Monday, September 15, 2008

ICE Mail Debates Obama, McCain

I'm posting a thoughtful exchange on ICE-mail worth checking out. It is in reverse order with Michael Fiorillo responding to Sean Ahern who responded to Jeff Kaufman who responde to Glenn Tepper's posting Bob Herbert's column on Sarah Palin.

Hello All,

While I agree with Sean that it is important for Obama to be elected, I must admit that I don't hold out a lot of optimism about an Obama administration. While it's certainly true that his Supreme Court nominations are likely to be better than McCain's, and while he is without doubt a more intelligent and humane individual, I also think that

1. he is not nearly as progressive on many issues as people have projected him to be,
least of which is education, where at least on paper he's worse than Hillary, and

2. should he be elected, he's likely to be the captive of events, which this weekend's
financial news shows to be moving into calamitous territory.

My main reason for supporting Obama is that either the rising tide of hope and expectations that will coincide with his election will potentially force him to break out of the box that his hedge fund financial supporters and U of Chi advisors are placing him in., or more likely,
the disappointment that will inevitably follow his weak tea administration may provide the impetus for the arousal of the American people.

Don't discount the power of disillusion to lead to political wisdom and, perhaps, action.

Also, as for Biden, Jeff is certainly correct about his awfulness. Traditionally, to be Senator from Delaware was to be Senator from DuPont. Over the past generation, it has also evolved into being senator from Banking, and in particular the credit card industry. Biden has worn the most garish lipstick in that whorehouse for years. He was also a politically foolish choice.

Michale Fiorillo

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Ahern
Sent: Sep 14, 2008 4:46 PM
To: Jeff's Gmail , ICE Mail
Subject: Re: [ice-mail] Bob Herbert, NYT: She's Not Ready

What would a McSame/Palin administration mean for the Supreme Court? For the prosecution of war criminals? For corporate criminals? For the rule of law? For freedom of the press, free speech, health care, labor rights? For our own security as we grow more hated for our preemptive wars and bullying?

I'm as sick of the Democratic Party as anyone and I agree that the neo liberals and the 'tough' liberals have helped to bring us to this point but I think it is a dangerous mistake to say there is no significant difference between an Obama/Biden or a McSame/Palin administration.

In the early 1930's German Communists took the view that there was no difference between the Nazi Party and the Social Democrats so they opted not to unite against Hitler who won a narrow plurality in a three way race. Big mistake. The right wing evangelicals and neocons are facistic. A blundering wind bag like McSame is their ticket - our nightmare.

--- On Sun, 9/14/08, Jeff's Gmail wrote:
From: Jeff's Gmail
Subject: Re: [ice-mail] Bob Herbert, NYT: She's Not Ready
To: "Glenn Tepper"
Cc: "Ice-Mail "
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2008, 1:12 PM


Your attacks on Palin are well noted. Evolution and abortion are the tip of the iceberg....but. ..have you looked at Biden? He may reject intelligent design and support a woman's right to choose (although as a devout Roman Catholic he is personally against it...a position I respect but do not completely understand) he is a civil liberties nightmare.

Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden.

How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden.

Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden.

Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about).

Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs.

Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences) .

Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004’s horrendous RAVE Act.

I don't have to tell you the impact of this drug war on our students and our communities, especially minorities.

I rather choose neither.


------------ Original Message----- -------
From: Glenn Tepper
Date: Sun, Sep-14-2008 11:05 AM
Subject: [ice-mail] Bob Herbert, NYT: She's Not Ready

September 13, 2008

She’s Not Ready

While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”

Ms. Palin may be a perfectly competent and reasonably intelligent woman (however troubling her views on evolution and global warming may be), but she is not ready to be vice president.

With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.

“Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?” Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.

Clueless, she asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”

“Well, what do you interpret it to be?” said Mr. Gibson.

“His worldview?” asked Ms. Palin.

Later, in the spin zones of cable TV, commentators repeatedly made the point that there are probably very few voters — some specifically mentioned “hockey moms” — who could explain the Bush doctrine. But that’s exactly the reason we have such long and intense campaigns. You want to find the individuals who best understand these issues, who will address them in sophisticated and creative ways that enhance the well-being of the nation.

The Bush doctrine, which flung open the doors to the catastrophe in Iraq, was such a fundamental aspect of the administration’ s foreign policy that it staggers the imagination that we could have someone no further than a whisper away from the White House who doesn’t even know what it is.

You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.

Ms. Palin’s problem is not that she was mayor of a small town or has only been in the Alaska governor’s office a short while. Her problem (and now ours) is that she is not well versed on the critical matters confronting the country at one of the most crucial turning points in its history.

The economy is in a tailspin. The financial sector is lurching about on rubbery legs. We’re mired in self-defeating energy policies. We’re at war. And we are still vulnerable to the very real threat of international terrorism.

With all of that and more being the case, how can it be a good idea to set in motion the possibility that Americans might wake up one morning to find that Sarah Palin is president?

I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

To burnish the foreign policy credentials of a vice presidential candidate who never even had a passport until last year, the Republicans have been touting Alaska’s proximity to Russia. (Imagine the derisive laughter in conservative circles if the Democrats had tried such nonsense.) So Mr. Gibson asked Ms. Palin, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”

She said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Mr. Gibson tried again. “But what insight does that give you,” he asked, “into what they’re doing in Georgia?”

John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate. But there is a profound double standard in this country. The likes of John McCain and George W. Bush can do the craziest, most irresponsible things imaginable, and it only seems to help them politically.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The 1992 Presidential Debates with Ross Perot were not dull. His warnings have now come true. Replace John McCain with Ron Paul. Add Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. Barack Obama must earn his victory, not win by default.