Nov 032008

Guess who my favorite member of a major-party ticket in 2008 is?  Heh.

Barring a lawyer-generated coda (and maybe even then depending on its nature and severity), this is my last post on the U.S. presidential campaign.

This has been the first presidential campaign during which I’ve had a blog, and though WmWms isn’t exclusively political, it’s been an entertaining vehicle for me.  I hope you can say the same.  Thanks for reading.

As usual, I have found the vast majority of the get-out-the-vote rhetoric annoying, though the video at Mrs. Chili’s was entertaining.  For one thing, I believe that questions about the wisdom of sending people actually swayed by such campaigns to the polls are legitimate.  Let’s remember, the heart of the humor in Jay Leno’s man-on-the-street segment “Jay Walking” is monolithic ignorance.

More importantly, a considered and informed decision not to vote is every bit as defensible as a considered and informed decision to vote for a particular candidate.  The idea that I give up a credible platform for complaint if I choose not to vote is, in a word, bullshit.

For many of us, there isn’t anyone out there.  I supported Ron Paul enthusiastically, as he was the only candidate at all serious about reducing the scope (and cost) of the federal government.  Alas, he never had a chance.  You can’t win the nomination without promising that whatever ails you, Uncle Sam has the cure.

In terms of growing the government, there are no meaningful differences between mainstream Republicans and Democrats.  For a time I thought that Republicans were killing us 10% more slowly, but there is no longer any reasonable basis for such a belief.  Sometimes I wonder whether there has been in my lifetime.  (Perhaps the 1994 election did provide some meaningful, if brief, cause for optimism.)

Ultimately I hope for a new era of respect for the U.S. Constitution, and unwavering compliance with its limits on federal power.  I hope for a populace who substantially believes that deep suspicion of government is a healthy default position, and that wonderful things are best accomplished by unfettered individuals pursuing self-interest, not sprawling federal bureaucracies.  I hope for a government that effectively protects the United States from foreign invaders, and that assists in the mediation of disputes between her citizens, and that does nearly nothing else.

While I am about these thoughts, I shall also wish for peppermint rain.

So why do I support John McCain, if I believe that?  I’ve never liked him—a fact well documented on this blog (here, here) and elsewhere.  My support is tepid.  I didn’t volunteer, I sent no money, and couldn’t even be bothered to link to his campaign web site.  (And I love to put a sticker on my car.  Not this year.)  I wasn’t even voting until two months ago.

It was Sarah Palin who got me off the couch.

I was ready to follow her anywhere after her convention acceptance speech.  Post-Steinem feminism, anyone?  Second coming of Thatcher?  She enraged a whole lot of people who are particularly comical in an enraged state.  How dare she not kiss the rings of the Washington insiders?  Who the hell does she think she is, being a governor and a mother and deigning to believe she can be a vice president and a mother too?  Snowmobiling?  Moose hunting?  “Task from God”?  Tad redneck, don’t you think?

Apparently they “cling to guns or religion” in Wasilla, as well.

I believe that I see in Palin the potential to be the sort of elected official our founders envisioned.  I admire her accomplishments.  I applaud her plainspokenness.  Her words emphasize many correct things about honesty and efficiency in government, and she has actions to match.  Whether as Vice President in the McCain administration, or as a potential regrouping leader in defeat, she could make “Republican” mean something good again.

And oh, is she tough.  As badly as the McCain campaign initially handled her, and as shamefully and committedly as many in the media have tried to destroy her, only to still have her standing there winking, I’m beginning to suspect “mimetic poly-alloy.”  You betcha.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote an excellent, and depressing, piece on the media’s many failings in this campaign, in particular the passes the Obama campaign has received because the media wants him in so badly.  Imagine the look into McCain’s shorts had so many good questions emerged about fraud prevention in his fundraising, particularly on the heels of a broken promise about public financing.  Imagine a “God damn America!” from McCain’s racist 20-year pastor.  Imagine Palin claiming that FDR went on television in 1929.

These things have occasionally made me angry, but again, peppermint rain.

