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Ten reasons I’m voting for Obama and against McCain

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Editor's Note: These are my thoughts. Just because I'm the site owner, don't hesitate to disagree. ;-) The Republican Party and conservatism shifted radically away from me over the last decade, and John McCain is not the man I believed him to be.


Obama is honest, thoughtful and charismatic. He may also become the most inspirational leader of my lifetime. When America is adrift domestically and abroad, Obama has the best chance of changing our course.


Will someday I develop buyer's remorse? Possibly. Am I aware we're electing a President, not a a savior? Yes, no human could live up to the expectations that are set for Obama, and the task before any President right now is monumental.


Do I like the prospects of a dominant, single party rule in Washington? Nope. Nor do I have much respect for the current Democratic leadership in Congress.


But change must come, now. And I can think of at least ten reasons:


1. More of the same is unthinkable Republicans veered horribly, perhaps irrevocably, off track. The ideals of Goldwater, Buckley and Reagan are long abandoned: less, but good, government... rugged individualism... private liberty for all people... calm, reasoned approach to policy instead of petulance... fiscal conservatism.


This administration instead amassed the largest debt in history and passed along a near impossible burden to future generations of Americans. The crony-laden incompetence of Katrina (and the shame of seeing black, poor Americans suffering through some third-world-like disaster recovery) exposed Republicans as unable -- or unworthy -- to govern.


Today's Republican leadership is little more than jargon and a wistful embrace of ideals they have abandoned time and again. Maverick McCain voted 90% of the time with Bush, and the Republican Party needs to be made accountable.


2. A prudent execution of foreign policy The last eight years has seen a devastating collapse in America's reputation abroad, despite a world united with America after September 11. We've squandered our moral authority with belligerent and ineffective foreign policy and hypocrisy laid bare for the world to see. We institutionalized and sanctioned torture.


We weren't prepared to wage war against a stateless terrorism, and we've done relatively little to adapt. We're closing in on a trillion dollars for an Iraq war where "success" is now defined as getting the sh*t back to shoe level, and we've underfunded the battle in Afghanistan where terrorist networks have reassembled. A Republican administration (which was either lying or incompetent) declared "major combat operations over" in 2003, and set a budget of $60 billion to fund a war. At this rate, assassinating Saddam and bribing every Iraqi $125,000 would have been cheaper and more prudent than a neocon-led strategy.


Obama was right about the Iraq war, and more than 18 months ago called for a refocused effort in Afghanistan. He has realists advising him, and he won't abdicate leadership to a military without clear goals.


3. Thoughtful and powerful oratory matters Words matter. Words can inspire, and rouse others to greatness. Words can break barriers and divisions between people. Words can define how we look at ourselves, and how the world sees us. The American presidency is about leadership not management... Reagan was a great communicator, and through a simple narrative made America a shining city on the hill, reckoned with an evil empire, and challenged the world to freedom.


No politician -- no person -- has delivered a speech that so stirred me, so surprised me, as Barack Obama's speech four years ago at the national convention. I've been a "decided voter" since that night.


Big speeches, impassioned and inspired words, can change the world. Barack Obama has the potential to bring out the greatness of America, and mark the start a new period of American leadership.


4a. Obama is more American Instead of embracing the Constitution, the Republican administration has brought us the unitary executive theory, seizing power in the name of "protecting America" from harm. Obama understands the President first swears an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, and the moment we compromise the Constitution in the name of fear, instability or expediency we destroy that which makes America.


4b. Obama is more American (part deux) This is a black man born to a single mom, raised by white grandparents, without a single head start in life. He is the very personification of the one thing that has made America unique among the world. No matter who you are, or where you start in life in this country, we all are raised to believe we can become anything, achieve anything. The ability to transcend, to move beyond where we are in life, is something Obama will spawn again for America, both figuratively and literally.


5. McCain was once an honorable man I was a big McCain supporter in 2000, even helped organize for his campaign. He's a hero, and demonstrated great character as a POW. His "maverick" tendencies in the Senate made me think he really did value his country over politics. But the man who said "I won't take the low road to the highest office in the land" has been exposed as a fraud... willing to say anything to gain the Presidency. Now he campaigns to peoples' worst tendencies... their fear, bigotry and jealousy.


Today the words that come from McCain seem made up, like he doesn't really believe them himself.


6. President Palin, and the simple unseriousness of Republicans Picking Palin was impetuous, pandering and dangerous, and disqualifies McCain. Her selection simply wasn't a serious decision, it certainly wasn't putting America first, and was more cynicism from the Republican party.


The triangle of doom that grips the party -- religious fundamentalist from one angle, neocons from the second, and anti-government types from the third -- have little in common but belligerence, and are tearing the soul of the party.


