In a resounding rejection of Republican policies and campaign tactics, universally respected General Colin Powell delivered the most devastating attack on McCain since Obama silenced him with his three unanswered "you were wrong!" statements in the first debate. On "Meet the Press" Powell not only offered a sincere endorsement for a man he called a "transformational figure," but more importantly provided an unexpectedly ferocious attack on the people McCain himself once called the "agents of intolerance" but are now the ones McCain sold his soul to in this misguided attempt at a presidential campaign, namely the right wing racists who, sadly, have taken over the party and in doing so have reduced it to a party of the very rich and the very ignorant(the choice of the laughable Palin--which Powell cited as disturbing--was to appease this intolerant crowd), with a few lost and misguided good souls thrown in, although they are flocking to Obama everyday, as their goodness prevents them from turning the other cheek to people calling Obama a "terrorist" and shouting "kill him!" Intelligent Republicans cannot--and indeed are not going to--support a potential president who is too insecure to sit down on "Meet the Press" or even conduct a basic press conference. She has brought shame to true GOP intellectuals because of her complete lack or intellectual curiosity or even a cursory interest in the issues that will affect the lives of all Americans, and she is going to negotiate with Putin? Someone who is scared to death of Tom Brokaw...Nor can they endure idiots such as the Congresswoman Bachmann from Minnesota who called Obama "un-American" and called for a new round of McCarthyistic investigations of which members of Congress are un-American. Is this what the GOP has really been reduced to?(Powell singled her out as symbolic of this new, horrible GOP that he is repudiating.) I certainly do not think McCain is un-American in any way. Indeed, I respect him much more than cowards such as Bush who ran from military service during Vietnam and fools such as Romney, who claimed his five sons were serving their country by trying to help him get elected: That's about as un-American a statement I have heard from a politician. Perhaps that is what she was talking about--who the draft dodgers are, who refuses to send their kids to Iraq while they talk tough themselves. However, I doubt that's what she has in mind...Now Obama is a "socialist" according to another delusional old woman in a nursing home who was screaming that one word at him over and over, thanks to one of her heroes McCain or Palin, who evidently taught her that word; Obama should have asked her if she cashed her "SOCIAL" Security check this month, that most beloved of our "socialist" programs, but if Obama is a socialist what does that make the man who supported a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street AND introduced a $300 billion socialist bailout for banks who made bad loans?
Indeed, McCain is as socialist as they come(in his own words he supports "regulation " of "greed and corruption on Wall Street"), and they have the nerve to say shame on Obama for trying to "redistribute wealth" by asking the rich to pay what they were paying during the Clinton years--remember that was when we PAID for our tax breaks with cuts in welfare benefits, closing military bases etc., balanced the budget, AND had a booming economy! It's absurd to suggest that restoring the tax bracket from the 1990s for people who make over $250K is going to somehow destroy the economy, when the economy is pretty much destroyed already. The GOP, starting with the fraud Reagan, is the party of cutting taxes AND increasing spending, thus leaving future generations with the bills to pay. Take a minute to research budget deficits, including those when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress. Try cutting your family's income while increasing your spending. Where will that lead your family? Sleeping on the streets or in your car? That's where our country is headed thanks to the irresponsible combination of tax breaks for the very wealthy and unrestrained spending, especially on the bloated military budget and obscene tax breaks for Bush's oil buddies.
Is this race for president over? Of course not! I know people who are highly educated and think it's over and that Obama will win 40 states etc., yet they are oblivious to the reality that a black man named Barack Hussein Obama is not going to be a landslide victor in this country in these times, not even against John "Sidney" McCain III, champion of the common man, despite never holding a private sector job in his life, except when given one by his wife's daddy, and not even in the worst economic times since the 1930s, a direct result of the complete and utter disaster that is George W Bush, a president who offered no leadership in a time when the country desperately needed it and now is so despised that McCain takes it as an insult to be compared to the man whose GOP jersey he wears. The GOP is setting up a brilliant plan to try to suppress the vote and steal this election as they did in 2000 and 2004 if they can get it close enough to put it in the hands of states with Republican governors and secretaries of state. These are the people who delivered in the last two elections, so if anyone thinks Obama will coast to an easy victory he or she has a very short memory. This will be a brutal fight up to and including election day and perhaps weeks and days afterward, when the GOP lawyers will go after the irrelevant Acorn, who are supposedly trying to steal the election because a few crooks are filling out phony registration forms to get paid more. Anyone who has ever been part of a voter registration drive knows that stuff like that happens and that's why we have someone called a REGISTRAR, who confirms eligibility. This is all much ado about nothing except for GOP plans to intimidate people so that they will not vote. If they can bring out the dogs and cops to the polling places they certainly will.
Anyway, Obama, ironically, has W. to thank for his good fortunes, for the Republicans are humiliated to a degree that many are running for office with ads that do not even state their party, such is the shame they feel to be associated with a man who bears the type of universal ill will that no president has endured since Hoover. No, Nixon, was not despised nearly to the degree that Bush is. As the song goes, "Watergate does not bother me..." but down in sweet home Alabama these days it's hard to find too many people whose conscience does not bother them as we are bogged down in the Iraq fiasco and our moral standing in the world has been destroyed because of Bush's arrogance and ignorance, a truly frightening combination that is older than Greek tragedy and likely to end just as badly, as Bush wallows in hubris in the waning days of his presidency, isolated and alone, no one calling to ask him to campaign. A figure of pure pathos.
It was truly gratifying to hear Powell basically reiterate everything I wrote in my last blog entry, simply in more politically correct terms: While I termed these "people" "toothless inbreds," Powell, being the gentleman he is, called them "narrow" several times. So what do you think he meant? They are certainly not physically "narrow," as our country is the only country on earth where even the poor people are obese, so he certainly meant what we all call "narrow-minded," which is a precise and devastating analysis of the state of the GOP, as seen through the eyes of one of its own most respected statesmen!
McCain's final debate performance was indicative of his entire campaign: moments of clarity obscured by petulance and anger. On a night when Obama was flat and content to play defense and avoid any gaffes, McCain had an opportunity to make his last best case that he isn't Bush's third term. Instead, McCain walked into a brilliant trap Obama laid by claiming "I am not George Bush." While McCain's staff claimed it was some great moment, Obama's staff already had the ad ready to go, the one that featured that line, along with an array of McCain's awkward, antagonistic angry old man faces, finishing up with McCain's own boastful claim that he supported the greatest failure in U.S. history "over 90% of the time." He should not have even mentioned Bush's name, as it backfired by making people think, "actually, this guy IS a lot like Bush," which explains the overwhelming response of viewers who felt Obama won the debate, even with his B game.
McCain did a good job in the first 30 minutes of the debate but he simply couldn't restrain himself from himself, as he continually displayed his odious personality, limited insights on the economic crisis, and pathetic lack of credibility on such important issues as health care, women's health(which he mocked with his arrogant "air quotations") and abortion. Obama basically destroyed McCain when the discussion turned to these topics, as Americans generally feel that health care should be a right and that abortion should be legal but with sensible regulations such as exceptions for the "health" of the mother, incest, rape etc. Many Republicans have this misguided notion that human life begins at conception, when all advanced societies understand that POTENTIAL human life begins at conception but that a tiny clump of cells is nowhere near the same as a fully developed 30 week fetus that is viable outside the womb. To claim that these are the same is to disregard actual human life and display an astounding level of ignorance. This is common sense and that's why we have laws that treat the two as completely different. For instance, if a woman causes a miscarriage because she drank, exercised etc. early in her pregnancy, perhaps before she even knew she was pregnant, she will not be prosecuted and perhaps even jailed, but if she were to cause the unintended death of a 30 week fetus she may very well be subjected to prosecution, just as if someone murdered a woman who is 8 months pregnant the charge would be double murder, but if the woman is 8 days pregnant that would never be the charge. Why you ask? Because at 8 days it is a POTENTIAL human life...Anyway, this argument was the end of McCain's opportunity to impress independent women, who were horrified by his lack of concern for women's health and women's issues in general. This became painfully clear after the debate when independents favored Obama by over 25% in the the CNN and CBS polls. Now, it's all over but the shouting, as the campaign moves into the final stages and McCain clings to the hope that Bush and his criminal friends can deliver him an October surprise or help coordinate the "narrow victory" they now claim they will win. I would never claim that Barack Obama is absolutely the most qualified person in America to be president, as there are many Democrats and even a few Republicans that share his intellectual capacity and ability to inspire and listen to what others have to offer, but Obama is clearly more qualified than McCain, and as Powell made painfully clear, is what America needs here and now, in a time when a continuation of the Bush tragedy is a risk this nation simply cannot afford.
Vote Obama on November 4th