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Posts Tagged ‘2008 Election’

America,

Good Morning.  On today, November 4th, 2008 you are being asked to take time out of your day to head to your local polling location and to cast your vote for the President of the United State of America.  In addition you will be asked to vote for congressmen, many of whom you probably don’t know much about.  The focus for the better part of 2 years has been on the Presidential race and that is likely the choice that is foremost in your mind today.

A word of caution–  With record turnouts expected again this year, it is likely as we have already seen through some of the early voting experiences this year, massive lines, malfunctioning technology, and a generally frustrating experience.  Do not let it get the better of you.  Take a moment to meet a new neighbor, to appreciate the volunteers that are manning your polling stations, to be thankful for a country in which we get to exercise the right to vote for leadership.

I don’t care who you vote for.  By this time we all have our reasons for voting for a given candidate and I’m not here to persuade anyone to another way of thinking.  I ask only one thing of anyone that reads this–

Don’t stop.

We fall prey, I think, to this overwhelming sense of duty once every 4 years and after casting our vote think to ourselves “well, I’ve done my part.”  We get frustrated if our candidate loses or we rejoice if he (or in the future perhaps, she) wins.  I ask that whoever loses in this election that their supporters be gracious to the best of their ability.  I know, in an election of such intensity with so many telling us so much is at stake, that it will be tough.  But it is necessary that we move forward together no matter who wins.  For those that lose, your responsibility will be to maintain a critical eye on the winning candidate and the government as a whole, their decisions and policies, and to make your voice heard when they falters in their responsibility. For the winners, let nothing be sacred.  Enjoy your victory but do not fail to recognize that yours is the same responsibility as those who lost– maintain a critical eye.   No candidate no matter how much we like them or agree is flawless and no government infallible.  If bitterness is the sin of the defeated, then so is pride for the victorious.  As a nation we can afford neither.

Today is not the finish line but the starting line.  Your active participation may be the culmination of Presidential election efforts but it is not the conclusion of your civic responsibility.  You have a duty to yourself, your community, and your country to continue to educate yourself on the issues that effect you most, to actively question your government, and to work for its improvement through state and local elections, as well as through your everyday conduct in the community.  But who cares about duty when you’re trying to pay bills?  When you have mouths to feed, there aren’t enough hours in a day to get it all done, and sometimes you feel like the world is set against you?

The task of keeping the American people engaged in this process falls to those leaders we have elected, the media who reports on their activities, and to those who worked so hard to mobilize Americans over these many months.  I doubt highly our elected officials will fulfill their duty to engage us and to serve our needs so that we can devote more time to the task of citizenship.  I doubt highly that the media, once viewers tire of the fervor of post election coverage, will be diligent in reminding us of our responsibility as citizens.  This means I can only hope that those individuals, who showed so much commitment and drive in their respective campaigns will continue in public service.   Run for office, play a role in an upcoming local or state campaign, write about it, talk about it, become the leader you have been training to be.  Become the journalists we need, the politicians we would like to have, the organizers that help orient our frustrations and give a voice to our grievances, that help us achieve those small victories that often make the biggest impact in our lives.

America– this has been and is a great nation.  We can all do our part to see that it continues to be so but only by recognizing that we have real problems and that the government, no matter who is elected, is not going to fix all of them.  Don’t stop talking to your family and friends and co-workers about the things that matter to you.  Be it religion or education, politics or the military, taxes or the environment…in a nation with aspirations as great as ours no topic should be off limits and no idea should be above critique.  A great people deserve a great nation but so to does a great nation deserve a great people.

To the future President:  Congratulations, you have won the support of enough people to claim the highest office of our nation.  You have whipped us into a fervor and people are active and engaged more than I can remember in the last 10 years.  The eyes of the nation and the world are upon you and your presidency will mark what we hope to be a turning point for our Republic.

Do no squander this energy, this sense of empowerment, this personal investment in our nation.

Do not let us down.

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Many on the far left will, however I am not going to call the Republican Presidential Nominee a fascist… But, Jesus Christ are these rallies scary. I don’t think its a secret that we here at Bandit Pulpit aren’t the biggest fans of the self-proclaimed greatest Maverick of all time, but none of us would go to a rally and yell “KILL HIM,” “TREASON,” “TERRORIST,” or “OFF WITH HIS HEAD.” And I can’t speak for everyone else here, but if any candidate I was supporting intimated that John McCain was a terrorist or hated his country and people, then I wouldn’t support them. So, I will NOT call John McCain a fascist. I will NOT insist that McCain is pallin’ around with terrorists. I will NOT call John McCain and Palin racists, but one has to wonder what the hell is going on. Seasoned politicians and campaign managers are well aware of the messages they are sending out to the base, and I suspect the McCain campaign is no different.