Beyond my affection for Palin, I’m voting for the logjam, basically.  I’m not particularly bothered by the idea of an Obama presidency—except for the large Democrat majorities in the Senate and House.  We’re talking about a man who wishes to gather Kris and Karl for a socioeconomic policy ménage à trois, and who appears to have a tremendous foreign policy crush on a famous peanut farmer.

The Oval Office as a setting for the continuation of his wonderful and audaciously hopeful journey of self-discovery might be merely entertaining with a Republican Congress.  With (instead) one ready to bring him gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the damage could be substantial.

And never forget, according to Michelle, Barack Obama is going to be on your sorry ass every minute.  No apathy anywhere ever!

Nevertheless, whatever the result, may God continue to bless the United States of America.

Whatever the result, I shall neither sulk nor gloat.

(Really, all you Obama supporters:  It’s over.  Barack Obama has it in the bag.  No need to concern yourself with getting out, particularly if the weather’s bad where you are, and/or you have a lot to do that day.)

It’s a long time even to the 2010 midterms, kids.

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 Posted by at 4:38 pm

  30 Responses to “Wrapping up the 2008 presidential campaign”

  1. Obama alias Jimmmmmy “Peanut Head” Carter. That guy acts more like a dunce every year.

    Sarah for President 2012

    What, no comment from the lawyer?

  2. I just think you are voting with your penis again Bo

  3. Tomorrow, I shall discover how well I can read while standing in line. And, don’t forget your “I voted” stickers. Starbucks is giving a free cup o joe if you vote.

  4. For the record, John McCain did state during the last debate that he would freeze all federal government spending at current levels and then begin cutting spending in select areas. That constitutes scaling back the size of government in my book. Albeit in a small way.

    BTW, have you heard about Obama’s proposed “Civilian National Security Force” which he say’s will rival the US military in size and strenght? Can anybody say “Obama’s Youth”?

  5. Bo, you said “Ultimately I hope for a new era of respect for the U.S. Constitution, and unwavering compliance with its limits on federal power. I hope for a populace who substantially believes that deep suspicion of government is a healthy default position, and that wonderful things are best accomplished by unfettered individuals pursuing self-interest, not sprawling federal bureaucracies. I hope for a government that effectively protects the United States from foreign invaders, and that assists in the mediation of disputes between her citizens, and that does nearly nothing else.”

    I say, “Yes; that’s it, exactly.”

  6. I’m glad you told me to go here tonight. The Mrs. Chili youtube is funny.

  7. Pearl: We can disagree vociferously and keep it polite (even with lawyers).

    Buzzregog: Eh, not so much, really. Of course I can see objectively that she’s attractive, but she’s really not my type. Too thin, mainly.

    ‘seester: The problem with these offers tends to be the large number of qualifying people. I don’t have to stand in line very long at all before a free cup of coffee isn’t worth it, gnome sane? Plus, you don’t even like Starbucks!

    Lee: Conceded. I missed that. Doubt he’ll get the chance to make good, but I’ll hope. And I’m not at all surprised about the Obama Youth Troopers. Remember, we have it directly from Michelle’s mouth: “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

    Mrs. Chili: I do believe there’s a Libertarian in there somewhere!

    Dad: The Obama gif isn’t bad either. 🙂

  8. Yeah. I hate Starbucks. But everyone else can go get their freebie. It’s good practice. 🙂

  9. Just what “accomplishments” of Ms. Palin are you referring to?

  10. Gerry: Oh, good, prudent governing stuff like budget reduction (I think most of $300 million vetoed just in ’08, actually), ethics reform, and practical energy policy (and action). I’d think you could get behind all of that as well, actually. Not too late to change your vote.

  11. A new era of respect for the constitution,a deep suspicion of government – now that sounds like Obama ? Hummm That sounds exactly the opposite of what we will get with Obama.

