Thursday, October 30, 2008


When planning surgery, weighing the options and discussing them with patients, I always had to consider the worst possible outcomes. Or maybe it's just because I'm a Democrat.

Whatever the reason, I find myself less than confident that Obama will win the election. After flailing around aimlessly, bouncing from one ineffectual theme after another, revealing his central lack of conviction on pretty much anything, the McCain campaign seems to have settled on something that's getting apparent traction: Obama's a socialist, and Joe the Plumber doesn't like him. It makes no sense, it's completely baseless and unfactual; it's cynical and nasty.

In other words, it's the perfect Republican strategy.

And, watching interviews of pundits and of McCain's fellow-travelers, it appears people are buying it. "Socialist," they holler. "Marxist." One is left to wonder how many of those hooters could define either socialism or Marxism; and one is quite certain that they could no more outline specifics of Obama's economic plans that amount to it than they could name ten presidents. What they can do is latch onto that perfect phrase: "income redistribution." I've written about it before, nearly laughed it off because it's so ridiculous.

God knows I have abiding faith in the superficiality of the American voter. That both candidates voted for the bailout (which can rightly be viewed as a partial step toward socialism, except that it isn't the long-term goal) escapes them. Perhaps that's because John McCain was so two-faced about it that he nearly ran himself down dashing in and out of the room. And mainly, the fact that what Obama proposes is simply a readjustment of tax rates -- just as McCain (and every candidate who's ever run for president) does, except that McCain's proposals exacerbate the inequities and deficits and disaster we've gotten under Bush -- makes no difference: McPalin says it's socialism, and therefore by golly it is.

From the beginning, McCain has made it clear he thinks the electorate is stupid. It was just a matter of finding a message sufficiently idiotic to match up. No sense appealing to our better selves; no point in facing facts: Obama's pretty much got that segment locked up. Find something really moronic, dumb it down to the most simple-minded, and run with it. And so he did. And so I'm worried.

In my state, Washington, the lowest turnout in the primaries was among the 18 - 25 age group. Now it's true that on the Democratic side, the primary was essentially meaningless because the caucuses had already determined the outcome. Still, it concerns me. It's that group that has come out in huge numbers at rallies, and who are the core of the grunts in the campaign. I worry that they'll follow prior form and not vote in the needed numbers. Which would be doubly tragic. It's their future that has been mortgaged away and degraded by the presidency of George Bush. It's their security that would most certainly be placed further out of reach by John McCain, who differs from Bush on the economy and on foreign policy only in the ways he'd worsen Bush's mistakes. The "socialism" theme has the crazies riled up; the recent polls might have the young people overconfident.

There is, of course, one actual socialist on the ticket: as governor of Alaska, which owns its oil, Sarah Palin annually redistributes the wealth of the state to its people. And every time they hear about it, her crowd of America-lovin' socialism haters cheer and weep and look for an Obama supporter to beat up.


  1. Hmm sounds like you're backin down from you prediction, Sid.
    McCain 285, live it, love it, learn it. Whats the ICD code for Explosion, Head. ?

  2. Sid, I do enjoy reading your posts-almost like informed consent, positives/negatives/potential complications --full disclosure.
    I agree that a large number of Americans (and an equal number of Europeans)would be hard pressed to define a Marxist-It would not shock me if some were to respond by saying "didn't they make movies and one of them have a tv show
    in the 50's?

    The sad reality is that who ever wins, the number of needy in this country will most likely increase, not decline, the number of people employed by the Government will not decline, and the taxes-in some form-will increase.

    Right now my biggest concern is a triumverate of Reid/Pelosi/Obama. My friends in the Psych business always remind me that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior-

    Speaking of past behavior-Illinois
    cook County sales tax 10.25% Highest in the nation
    Murders in Chicago last six months
    292 (221 killed in Iraq.)
    States Pension fund $44 billion in debt.
    The exemption for federal minimum wage in American Somoa allowing Starkist to pay its workers $2.10 per hour less.
    Starkist employs 75% of Somoan workforce
    Paul Pelosi major stock holder
    Recent bail out earmarked $33 million for economic development in American Somoa

  3. tom: of the three, I think you'll find -- if he's elected -- that Obama will be the moderate and thoughtful one. I don't have very high regard either for Reid (terrible speaker) or Pelosi (terrible speaker, too partisan -- although nowhere near like Newt).

    I assume your "past behavior" meme is somehow linking Chicago's murder rate with Obama. That's right up there with McPalin's porn.

  4. Sid, I wonder why Drackman is so obsessed with you. It's like you're a threat or something. Interesting.

  5. In all fairness.....Arizona has a large crime rate (particularly in the Phoenix area..of course, due to the large populous), we're in debt and we also have that pesky illegal immigration problem.

    Honestly, in the last 6 weeks or so, I haven't seen the flag at the fire station at full mast. Why? We seem to have had a rash of Police Officer, DOC Officer and DPS Officer deaths.

    So, if Obama's responsible for all that is Illinois, then McCain is responsible for all that is Arizona.

    So, should I blame McCain for the rattlesnake that bit our dog last night?

    Or bitch, piss and moan to him about how much the emergency vet costs? (which BTW, at last count, was equal to 1% of Palin's new wardrobe)

    Not at all. We live in the desert Southwest and there are risks involved in living here, especially when you're in a more 'rural' area like we are.

    Just as much as there are risks involved if you live in a high crime area or are involved in gangs or drugs. Your odds are increased that something negative could (potentially) happen.

    Having said all that (loosely associated as it was)...just because I've already voted for Obama and am a registered Democrat, doesn't mean that I agree with all Democrats in positions of authority.

    Especially Pelosi or Reid.

    And no, we didn't' kill the snake.

  6. Sid, I'm with you here. One day I'm thinking "he's totally going to win." And the next day I'm thinking "but these people elected George W TWICE." I guess I feel as confident as one can when you're dealing with maniacs.

    And the socialist thing really burns me up. People who know what socialism is don't care but people who don't know what socialism is will say "didn't someone say communists were bad one time?"

    I'm from Chicago so I feel confident that no matter what happens, my half of the state will vote blue. I will continue to be surrounded by people who agree with me, which I like! (Anyway, I think things like sales tax fall into the domain of the governor and mayor, not the state senator.)

  7. I knew reading Huffpo was good for something - it's good to find someone intelligent, thoughtful and realistic. Like you, I'm afraid, notwithstanding the poll numbers. I'm afraid because I've been watching the setup to scream election fraud when Obama wins, and the efforts at voter suppression (I was told just yesterday that I should stay away from the polls because I may have unpaid parking tickets). I'm 49, and it is downright refreshing to feel something approaching hope for the first time in years.

  8. tom,

    I think you'll find that the Iraqi deathcount is closer to 11 000.

    Oh? Them dirty furriners don't count?

    Also in that post - the Chicago murder rate has gone down since the Illinois governorship shifted from R to D. But I s'pose that there were only so many murders because the Dems organised them in order to make poor gov. Ryan look back before he got locked up for corruption? And of course those corruption charges were rigged by the Dems too, right?


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