Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Right Choice?" - A fair Conservative view

In "The Right Choice?", Andrew J. Bacewich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, writes a profoundly insightful commentary on the current state of affairs. In this essay, published on "The American Conservative", he analyzes George W. Bush's neoconservative war policies, but also mentions other arguments as to why the GOP aren't conservative at all, like Bush letting the budget slide further into debt and his administration increasing the federal apparatus and the executuve offices and further diminishing the roles of the legislative and judiciary branches of government.
The writer opposes John McCain mostly due to his overt, staunch and continuing support for the war in Iraq, which the writer dubs as of huge cultural but minor military significance.
Mr. Bacewich also critizes Sen. Obama, because of his clear liberal profile. However, given the other candidates, he argues that Sen. Obama is the only one with a proven opposition of the Iraq war. Also, he is convinced an Obama presidency might prove to be a transformative one, one in which conservative legislation can at least be proposed and even might come to pass.

I find Mr. Bacewich's arguments to be very convincing indeed. Not based on politics, they are based on a clear standpoint (ie, conservatism) but without spin and simply by sticking to the facts. His elaborate analysis shatters what "liberal" and "conservative" have come to be distorted into, and reverts them to healthy political views that should be respected and not mutually exclusive. And not surprisingly, Sen. Obama's views coincide with this kind of analysis: that it is time to face the problems, deal with them, but not through blind partisanship and political sidewinding.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Word of Barack

As you may have noticed, I've been away for a long time. I got fed up after March 4th, the bitterness across campaigns, the endless punditry, the sickening spin. I abandoned the campaign trail simply because I couldn't stand being disappointed and gutted until August.

Then Sen. Obama spoke.

Once again he is the unique politician with one of the most compelling views and ideas in the history of the United States. With his back up the wall after low blow after low blow, Sen. Obama responds. Admitted, some of Rev. Wright's statements are downright bigotrous and destructive. But instead of downplaying and ignoring the problems, he faces them head-on. Not in an ignorant way, but by bluntly showing us the complexity and nuance of real life and moreover, by using deeply personal relationships and experiences as examples, not betraying friendships for politics. No politician of similar significance has ever used such insight, vision and disarming honesty.
All great politicians have a few traits in common. They were great speakers, had a keen insight in the matters at hand, and asked the right question at the right time. Like when Lincoln questioned American unity and freedom at Gettysburg, when FDR announced that December 7th, 1941 was a date that will live in infamy and when Ronald Reagan dared Gorgatchev to "tear down this wall".
Now Sen. Obama looks us square in the eye and asks us if we want to keep playing the games, the immobility, the hate. Not through slogans or cheap tricks. But by facing facts and proposing to work them out.

*That's* the Audacity of Hope, stupid.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Playing God in the Ant Farm

Remember those hot summer days when you were a kid, with none of your friends around because they were on holiday and your parents busy with whatever grownups do? You had to entertain yourself out of boredom, or indulge in the sweet bliss of idleness. Remember the ant farm in your backyard? There was the uncontrollable urge to help them build their fort, get them some sugar, or to guide them to wherever they needed to go. But at your whim, you could decide to make them walk an obstacle course of straws, erasers and all kinds of small rocks, or to plainly be evil and destroy their nest, or burn them with a magnifying glass.

Peter Molyneux confessed this childish urge to and glee in total control, was his main inspiration in creating Populous and Black & White.

The media however, has much less constructive expressions of this prime instinct.

With Junior Super Tuesday less than 24 hours away and the polls tighter than ever, the media has not stopped analysing and digging. I've already touched on my deepening fatigue, but this video has gotten my blood boiling altogether.

Link to MSNBC Video

In this segment, pundit Craig Crawford discusses the Ohio and Texas primaries. What enrages me however is the glee with which he describes the political process. He literally says "Why should the media want to end this?", in a statement about the exceptional length and intensity of the 2008 Democratic primaries. Although I share the observation of the extraordinary nature of it all, and the wonderful fact of (new) voter participation; an "enjoyment" of the ongoing trench war is sickening to me. It's like Nero playing the harp when Rome burnt, like the Navy SEAL instructor enjoying to see his men suffer, or like the boy playing with his ants.

But these are not ants. This is serious business - the future of America is literally in the balance. While pundits are quick to say Sen. Obama arouses empty, rock star emotions, and that Sen. Clinton is on the short and dishonest end of everything, they are ignoring that both are campaigning at an inhuman tempo, with, in the end, only their political beliefs to drive them. The media doesn't care about the issues, the candidates, and even less about the voters. They care about the story, the spin, and the impact of it all. But I don't blame them. It's their job.

So please turn off all the TV sets, talk radio shows and internet politics joints. Take a pause, think about why you like or want to vote for any candidate. Take pride and responsibility in democracy, and cast your vote. And let March 4th be the end of it.

Because we are not ants. We deserve better.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Spin, press, 20 debates, ads, rallies, spin, campaign donation tallies, red phones, and then some more spin.

I don't know about you guys, but this blogger is becoming dead tired of all of that.

In a week where Sen. Obama did well to maintain his posture during the 2 last debates, and saw his national lead (Gallup tracking, amongst others) and Texas-Ohio forecasts consolidating, the pundits just can't help but keep analysing every little bit. From nonsense about lapel pins, possibilities of the Hussein name being the "ultimate fear bomb" and red phone responses. I mean, who cares if Walter Mondale used that ad. He didn't get elected, and I haven't heard Sen. Clinton saying "Where's the beef?" yet. By the way, Sen. Obama would spit that out with a "I'm more of a KFC man myself" comment or something.
These really are small, insignificant events and observations. Of course, the analysts are making the story based on their hypersensitive political Spidey-sense. If Lou Dobbs was Peter Parker, Uncle Ben would probably still be alive.

By the way, let me use this space to briefly state my dislike of the man. He pushed out great anchors like Willow Bay and Alan Chernoff because he took back Moneyline (which, because of his short resignation, became a nice, fastpaced financial rundown, but was reversed to the same pre-Boomer snoozefest and is the sad grumpy-white-men show "Lou Dobbs Tonight" is today).

In this blogger's opinion, I think it's time to stop the frantic primary campaigning. Raising 35-50 million dollars monthly is a great testament to political involvement, but is really excessive considering we're not playing for the main prize yet. Although it is great that Democrats across the nation now have a say to who gets to be the nominee, this whole show is in danger to become the elaborate red carpet to the White House's front lawn, while John McCain gets a Marine One ride to the Oval Office.

Well, at least there's SNL, A Daily Show and Obama dancing to keep my spirits up.

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