  12. With respect to lawyers BO, they have made our country so risk averse that Billions of dollars are spent by businesses and individuals for fear of being sued. One or two failures in a product and companies spend huge amounts of money to protect against the 0.0001 percent chance of a failure for fear that some lawyer will file a class action.
    We have more lawyers per capita than any country in the world. Japan, China, and India graduates engineers, we graduate lawyers and liberal arts majors. Congress is made up of predominately lawyers. Now you why we have so many problems in DC. How about getting a broader representation from our country?

  13. Pearl: No argument. I think the simplest, most effective single step to take is “loser pays” in civil litigation. Not holding my breath, because as you said, it’d be up to a bunch of lawyers to pass it. 🙂

  14. I’m done – I voted. Thanks to my recon man, he tipped me off to the line lengths this morning. And! Good judgment on my part for marrying a last name that starts with A. That line was shorter this morning. 15 minutes in and out! W00t! I’m giddy. I love voting. I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t do this every chance they get.

  15. ‘seester: I arrived about 7:45. I waited about 45 minutes outside the door, and then saw double that wait inside, and left. I’m watching the youngling so Lea can go; she’ll give me a spot report in a few minutes.

    I don’t expect it to take me any less than two hours. My chance of going to work today is down to about 10%. Basically if it’s after 2 or so when I get out, I’ll probably just come home and start drinking uh, watching the coverage.

  16. D went by our location at about 6:45 am and said the line was wrapping the building. So he took the kids to school. Then he went back around 7:45 and said the line was half that. As he was getting inside, he called and said the wait wasn’t too bad. When I got there he was just finishing up. I think he spent about 45 minutes total. Good luck!

  17. Just heard from Lea. She was outside 30 minutes, and informed estimates of her time remaining ran about an hour.

    I’m going about 1 and shall be in for the duration.

    Perhaps I’ll pass time in line by seeing if I can get some contentious political discussion going. Or do they frown upon that sort of thing?

  18. I talked to my mom. She walked right in and voted with no line. GRRRR. I think we may have an efficiency problem at our location!

    Trying to get to Nathan’s school was a nightmare, too. I went early to compensate but almost not early enough. The traffic was worse then I thought and it took 20 minutes from the time I got stuck in the traffic jam to the time I actually dropped him off. From where I stopped to the drop off (including the normal wait time) should have been 5 minutes… 10 minutes tops. I will be leaving early for pickup this afternoon or coming up with an alternate (although, less straight-forward) route to school.

    Bo – I wouldn’t suggest contentious political discussions… the bad-ass state trooper is posted inside. What appears to be a 12 year old wearing his dad’s state trooper uniform is helping with traffic in the parking lot now.

  19. I think the “record” of accomplishment by Ms. Palin is grossly overblown and outweighed by her misdeeds. Didn’t Podunk, Alaska, end up in the red after her tenure? And how about those library books? And her personal vendetta against a trooper. How about her support for the “bridge to nowhere?” She’s a zero, at best, in my book.

    Yes, it is too late to change my vote.

    I’m not gonna hold out any brief for our system of personal injury jurisprudence, but never forget the guy who fought against ignorance in the “Monkey Trial” was a lawyer (Clarence Darrow), and his opponent who championed ignorance and bigotry was not (William Jennings Bryan). Thurgood Marshall was a lawyer, too, as was, of course, Earl Warren, etc. The law is much more than (allegedly) silly and abusive personal injury practice.

    Many have agreed with “loser pays,” and some got it, and weren’t happy about it.

  20. Gerry: I guess us gun-clinging God-fearing rednecks have to have heroes too. Can’t all be as smart as you are.

  21. Bo you bitter clinger you. I vote at the corner of Nance and Old Monrovia. In and out in 15 minutes at 11:45 AM.

  22. Well I went and did my civic duty…may the best man win. Yes, I’ll try to rise above petty partisan politics and support…well at least not actively work against…Obama should he be selected by the majority of my fellow citizens. This support is conditional however on not sweeping the neighborhood for guns or sending me to a re-education camp. =)

    I briefly thought of writing-in Greg Bacon on the ballot. He doesn’t have any national level political experience but I’d feel pretty comfortable that the government wouldn’t stray far from the constitution under his helm. Alas, I held my nose and voted for the logjam.

