Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘campaign’

Welcome to what we hope is the first in many roundtable discussions about the goings on in the hilarious world of American politics. While a few of our contributors are indisposed for this first installment, 4 of Bandit Pulpit’s most obnoxious personalities are here to give you the business concerning John McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign as the mushroom cloud that is our economy continues to cast a shadow over Wall Street and Main Street.

With that being said, heeeeeeerrrrrrrrrreeeeeee we go!

Karl Trollve

It’s brilliant! True grit and leadership! It’s “country first!” Mac’s the only candidate in this election who really knows the economy! It’s a game-changer!

It’s a ploy! A stunt! The man’s in over his head and wants to dive deeper! Barney Frank is right — he’s trying to swoop in and take credit for something that’s already getting done! Of course he wants to cancel the debate — the economy is the last thing McCain wants to talk about — not just ever, but especially right now! It’s Sarah Palin times 10!

Phew. Ol’ Karl’s head is spinning. The McCain “suspension” (I use the quotes because he still gets wall-to-wall coverage without having to spend a dime on campaign ads; he’s off the trail but very visible; he’s not running but right in your face; on and on) is all the above things and more. This is the ultimate test of the spin-doctors and opinion-peddlers. May the shrewdest and most cunning win!

This is Karl politics, and it makes me proud. Don’t wage the war on facts and objectivity — the battle is to be fought and won in the realm of perceptions. Who looks and acts presidential? How does this feel? (Oh, and don’t forget: Who would you rather have a beer with? I know that might seem irrelevant in our current crisis, but trust me — it’s the ultimate presidential litmus test, even when your guy says he doesn’t actually drink.)

I’d be inclined to admit it’s a dangerous gambit to lay your fate upon the perceptions of the masses. Because, remember, the people are dumb. But that’s the brilliance of Karl politics — the more transparently cynical and can’t-pass-the-smell-test a ploy is, the better chance it has of leaving the populace drooling over themselves and begging for more.

John McCain, The Original Maverick. The Conquering Economic Hero. Cue “Hail to the Chief.”

Rofl Blitzer

McCain suggesting that presidential campaigning be suspended is just another gimmick dressed up as “putting country first.” I’m putting this move in the same category as picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. It is political theater. Nothing more than a stunt designed to dupe voters into thinking McCain is some über-patriot who will sacrifice whatever is necessary for our amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties.

My opinion is that McCain sees himself sliding in the polls and, suspending campaigning “for the good of the country” is the easiest way to stop the bleeding. Points to Obama for calling McCain on this say boldly saying “we can do both.” I would much rather support a candidate who can handle multiple things at once rather than someone who can only focus on one serious issue at a time.

David zomGergen

Surreal. It’s the only word I can think of. I have a hard time imagining John McCain “rushing” anywhere, let alone to save the economy. One can only wonder if history will look back and say “If not for John McCain the United States would have been helpless to resist the coming destruction of their financial markets.” It somehow falls short of “If not for Superman the world would surely have fallen into chaos at the hands of the evil Brainiac.”

I write this in the wake of David Letterman’s 2 night tirade on McCain canceling his appearance, a fair amount of clever comparative editing on behalf of the Daily Show, and a lot of general reflection on the news coverage regarding the financial crisis.

For me the most adequate point came from Letterman’s scathing critique. In short: If you have to leave the campaign trail to tend to important Washington business, fine. You leave your VP in charge and you leave your campaign running. The notion that you suspend your campaign and delay debates (through which the American people will arguably get their first glimpse at pseudo-unfiltered dialog on the issues upon which you will be ELECTED)…strikes me as absurd and disrespectful to the American people and to the democratic process.

Let’s have a little less political theater and a little more content. This nation IS in a crisis no doubt, on many fronts. That they need leadership is beyond question. In light of that we need information, we need direction, vision, and intelligent dialog regarding those issue which will define the next 4 years and much farther beyond, NOT another press conference of political posturing with LOTS of talk and LITTLE meaning.

Rush Limblog

This whole “suspending the campaign” move reeks. Every move the McCain campaign insists is genuine is just the opposite. All McCain and his advisers want to do is derail the news cycle that continues to expose his deficiencies as a candidate when it comes to the economy. The same policies and pleas for deregulation that McCain has been calling for have gotten us into this mess… Go ahead and add that on top of the fact that an advocacy group run by Rick Davis (McCain’s campaign manager) called Homeownership Alliance has been collecting lobbying fees from Freddie Mac since 2005, and you have a campaign disaster… But you see, this disaster is all self-inflicted. McCain is the one who insisted that the fundamentals of our economy are still strong, that deregulation is the only way, and that Obama’s thin connections to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are worthy of attack while insisting that his campaign manager has no ties to either company.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

McCain wanted to slow down this campaign and postpone the debate because he knows that he would get torn apart and his numbers would continue to plummet… Regardless of the fact that the debate is supposed to center on foreign policy and national security, it is inevitable that the economy would be brought up. There is NO reason for McCain to go to Washington during the bailout negotiations other than to skip out on the debate and artificially boost his already horrible economic credentials. Even tonight, reports are coming out that McCain is sabotaging the negotiations with the help of the Bush administration, hoping to draw them out so he can have a reason to not debate Barack Obama on the issues. The fact is that McCain cannot win on the issues… The only chance he has to win is to continue to distract this country from his disastrous flaws and shortcomings; use dirty tactics like THIS or THIS or THIS (proof positive that McCain is a total d-bag); or hope that white America is still scared by brown skin and funny sounding names.

Suspend the campaign? Fine by me… Just don’t expect us to buy that this is anything but a bailout for your campaign.

A Rofl Blitzer Production

Read Full Post »

Obama made a stop in Green Bay a couple of days ago and, as he’s known to do, made a speech. Big shocker. Pretty standard stuff but there was one specific section of the speech I’d like to dwell on and possibly over analyze. Here’s the relevant passage that piqued my interest:

As president, I will go through the entire federal budget, page-by-page, line-by-line and I will eliminate the programs that do not work and are not needed…. Even for the programs that we do need, I’ll make them work better and cost less. I want to create a high performance team that evaluates every agency and every office, based on how well they are serving the American tax payer. We are going to fire government managers who aren’t getting results. We will cut funding for programs that are wasting your money. We will use technology and the lessons from the private sector to improve efficiency across every level of government because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy, and that is going to change when I’m president.”

Idealistic? Mmm-hmm. Ambitious? You bet’cha. Realistic? I seriously doubt it. Shenanigans? Quite possibly.

I realize this is a politician making a campaign speech but… seriously? High performance team to evaluate government efficiency? Fix the bloated bureaucracy by creating more bureaucracy? Come on. Adding to the total number of bureaucrats is not likely to make anyone more efficient, even if you do modernize the existing bureaucracy.

Then there’s the firing of government managers. This one had me scratching my head. Is he talking about civil servants? No, he can’t be…that’d be like suggesting the President could fire the chairman of the SEC. He must be talking about people in his cabinet. OK, fair enough. I’m all for accountability. If someone in your cabinet pulls a Brownie, sack ’em. Immediately.

More than anything, it’s disappointing that Obama is saying we’re still at a stage where we need to evaluate and find the inefficiencies in our government. After years of watching the current administration awkwardly stumble their way through multiple wars and natural disasters we still need to evaluate. Great. Change? Yeah, we’ll get to that, some day….

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »