Sense from Seattle

Common sense thoughts on life and current affairs by a Seattle area sexagenarian, drawing on personal experience, years of learning as a counselor to thousands of families and an innate passion for informed knowledge, to uniquely express sensible, thoughtful, honest and independent views.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So Far, So Boring

After an extra long primary season wound down to a triumvirate of the Courageous Maverick, the Charismatic Change Agent and the Great Female Hope, the Lady was edged out, but left the stage reluctantly and ungracefully.

Since then, the two survivors have been waging a disappointingly dull war of words, innuendoes, accusations, denials and counter-charges, without yet engaging on their respective ideas for addressing the important issues we face.

Probably the most we can do for now is watch how both men conduct themselves through this stage of the ordeal, in order to learn more about them personally. McCain is a political dinosaur. Obama is a political phenomenon. In spite of the difference in age and experience of the candidates, most Americans who care enough to vote are now looking with fresh eyes equally at both of them.

McCain has managed to show his true colors. He has flipped and flopped so much already, in pandering to the right wing base, that voters can see his supposed independence is actually an absence of basic philosophy on many issues. His most consistent position is war hawk, not surprising for the son and grandson of Admirals, whose very career is founded on having been a downed aviator war prisoner, as he constantly reminds us. When General Wes Clark accurately responded that being shot down and imprisoned is not a per se qualification for President, outrage ensued, which is what McCain wants, since talk of his naval service plays to his strong suit and distracts the conversation from the real issues.

Obama has tried to put forth some new ideas, but they seem to be more designed to appeal to the middle and to refute the lie that he is the most liberal member of the Senate. Perhaps because of the realities of what it takes nowadays for a Democrat, particularly one of color, to be elected President, Obama has to move to the middle, and if elected he will probably have to govern from the middle, and if elected to a second term, then maybe he can bring the country to a more progressive position. He is showing himself to be a realist, which is a good quality for a President.

The polls seem to agree Obama has a slight lead, but that the country favors a generic Democrat over Obama. As he begins to get his personal story known to more voters, concerns about his background and experience should diminish. His advantage in campaign finances should help get the story out.

How the respective Vice Presidential choices are made will help shape voters images of the decision making skill of the Presidential candidates. Whatever debates actually take place will also be very important, a chance for voters to compare the candidates side by side. Clever advertising, especially from the Obama side, can also enhance the differences by showing comparison clips of the candidates to the advantage of Obama.

We need to hang in and be patient. This most wide open Presidential race in decades, coming at a time of so many challenges to our nation, has to get more interesting. Hopefully, the interest will come in the form of more voters learning who both men really are, making the comparisons, and deciding that we really do need a change toward freshness, youth, new ideas, more diversity and openness and renewed progress toward restoring the American dream at home and the American image abroad.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One reason the race is so boring is that both candidates seem to have called a truce on discussing the plight of the millions of illegal immigrants that live in this country. But the Arizona politicians have not. Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues his sweeps in Maricopa County. Maricopa County Attorney Andre Thomas continues to prosecute them. Maricopa County includes Phoenix, the seventh (or so) largest city in the US and Mesa in the top 15, I think. In scenes that seeem copies of movies of Nazi Germany, Sheriff Joe conducts "sweeps" in neighborhoods with high Hispanic populations and arrests whoever he can for technical violations of the law such as cracked windshields, loitering, etc. Once he has arested them, he inquires about their immigration status. Many of the undocumented serve jail time but all are deported. Many of them leave adolescent children in the US to fend for themselves. It is ugly. Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix cannot stop Sheriff Joe from conducting his raids in Phoenix. He has called on the Feds to investigate Joe for civil rights abuses. The Feds ignore him. Lately he has called on the national press to follow Sheriff Joe on his raids to report to the rest of the country what is happening. The press doesn't care. The press has become a band of wimps. Did it stand up to Bush's invasion of Iraq? Does it draw attention to the obvious irony of Bush or Rice chastising Russia for invading Georgia? No. The only comments I've seen about that from the press are from the Phoenix Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Steve Benson.

But I digress. There is bad stuff going on in Georgia, but there is also bad stuff going on in Arizona. Obama and McCain are skirting the issues as best they can. The press is even worse.

Maybe Henry Cejudo, the gold medal wrestling champion who attended school in Arizona, may wake up America. I would love it if Sheriff Joe would arrest his mother, an illegal immigrant. Maybe that would wake up America to the persecution that is going on in this country. But I don't really mean that. I don't want that boy's mother arrested or any of the other immigrants who have come here only to better their lives and fill jobs created by the most successful capitalist country in history.
John from Phoenix

9:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Blake said...

What has John McCain said about this Sheriff, especially since McCain represents Arizona in the US Senate? Arizona journalists should press him on this. They should ask him if he becomes President, what will he do in the way of using Federal power to protect civil rights abuses. You would think McCain would be particularly concerned since the majority of his homes may be in Arizona [once his staff is able to tell him where they all are]. I wonder how much of the $276,000 tax deduction for McCain domestic help goes to people like Sheriff Joe's victims?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're barking up the wrong tree here. Don't you remember that McCain joined with Kennedy to sponsor the "comprehensive immigration reform bill"? It went down in flames. The bill was conservative and got a lot of flack from immigrant groups, but it had no chance against the jingoist spirit in the US. McCain showed exceptional political bravery for sponsoring the bill, and he almost lost the Republican nomination because of it. (I just can't believe that McCain won the nomination with all the things going against him - he must have an exceptional guardian angel).

Anyway the bill was defeated in Congress and McCain lost a lot of support because of it. He publicly reversed his position, saying securing the borders must come first. He has steered clear of the issue since. This all makes political sense. But he has not backed away from his position that ultimately some sort of government action must take place for the millions of Hispanic immigrants in this country.

I will vote for Obama, but I feel ok about a McCain victory vis-a- vis the illegal immigrant issue.

John from Phoenix

9:56 PM  

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