Palin… Continued

Lots of good comments on my post regarding Palin’s speech.  If you haven’t been following them, please do… lots of grist for the proverbial mill in there.

I’ve been reading many stories in the past week about the election, following polls and trying to figure out just what in the hell is going on.   Most polls show McCain & Obama in a dead heat, and the media is obsessing over Palin’s baggage instead of the issues, which is how the Republicans want it.   Much better to show American what commies the mainstream media are by picking on a poor hockey mom & her family than to have potential voters figure out that you’re offering very little new that could help them financially or otherwise.

For their part, I don’t think the Democratic response to the GOP polling surge has been very effective at all.  Even some of the liberal pundits are complaining about Obama and crew being too ‘cool’ and detached in responding to the GOP’s barbs, which plays right into the the right’s charge that the Democrats are elitists.

Here’s how I see things right now:

  • The Republicans are doing a very good job of diverting American voters’ attention from the fact that they were the party in charge of mucking things up over the last 8 years.   The ‘reform’ ticket that the ‘mavericks’ are running on is doing their best to convince people that it’s the damn Democrats’ fault… and judging by polling numbers, their ploy is working.
  • The Democrats are doing a piss-poor job of fighting off the Republican bounce.   From what I can tell, their plans for the economy would benefit average Americans more, but they aren’t doing a very good job of selling it.  Obama & Biden are doing an OK job of it, but some of their supporters are doing their best to alienate Americans on the lower end of the wage scale by driving that point home.  “If you’re poor and you don’t vote Democrat, you’re a &$*@#$ moron”  may be technically accurate, but what many Americans are remembering is that some liberal pundit is telling poor folks that they’re morons.  Case in point, right here.

I normally try to keep this blog from getting overly political, but this election is going to be one of the most important ones that I can remember from my almost 40 years on this planet.    One party is doing their best to win by blatantly lying,  while the other one is dithering their lead away.  Whichever party loses this election will be in for some major housecleaning.

Considering the previous 8 years, the Democrats should win this thing handily.  If they don’t, then it’s time for the movers & shakers in that party to go back to the lab and figure out why their message doesn’t resonate with voters.  Here’s a hint:  the ‘elitist’ label sticks because the Democrats willingly abandoned many of their left-leaning positions during the Clinton years.  NAFTA was hardly a boon for the average American worker, right?  Either support big business or the average worker… trying to do both hasn’t done very well for you all in the last decade or two.  When a party that has helped the wealthy get wealthier over the last 25 years successfully lays claim to the title of ‘party of the average American,’ it’s time for the former holders of that title to go back to the drawing board.

A McCain loss, especially if compounded with major Democratic gains in Congress, should signal a major retooling as well.   Sooner or later you’d think that evangelical voters would figure out that the candidates they have dutifully supported over the years have passed lots of tax cuts and legistation  that favors the rich and big business, but the social issues they themselves are mostly concerned with have gotten lip service at best.   Likewise, those moderate Republicans who are more concerned with fiscal discipline and smaller government may get their turn in the sun again.

The American political process seems to me to be a tug of war as the two parties modify their positions just enough to satisfy a large enough bloc of independent voters to favor them.   After a while in power, enough Americans get tired of the crew in charge that they decide to clean house and let the other party mess things up for a while.

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5 Responses to Palin… Continued

  1. Jim says:

    I didn’t expect you to say: “this election is going to be one of the most important ones that I can remember from my almost 40 years on this planet”. I expected you to say that, regardless of the outcome, the obstacles faced by the next president will be all but insurmountable – i.e. it really doesn’t matter who happens to be in power, etc.

  2. Bart says:

    Allow myself to explain… myself…

    A lot of the importance of this election (to me at least) deals more with the potential fallout to whichever party loses. If the Democrats can’t win this presidential election, they might as well blow the entire party up and start from scratch.

    Whomever gets elected to the throne will get the opportunity to catch one of a number of falling knives. The housing market, the national debt, the bond market, the dollar, oil production, geopolitical machinations of Russia & China.. you get the idea.

    Apparently I’m in a slightly optimistic mood right now. I hold out a small amount of hope that Obama is better prepared (i.e. realistic about his options) to deal with at least some of these issues. I am sure that the Republicans will simply continue to either ignore most of these issues, or continue with delaying actions that just kick the problem down the road some more.

    Ultimately it’ll all end in fire… I’m just getting more annoyed by the day with the blatant lying coming out of the McCain campaign these days.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I long ago gave up on both political parties in this country. The biggest difference between them is the rehetoric. Both march to the tune of the corporate state.

    I must say, however, that McCain and Palin scares me. He admits to being rash, impulsive and having a bad temper and she is a pentecoastal.

    You should see the political ads in Alabama. I was watching a show last night and felt like vomiting after viewing a couple of them. They are just icky.

  4. Philip K. says:

    I have been voting since McGovern/Nixon and I find myself more ambivalent than ever before regarding this election. It is almost a choice this time between which reasons I want the economy to be destroyed — for a war and tax breaks for the rich, or social programs which may do some good for a while before they too bankrupt the country and finally send me to the streets to live. Obama’s inexperience was cast by the Republicans as lacking qualification to lead so it was fun to see Palin’s inexperience spun the other day as quickness to learn. Palin in the White House [shudder].

  5. phædrus says:

    Hmm…

    What happens if the media focuses on Palin’s baggage through September.

    McCain stands by her to show the base that she represents that he’s “good people” but she withdraws for personal reasons (to take care of her family or something) in mid to late October. McCain regretfully accepts her withdrawal, keeping her base happy.

    McCain then picks someone who will be of a greater appeal to the moderates. The Palin base may be annoyed but are still grateful to McCain for supporting her. The news cycle again focuses on the pick rather than the issues and the moderates that were shocked by the Palin choice find themselves drawn towards McCain out of sheer relief if nothing else.

    The election happens with the majority of media coverage in the last couple of weeks focusing on the candidates instead of the issues…

    Fortunately, my track record of predicting this kind of stuff is relatively poor, but it seems like a viable scenario.

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