There isn't much room today in the Republican party for realists, pragmatists or libertarians. Today the party is dominated by zealots and cynics and many, many unserious people.


A lot of good people will vote Republican in this election, based on an ideal view of what they thought the party once stood for... or an imagined view of what it should be. But many simply aren't paying attention to the facts of the day.


7. Obama is a conservative I find him personally more conservative, reserved and pragmatic than John McCain. His calm, cool temperament is in stark contrast to McCain's erratic, hot-headedness as he's jumped from policy to policy on the economy and picking the next American fight overseas. Obama's tax policy is responsible. His economic policies are pro-business, especially small business. His family, faith and personal story are more traditional than McCain's.


The next President will inherit a colossal mess, and my guess is any liberal tendencies Obama does have will be constrained by the reality of an economy on the ropes, unfinished military action abroad, and crumbling infrastructure at home.


Defending America from the threats of extremism abroad and at home was once the role of conservatism. Today, the "conservative party" is more likely to be extremists.


8. More technology, more efficiency and more support for business Obama understands innovation, entrepreneurship and technology are at the heart of American competitiveness. Hes announced policies to eliminate the capital gains tax on investments made into startups, help small businesses create new jobs and afford healthcare, double the federal funding for science and technology research and fund a national network of public-private business incubators. He also plans to appoint a cabinet-level position of Chief Technology Officer for the United States, which could result in greater efficiency, reduced costs and a leaner, more effective government bureaucracy. He understands America could lead the world in energy technology, and that drill, baby, drill is a pedantic response to sending $700b a year to buy oil from regimes aligned against us, or against freedom.


9. A progressive agenda I've always been a political junkie, campaigning in junior high for Reagan, proudly wearing a "Bush/Quayle" t-shirt to school, and buying into the "compassionate conservatism" that GWB promised in 2000. Fundamentally, I still believe the American people, American business and American communities are best capable of propelling our country forward.


But I'm a progressive, and I understand that certain things fall to the government to do when the country cannot, or will not. We must make an investment into the infrastructure of America, the roads and bridges, power and communication grids, and water systems. We must solve spiraling health care costs that kill small businesses and leave sick people without care. We have to fix the crisis with secondary education that ranks near the bottom of all competitive nations.


Obama represents a realistic progressive agenda. He seems likely to set achievable goals, inspire people toward success, and be honest about the challenges we face.


10. Beyond the nonsense Obama represents a chance to move beyond the nonsense that has plagued America. Hes a new generation, untarnished by the cultural wars the Baby Boomers have fought for a lifetime. He is atonement for Americas original sin of slavery and racism, and moves beyond identity politics. His non-fundamentalist Christianity represents the best of faith without arrogance. Hes curious about the world around him, has a questioning intellect and is not dogmatic in his beliefs. He seems open to the possibility that hes wrong about something, but unafraid to tell you what he really believes. He speaks to Americans as adults, appealing to our best nature, and not our worst.


-- Terry Howerton

(This message has been edited by scouter-terry)

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A well thought out and insightful perspective, reminds me of Colin Powell's assessment of the situation. People in this country are in such a rush to vote party line without analysizing what each candidate truly stands for, and many are letting fear and misinformation guide their decision. It is true we need to chart a new course in Washington otherwise our economy will continue to lose industries to overseas and we could find ourselves as a country that produces nothing to trade with in the global economy.


Remember that the president alone can't accomplish much without the support of Congress, the last eight years has proven that. IMHO, McCain has been less than honorable in these past couple of months with his attacks on Obama, which I think shows he has let his Republican campaign committee take charge with anything goes tactics and he has forgotten his past pledge. Personally I think both McCain and Palin appearing on SNL recently hurt their credibility even more making them seem desperate to get any type of airtime they could.


We will find out tommorrow what the people think, thank goodness its almost over, lol.

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Why I voted against Obama (and why I can't understand why anyone would vote for him)


He is a Marxist. Don't take me at my word; just listen to his:


OBAMA: "But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.


And, to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties -- says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.


And one of the -- I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And, in some ways, we still suffer from that."


Other evidence?:


"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists." [i teach our Scouts that they are a product of their friends, so choose them carefully]


Obama chose to launch his political career in the Chicago living room of Ayers, a domestic terrorist who in 2002 proclaimed: "I am a Marxist." Also present at that meeting was Ayers' wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, who once gave a speech extolling socialism, communism and "Marxism-Leninism."


Obama chose the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an anti-American firebrand, as his pastor for 20 years. Wright is a purveyor of black liberation theology, which is based in part on Marxist ideas.


Obama tells Joe the Plumber that he just wants to "spread the wealth around."


Now, he wants to bankrupt coal. "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."


If you don't think he is a Marxist, then please explain why he spends so much time seeking them out and enjoying their company? This guy is truly scary.