So, I cannot deny the fact that McCain and Palin are playing on the fears, misconceptions, and deep seated hatred held by many in our country. McCain cannot win on the issues. McCain can not win in the debates. McCain cannot win with personality. But McCain and Palin can win by exploiting the fact that there are many people in this country who would rather die than see a President who is not white. But how do they do this? They stir crowds into a fury  by asking “who is Barack Obama?” and insisting that he is close with terrorists who hate our country. They nurture the idea in parts of this country that there is something so different about black people that make them dangerous, and un-American. While it goes unsaid, the message is clear… Barack Obama is not like you, and you should not only disagree with him, you should fear him. Barack Obama supports terrorism. Barack Obama will take your country away from you. Barack Obama and his supporters must be stopped.

Until this point, I have simply been disgusted by McCain’s campaign tactics. However, now I am actually scared of what could happen to Barack Obama, his family, his staff, and his supporters. And I’m not alone, just take a look at your daily paper, or take some time to check out Politico.com. This is not the kind of campaign that McCain should be proud of, and he should discontinue these practices now if he is really man of strong character he claims to be.

While McCain has actually come out and told a crowd at one of his rallies that they should not be afraid of Barack Obama, he was instantly BOOED. And let’s be honest, McCain doesn’t mean it. If he did, he wouldn’t approve ads like THIS or THIS. McCain says things like that to his crowds because he knows he is catching shit for it from the press. However, McCain knows EXACTLY what he is doing. Incite fear, incite anger, incite hatred, stop Obama, but then talk out of the other side of your mouth to deflect any blame. He doesn’t want people to just dislike Obama, he wants them to hate him because YOU have made the decision to based on slick campaigning, propaganda that questions Obama’s character/patriotism, political double-talk, deception, and downright distortions and lies that insist the Democratic Nominee is associated with terrorists.

So, in closing, I am not going to call McCain a fascist, but I cannot ignore the fact that the tactics currently being used by the Republican candidate are dangerous and despicable… There are those on the left who have, and who will insist that McCain is a racist and a fascist, but that would be just as terrible as what the McCain campaign is doing right now. Frankly, I expect more out of an American hero and so should you.

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As it often happens with controversies and scandals, what we are getting from the mainstream media in regards to this ACORN business has been incomplete at best.

While right-wingers, both those employed by FOX News and otherwise, have been pushing hard to pin this on Obama (big surprise), Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has taken the audacious step of calmly walking us through what’s up.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: ACORN pays individuals to go out and register voters. But these folks don’t always have the strongest work ethic (they may even be unemployed themselves) and so you end up with a lot of falsified voter-registration forms. The ones ACORN doesn’t catch get turned in and voila: massive left-wing, Obama-lead voter-fraud conspiracy.

But the folks doing all the huffing and puffing haven’t bothered to think through this. How could filling out voter registration forms with the names of cartoon characters, dead folks and the Dallas Cowboys actually lead to real voter fraud? Seriously, think about it. These applications will not make it past state screeners — as we are finding out. And if they did, then what? You cannot just line up with your fellow election-stealers outside the polling place and have your way with the voting booths. There are actual safeguards in place that prevent this.

So this is not about vote-stealing. As far as methods of voter fraud goes, this is a dead-end. If Obama was trying to steal the election, you’d think he’d have a little better strategy than trying to sneak Terrell Owens and Tony Romo onto the rolls in Nevada.

Agreed — this is inexcusable behavior and a phenomenal strain on public resources. Those responsible should be held accountable and punished within applicable legal guidelines. But why has the media narrative been about how Obama might be connected and whether our democracy is one step from the cliff’s edge? Why won’t anyone bother to apply, as Mr. Marshall did, a little common sense and critical thinking?

(And of all things, this? How about paperless electronic voting machines? Voter intimidation? Faulty equipment? Improper voter purges? Anyone?)

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So, how do you recover from saying that the fundamentals of our economy are still strong on the same day that the one of the country’s largest investment banks collapses and the stock market drops over 500 points? Well attack the opposition for pointing out your blunder, of course!

