October 15, 2008
The final debate ended in more of a whimper, with rehashed and stale talking points ending months of rhetoric and ire. Three weeks to go and it has never been clearer that the new direction this country needs to head in is to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States. As we head into the final weeks it is ever important to cut through the minutia and distortions so that people vote armed only with the truth.
John McCain trotted out the two new hopes of his campaign tonight; Bill Ayers and ACORN. His campaign has been unable to run on any cogent reason to vote for him, so he is left to make up reasons to not vote for Obama. On Ayers, Obama answered what we all have known for some time; there is simply no story here. William Ayers is currently a respected professor in this country. Forty years ago, that is right folks, forty years ago; Bill Ayers was part of a radical organization that violently opposed the Viet Nam War. Barack Obama was eight years old then. Ten years ago, they served on a committee about education. That is the extent of their relationship. This never was an issue but McCain has desperately tried to throw fear into the mix in the hopes that no one will realize he is not running on any credible reason to actually vote for him.
The other non-story is ACORN. This is a community organization that is heavily involved with signing people up to vote. They pay people to sign people up and sometimes, the people they pay simply write names that do not exist instead of really doing the work. The LAW requires that they submit all the names. What happens then is the names are vetted and the bottom line is that the fake names, will never actually vote. So there is no “voter fraud”. There is not even any “voter registration fraud” because no one will actually attempt to vote under the fake names. John McCain knows that but tonight actually said that this was a scandal that “threatened the fabric of democracy.” You have got to be kidding me. Lastly, despite this, Barack Obama has nothing to do with ACORN. The last time Obama had anything to do with ACORN it was over a decade ago, when he represented them, with the United States Justice Department, to push for a motor-voter law in Illinois. Once again, a non-issue being trumped up into a fake issue designed to distract voters and scare them into thinking Obama has something to do with things he has nothing to do with. It really is that simple.
Now, onto the issues! On taxes, it is time to set the record straight. John McCain represents more of the same from the past eight years. His mantra has consistently been, “why would you want to raise taxes on anyone!” I will tell you why John. Because some people make a heck of a lot of money and it is time that the breaks went against them and for the little guy. When McCain talks about Obama raising “your” taxes folks, he is simply lying. Only the super rich, the top 2%, will see a raise in their taxes. So, the choice is clear between the two campaigns. John McCain talks about not raising anyone’s taxes, which is code for keeping the tax breaks for the super rich while the poor continue to get squeezed. Obama supports a return to the tax codes before the irresponsible Bush tax cuts for the rich for those making over 250K. McCain continues to rail about reducing spending and earmarking, as if he has not been part of the Congress for the past 26 years! Incidentally, this mantra of tax cuts and reduced spending is the exact same platform Bush ran on twice, so there is no doubt that he will be nothing but more of the McSame.
On healthcare the plans are vastly different. I will be honest, I am not sold necessarily on universal healthcare but I realize the current system is horribly broken and to me it is a “family value” that people have access to healthcare. What I also see is a scam in the McCain plan. He touts the $5,000 tax credit he wants to hand out to everyone to find there own healthcare. He avoids talking about how he will then tax your current benefits and never speaks about how it actually costs about $12,000 to access a healthcare plan. That is an unexplained $7,000 gap that McCain avoids speaking about.I usually would avoid examining the vice presidential candidates in this situation but a word here must be said about Sarah Palin. Tonight Obama avoided attacking Palin for fear that he would be branded sexist but there needs to be a healthy reminder that John McCain is a 72 year old candidate who has beaten cancer four times. His choice for Vice President is crucial because of this. It is time to call inexperience, inexperience. Sarah Palin is an insult to the office of Vice President. She has been sold as having “executive experience” but please, be real. Her state has only 650,000 people and as Mayor, the majority of her experience, her town had only 6,500 people. That is not executive experience. She thinks she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from her kitchen window. Her answers on crucial issues have been a half-assed collection of battered talking points that seemingly do not even add up to what the question was. I understand this desire to have someone you think is like you but seriously think for a moment if Sarah Palin had to sit down and negotiate nuclear proliferation treaties. Is this really the person you want to trust to deal with Putin, or Iran? She also is not this “fresh breath” nonsense that McCain fumbled through tonight. She has just been found to have abused her power as Governor of Alaska within her first 20 months in office! And what did she choose to abuse her power over? Was it some topic of great executive importance? Was it to try and “reform” the “good old boys” network? No, she wanted her ex-brother in law fired because he had the temerity to divorce her sister and when people refused based on principle; she fired the person who refused to fire her ex-brother in law. Is that the person you want a heartbeat away from being leader of this country? Do you want our President saying shucks or ya bethcya to Ahmadinejad??? Her selection was an insult to this country and you cannot dismiss her nomination when you cast your vote this November.
On a day when the Dow plunged another 733 points John McCain wants to talk about ACORN or Bill Ayers. He will spend the next three weeks trying to tell you why you can’t vote for Obama. He has to because he has no real reason why you should vote for him. Because in the end, he is running to “not cut taxes on anyone”; meaning to continue the handouts to the super rich. He is running on the failed positions of the past eight years. That is a hard platform to sell so he will sell you fear and doubt. He will in the end though appear as the vacuous candidate he has been from the beginning. Offering nothing new to the American people who are crying out for change. Of that, there is no more debate.