October 8th, 2008


My friends, small businesses need to reach across the aisle for energy independence

The election season is interesting, but also kind of scary, because the fate of the nation really does hang in the balance in some ways. I guess I shouldn't be too worried, because neither candidate could be as bad as the current president, right? That's true in some ways, but I get the impression that McCain wants to keep up the current situation in Iraq, and his health care plan (which basically amounts to throwing everyone a bone and then taxing the butcher) might be even worse than Bush' business-as-usual approach. And the spending freeze he's proposing? I mean, sure, Bush has been spending too much, but McCain says he wants to stop all non-essential spending. Who decides what's non-essential? In a Republican administration, it would probably be corporate interests.

I watched the debate last night, but neither candidate really said much of anything that they hadn't said in the other debate or earlier speeches. Obama even made the same joke about the Straight Talk Express losing wheels. Come on, guys, get some new material! And McCain, just because Joe Biden is apparently your friend doesn't mean I am, so stop calling me one every other minute, okay?

Some other things I noticed about the debate:

  • In addition to "my friends," other phrases just kept coming up over and over again, like "small businesses" (this one coming from both candidates) and "reaching across the aisle." And notice that one of McCain's examples of such reaching is working with Lieberman. I wouldn't exactly say that's an aisle. More like a very thin, blurry line. And what was with McCain's constant trivia-style rhetorical questions? "Did you know that Obama voted against alternative energy policies? Did you know Obama wants to raise your taxes? Did you know an ant can lift ten times its own weight?"
  • McCain and other politicians also keep yakking about having to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Why include the word "foreign"? We need to reduce our dependence on OIL, full stop. But I guess saying it that way would piss off the lobbyists in the oil industry. And isn't it good that the candidates have such differing views on offshore drilling? One is gung-ho about it, and the other in favor but less excited. Huzzah for the two-party system! Speaking of energy, I don't know that I believe in this "clean coal" stuff. Does that come from the same place as dry water and hen's teeth? Then there's McCain talking about Obama's position on nuclear power. "He wants to set up safeguards...or something." In other words, "I don't know what he wants, but I'm agin it!"
  • Speaking of which, despite McCain's obvious nervousness (my friends), he seemed to have no problem misrepresenting his opponent's position when Obama was RIGHT THERE. This led to exchanges like this.

    MCCAIN: He wants to invade Pakistan!
    OBAMA: No, I don't want to invade Pakistan.
    MCCAIN: Yep. He wants to invade Pakistan.

    I wish I could remember what the issue was where Obama said, "McCain will say [x], but..." and then said what he really thought, and then McCain came right out and said what Obama just claimed he would! You know, John (I guess I can call you that, since you're apparently the entire country's friend), you're allowed to deviate from your talking points when the other guy has preemptively argued against one of them.
  • You know, Obama, I don't believe you or Biden when you say that the taxes of 95% of Americans aren't going to increase if you get elected. But at least you admit that taxes for SOMEONE are going to have to go up. McCain claims to want to lower taxes for everybody. How does he expect to raise money, then? Catch a leprechaun? (Where's Dennis Kucinich when you need him? :P)
  • Obama also wants to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of people. But isn't that what insurance companies DO? Is he also going to try to stop water from flowing downhill? When will politicians learn that you can't negotiate with insurance companies?
  • Obama won't admit that the surge is working! How DARE he? It's an effective strategy! Really, John, whether it's working or not, calling it a "strategy" is a bit of a stretch. "Send in more troops" is about as much of a war strategy as "give it more gas" is a stock-car racing strategy. Or, for that matter, the way "give those bozos on Wall Street a bunch of money" is an economic strategy. It's not just that some of the government's most recent plans have been stupid, but that that they really aren't even plans at all.

By the way, did you notice that both candidates were wearing ties in the colors of their respective parties (red for McCain, blue for Obama), but their wives were wearing dresses in the colors of the OPPOSITE party? Anyway, let's hope that they have some new things to say in the last debate. Also, if McCain wins the election, he'd better stay alive for the entire term! Why is that Republicans nowadays have to choose the scariest running mates possible? To make themselves look better in comparison?