“The McCain-Palin campaign responded that Obama had both ‘inflated his own resume’ and disparaged American workers [by arguing with McCain that the fundamentals of the economy are not currently strong] with his attacks on McCain, who had revised his earlier claim that the fundamental of the economy are strong to state that, in fact, it is American workers who are strong. ‘Barack Obama offered nothing new except for sharp criticisms of the most fundamental elements of the American economy and pessimism about genuine efforts to restore our country’s prosperity,’ McCain-Palin spokesman Tucker Bounds said.” Full article here

Shocking, isn't it?

Shocking, isn't it?

So, a point of clarification: the fundamentals of our economy are you guys! Gee, what a swell guy… thinkin’ so much of us… except you 6.1% who can’t seem to find work for some reason. F you guys… Stop bilking the government for those fat unemployment checks, and stop calling McCain out for being an economic dummy.

On Tuesday, McCain even came out and called for a commission, much like the 9/11 commission, to investigate what in tarnation is going on! Well let me help McCain out with that… Phil Gramm, the man who called the fundamentals of our economy a “nation of whiners” and currently co-chairs McCain’s campaign (and has served as his economic advisor), helped push through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act while he was a US senator. This act, which was attached to an omnibus spending bill (that was virtually bulletproof due to the fact that it HAD to pass), allowed for unregulated credit default swaps. These swaps are purchased by financial institutions to protect their high-risk investments… However, since Gramm’s legislation kept these swaps unregulated, no one was able to ensure that the reserves existed to cover potential losses… Smart. Go Gramm. With that in mind, how do you feel about Gramm directing McCain’s economic policy?

So, to recap… the word “fundamentals” is synonymous with “American workers,” the name “Tucker” is fast becoming a name for ass-hats, Phil Gramm thinks you’re a pussy, and one of the people running to be the leader of this country needs a commission to tell him and his advisors (like Phil Gramm) what’s wrong with our economy.

Someone get the McCain campaign a mirror…

…Or perhaps a few textbooks you might have sitting around.

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Good evening, and welcome to Bandit Pulpit. As a fledgling political blog in a world dominated by the Huffington Posts, Drudge Reports, and Politicos, we hope that we will offer you a fresh take on American politics, and particularly the 2008 election. The contributors to Bandit Pulpit come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a common disgust for the direction that modern campaigning, and the misinformation being bandied about by partisan political operatives. However, instead of spending a ton of time on who each of us are (you can check that out in the “Who We Are” page coming soon) let’s get down to what has been nagging me for a few weeks now.

The past 8 years have been a disaster when one considers America’s standing in the world. Whether the next president is John McCain or Barack Obama, he needs to be a strong diplomat that is capable of healing the wounds of the Bush years and restoring the soft power of influence that is so important in combating terrorism, assuring the safety of our allies, and securing our national interests. After watching the Charlie Gibson interview of Sarah Palin, I have to say that I came away rather frightened.

While Palin is running as McCain’s VP, the fact that she does not know what the “Bush Doctrine” is (Yes, is. Not “was”) leads me to believe that a McCain presidency will give us nothing but fractured relationships, global instability, and more of the same dangerous hubris from the neoconservative minds behind the McCain campaign.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bush doctrine (originally detailed in the 2002 National Security Strategy) stated that

“The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.

The Bush Doctrine essentially reserves the right to use military force in a preemptive manner in the face of an impending and assured threat (Like our attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq…. Since he was planning to attac….. give weapons to terr….. eat a kabob).

During the Sunday talk shows a bunch of McCain operatives came out to say that the “Bush Doctrine” as referred to by Gibson is outdated since the NSS of 2006 doesn’t contain such language… Which is true… partially… The 2006 NSS states

“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.”

… Before attacks occur… Right.

Ready or not, here she comes...

Ready or not, here she comes... From an Island in Alaska where she can see Russia.

For Palin to not understand what the doctrine is -or was if you’re delusional- is unacceptable. Palin is 100% untested, and unprepared… Should this person be *cringe* “a heartbeat away from the presidency”? Should she be in charge of the foreign relations of this country in such uncertain times? Should we trust America’s future with the same neoconservative minds that brought you the Project for the New American Century and the war in Iraq (Bill Kristol currently serves as a foreign policy advisor to John McCain and was one of the main architects of the current administration’s policy)?

Now that you know what the issue is, take some time to answer that question for yourself. War in the Caucuses? A showdown with Russia? A campaign to “bomb, bomb, bomb” Iran? The choice is yours… Let’s hope your choice is ready to lead the free world and return America to its position of strength and prominence.

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