    It was a great day to vote! Beautiful weather! I brought a book and a bottle of water with me to help bid my time. Yea, I’m still working on “The Stand” and I hoped to knock out a good chunk of it. But just like traffic lights that always instantly turn green whenever you’re trying to read directions I didn’t get any reading done at the polling station either. No lines! I walked right up to the table showed my ID and they took a highlighter and marked through my name on the voter rolls. It just took me a second to fill out the front of the ballot but the back side was real work. I still don’t understand the reason why county level issues have to be voted and approved by every other county in the state. I tried not to screw any of my fellow Alabamians by voting for any tax increases.

    So that’s it for now. After my wife gets off of work I will drive with her over to the polling station. She was really excited this morning about voting. It’s first time she’s ever voted since becoming an American citizen 13 years ago. She was all smiles when her voter registration I.D. card came in a couple of weeks ago and I’m sure she’ll be absolutely beaming after she does her civic duty this afternoon.

    Now for a quick trip to Gander Mountain and then Wal-Mart to pick up the Get Smart movie. Happy Election Day all!

  23. Oh, one other thing….when I saw Obama’s name on the ballot I kept thinking of Karl Marx, or was it Santa Claus…hm, pretty strange.

  24. So not fair… Bo just called and the line is down to maybe a thirty minute wait!

  25. Lee: This has been the first election since ’96 that hasn’t gone like that for me. It’s always, literally, an on-the-way-to-work thing for me, taking no longer than filling up the car or grabbing a biscuit. Not this time.

    Bob: Vote for the logjam cast on this end as well. To underscore the need for a convention, I always go “scorched earth” on state constitutional amendments (why, no, in fact Butler County may not print flyers for the Rutabaga Festival next year). And good thought on Bacon, but he’s constitutionally ineligible for a couple more years.

    Took a book as well; left it in the car. Congratulations to your wife. Wish she had better choices her first time out. Glad the Obama image made an impression. 🙂

    All: I entered the line at 1:03 and emerged stickered at 1:29. I have confirmed with multiple sources that nothing compels my presence at my workplace this afternoon, so I guess I’ll just have to take it easy. There seems to be some Budweiser American Ale around, Lea’s making one of my favorite meals for dinner, and the quadrennial carnage is in HD at my house for the first time.

  26. Ha ha ha – scorched earth! I always do that, too. I vote NO! (unless it is some legitimate statewide issue worded in such a way as the No vote gets them what they want.) I remember busting out laughing one year because some county district 300 miles away wanted to allow church bingo with up to $20.00 prizes or something like that. Yes, we need a new state constitutional convention here.

    My only hesitation in voting for Greg would be his mandate to switch all government software contracts to be written in perl, or is it php these days? Ruby?

  27. ‘seester: No worries there. I suspect Greg wouldn’t ultimately see a need for any more than four or five government software contracts at all. 🙂

    I forgot to mention that I was voter #761 at my polling place.

  28. WmWms now projects that Illinois Senator Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.

    Congratulations to Senator Obama.

  29. Hey Bo,
    Thanks for posting your thoughts. I really wanted Alan Keyes to be the Bold Choice for ’08, but like Ron Paul, without an enchanted money machine Alan didn’t have a decent shot. Keyes was indeed running, but the media wouldn’t acknowledge him. Well, WVNN did interview him ‘once’ via telephone that I heard.

    At least now the media’s barrage of political advertisements (aka news stories) will end and we can resume scheduled programming. I miss Katie Couric, the perky morning show host of the 80s.

    The Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s “I Voted” freebies will cease. I wonder if they can write that off or get public assistance?

    I hope Obama gets directly to the business of wealth redistribution. I’m waiting on my check from Exxon-Mobil. I do have a few college tuitions to pay, medial bills,and a retirement to fund.

    Today is a new day! Let’s face it, we no longer have to worry about our mortgages or filling our gas tanks!

    I’ll just be over here clinging to my guns and religion.
    Psalm 118:8,9
    “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
    It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

  30. Charlie: Great to see you, man. I’m sorry the circumstances are so poor. 🙂

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