futility. The electoral college system makes sure of that.

I'll go vote anyway, but it's on principle rather than the knowledge that my vote will really count.

Liberal predictions of doom always make me smile. Hearing bleeding hearts wail is music to ears of we conservatives.

You nailed it well. McCain is someone who thinks war is the only solution to any problem. For any libertarian who thinks voting for McCain will further their agenda, it will actually lead to more centralized power in the hands of a few. We are seeing it happen. True conservatives would not remotely promote the issues that McCain does and we will see worse than Bush if he is elected because of sour grapes. McCain is promoting the neocon agenda and that is neither conservative nor libertarian. Some might find this funny up until their grandchildren are drafted to fight wars all around the world to bring on supposedly democracy-- that we are losing at home. It is truly sad to imagine any of the Hillary supporters actually voting for McCain because it means they never had any understanding of what she supposedly believed-- if she did.

Totally agree. I can't believe some people are STILL doing this song and dance. Especially from a feminist perspective: yeah, Obama's said some dicey things wrt reproductive rights; have you seen McCain's record as well as Obama's? "by their deeds you will know them."

At one time, I thought this blog a place to find rational discourse. The venom and irrationality found here during the campaign rivals anything that appears on blogs of other partisans. 'Tis sad.

"• If your salary is meeting your needs, or your children and grandchildren don’t need future wage increases, vote for Senator McCain."

For the past 3 years at work I watched in disbelief, then disgust, at the distribution of company profits among the workforce -- the top earners (over $200,000 a year) were quite happy after every raise and bonus. At my level -- roughly $60k -- I had a 6% pay cut. But I couldn't complain once I found out what happened to the administrative assistants -- 11% pay cuts on a compensation (less than $40K) that was already not enough to afford a decent lifestyle. And this was happening at the tail end of a white-hot, extremely successful economic expansion. This one issue should have at least 80% of Americans voting Democrat -- otherwise they are voting themselves into poverty (if not already there). I have no doubt that McCain would do absolutely nothing for the middle class. I am a former Hillary supporter who became an Obama supporter the instant I realized he would be the Democrat's candidate.

It would seem that Senator Clinton has a much better command of the tools of diplomacy than Obama has shown, and a far better command than most of the detractors of Clinton's supports have shown. She, not Bush, is "the uniter".

It will be interesting to see if Obama will go back on crack or if Biden will continue to plagerize.

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