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Yah, I think da problem with having a cabinet-level position for technology is that it means a Department of Technology. Which means funding for Department of Technology programs. And a regulatory role for the Department. And then the Department of Technology getting into which technologies the government should pick as "winners," and which should be regulated out of existence. Lots easier for a Microsoft to buy a regulator than succeed in da marketplace, eh?




That having been said, I think da Bill Ayers thing is ridiculous. Obama was in 1st grade when Ayers was a radical. The man is now a college professor. Liberal yes, radical no. And serving on a board of directors for a foundation with a mess of other people in no way associates you with what their views are now, in the present, let alone what their views were 40 years ago.


By contrast, Senator McCain was "palling around with" Bill Keating and accepting free vacations from the man while Keating was actively committing fraud which cost citizens and taxpayers billions of dollars. Not 40 years after Keating committed crimes and had reformed, while he was committing crimes. Even tried to protect da crook against regulators, while the crook was committing fraud. McCain was rebuked by the ethics committee and admitted to "errors in judgment". Yet McCain voted for banking deregulation and now we have a whole new class of Bill Keatings, eh?


Still, I take Senator McCain at his word. But if yeh do that, then yeh really can't fault Senator Obama for being in the same room 4 times a year with a former hippie. There's a reason why da media hasn't pursued this story, eh? It's because there is no story.


I dislike many government programs. As a conservative, I don't think bureaucracy does a very good job of things most of da time. Look at Frannie and Freddie, or the Department of Education, or the absurdity of unfunded state pension programs. I reckon Terry's right, though. Obama's going to be hamstrung after Bush's completely unfettered expansion of government and debt. Just tryin' to get us clear of the socialized banking system Bush has created would make for a worthy first term. There's not goin' to be room to expand programs, even with a reversion to the Clinton-era tax rates.


The balance of things is puttin' me, like Terry, in a position where I'm votin' Obama this year. Yah, it's more a vote for moderation and against neo-con radicals than it is for Obama's positions. But after a horrific reprise of LBJ's "guns and butter", da biggest expansion of inept government ever, federalization of the National Guard, tempo of ops drivin' our men and women in uniform under, unitary executive malarkey, bizarre assaults on constitutional law, economic incompetence and a litany of other failures, I reckon da current crop of neo-cons who ran McCain's campaign into the ground should be nowhere near the oval office. Especially since throughout this campaign McCain has listened to those nitwits and followed their advice.


I can wait four years until the Republican party returns to its senses or is replaced. Eight years if they run Palin in 2012. In the mean time, I'm content to vote for brains over experience. Tired of "experienced" old timers still fightin' the cold war or da baby boomer's culture war. Terry talks about it as "unseriousness", eh? I think it's worse, actually. From where I sit, da Republican party has become the anti-intelligence party. Schooling and brains and competence don't matter, just whether someone makes a good drinkin' buddy or fellow "hockey mom."


Bah. Just like Scoutin', eh? There's natural consequences political parties have to learn from. Da natural consequence to incompetent governance is that yeh don't get to govern any more. No matter how much you whine about da media or money or whatever it is they're whinin' about these days.




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Years ago, we had the Department of Technology Assessment, which advised congress on scientific matters. Newt Gingrich killed it, and the void was filled with junk science. Now we actually have to fight off inroads by creationists.


I've seen plenty of governmental decisions based on ignorance and superstition these last few years; having someone who actually pays attention to the scientific community will be a nice change.

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I guess I prefer incompetent freedom over polished, charismatic socialism. And yes, I hope I'm very wrong on this.


I guess I always understood liberalism to equate to making decisions with your heart, not with your mind. And being that Obama is a far-left liberal, I think we are going to see plenty of this, if he is elected. So, even with his Ivey League education, get ready to see emotion rule over intellect.


Beaveh, I would agree with you about the "Obama for being in the same room 4 times a year" if it was just any room. Problem is - the room was Ayers' living room. I don't know about you, but I don't think that happens between just casual friends or acquaintances. People only do that for those with similar ideas they want promoted, or if they are going to be paid off in return. Maybe you don't think someone claiming to be a Marxist is radical, but I certainly do. Remember, he claimed this in 2002 - not when Obama was in first grade. This relationship is much deeper than you describe, and has gone on for a long time.

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You have really been taken in by the Obama hogwash. I'm afraid he will get elected, so you'll probably have a chance to see how wrong he is for America.


The good news is that Democrats will only have two more years of power. With a Democratic president, they will go absolutely crazy with their looney programs and the people will throw them out next election and Obama the one after.


Just a fearless forecast. :) Anyway, I already voted for McCain.


Reminder: Terry and other Obama supporters don't forget to get down to the polls on Wednesday and cast your ballot. Voting is important.



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