His Presidency’s First Win

Being a white Jewish girl raised in an uber-liberal household, I’ve grown up to become a  surprisingly more moderate woman than one would think.

I’ve never had Obamamania.  I thought long and hard before choosing the candidate who would get my vote.  I felt there was good news and bad news about both candidates and their philosophies.   I rued the injustice of a two-party system and a media that bars all but the most flush candidates the opportunity to debate and garner coverage.  In the end I made the choice I felt would be best for our country, and that’s that.   No matter who won I would not  be jumping for joy.  There are too many challenges awaiting us, too many unknowns.   We all know who won the election, but we have yet to see if we, my fellow Americans, wind up as winners.

Obama finds himself in an interesting position.  Every incoming  President is faced with the task of uniting the country, but it’s never been more important to do so.  The country is facing such dire threats right now that even the  staunchest conservatives I know are warily rooting for him to do well.  That is so very different from past elections.   and in my opinion this gives us a chance to get through these challenges and find a way to win.  I so very much hope we do.

So, for me today is a day of hope, but it is not a victory celebration.  Still, the little Jewish liberal girl inside me is thinking of those who marched on Selma, refused to sit in the back of the bus,  were inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’m thinking of the people who spoke up and risked their lives, and sometimes gave it.  My heart is heavy and my eyes are wet when I think of what this day must mean to them, and their children and grandchildren.  Knowing that when any American child talks about what they want to be when they grow up, and their parents tell them they can be anything they want to be they don’t just hope it or declare it; they mean it.

All of the rhetoric and entreaty and idealization is true.  It is possible.

And that, my friends, is the first win of Obama’s presidency.

The Lynching (in effigy) of Sarah Palin

I wanted to get my son a Halloween t-shirt this year. I wanted a cute one with some pumpkins, or some candy corn, or something equally sweet and benign. Instead all I found were skulls and bats and macabre scenes of death and gore that I just don’t want to see my four-year-old wearing (I also don’t understand why the commercials for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights are permitted to be shown early enough in the day for my Son to see them. They are scary, even to me. Have these people no sense?). Just…ick.

Go ahead, roll your eyes at me. I don’t mind. I don’t think the macabre is funny, and the scariest Haunted House I will enter is the one at Disney World. I just don’t think being scared is fun. There’s many other ways to get that same adrenaline rush that are fun.

So perhaps I am not the one to think that a mannequin dressed to look like Sarah Palin being hung in effigy is funny. I wouldn’t think it funny no matter who was depicted.

Chad Michael Morisette, who put up the display, says that the effigy would be out of bounds at any other time of year, but it’s within the spirit of Halloween.

Really?

I don’t think it’s ever an appropriate time of year to hang someone in effigy. And I don’t think there’s a person breathing who doesn’t understand that the reaction would be far stronger, swifter and outraged if it was a likeness of Obama hanging from that roof. Would the homeowners not be met with angry mobs demanding the display be removed, demanding the homeowner be charged with a hate crime?

Well, let’s see. Asinine college students at George Fox University hung a cardboard cutout of Obama from a tree on the abundantly Republican campus, and it was immediately removed and absolutely decried as a hate crime. “What happened on campus this week is disheartening to American politics,” said John Archibald, chairman of the College Republicans. “Regardless of your politics, this act of hate cannot be tolerated.” And that’s a Republican talking.

Does Mr. Morisette not understand that America’s history of lynching did not make any Greatest American Trends list? Did he think it was okay since it was a white woman and not a black man, or did it never occur to him that depicting a lynching might spark some outrage at all?? Did he think she was fair game because Saturday Night Live does skits poking fun at her twice each week? Did he think this was the same thing? Heck, I’m surprised he didn’t set up a diorama of a concentration camp with McCain walking to the chambers. That wouldn’t have been offensive because McCain isn’t Jewish, right?

Are these acts of hate? What if the students’ display had also been a politically motivated Halloween decoration? Does it matter that one is a protest against a policy the pranksters see as unfair and the other is “satire”?

When did violence become funny?

My view is clear. Hanging a likeness of a real person? Not funny. Even if they are a political figure. Even if you don’t like them. Even if you do like them. No matter their color, gender or sexual orientation. Oh, and a concentration camp diorama is off limits, too.

I just don’t understand why we feel the need to vilify those with whom we disagree. And to take a child’s holiday, one that many of us are using to escape the constant noise and mud-slinging of the election process, and turn it into a political statement (Psst! Republican Party! Please, please tell me this rumor I’m hearing about you putting political pamphlets in the kids’ treat bags isn’t true. Please!) is just maddening.

I’m all for Halloween pranks. I’m all for political statements. I’m all for pushing the envelope. I’m all for free speech. But with the right of free speech comes responsibility. This is a self-serving, tasteless, irresponsible display that may get you on the Today Show, Mr. Morrisette, and has certainly gotten you your fifteen minutes of fame. Congratulations.

I’d rather get mine in the pages of Good Housekeeping.

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

Last night was the greatly anticipated debate between Vice Presidential candidates Palin and Biden. The entire world was either waiting for or fearing Palin falling flat on her political face, repeating her dismal performances in the recent interviews conducted by the see-if-we-can-make-her-look-stupid-then-revel-when-we-do media. And Joe Biden was expected to put us all into a catatonic stupor as he talked, and talked, and talked and talked.

I did watch the debates last night, but I can’t claim to have paid rapt attention. I was playing Texas Hold ’em poker at the same time. Sue me.

There was so much hoopla surrounding a debate that really doesn’t matter all that much, and lots of people were disappointed. Why?

Both candidates did well.

Here’s what I came away with:

Sarah Palin is a hell of a public speaker. She’s eloquent, personable, and she has a way of connecting with people that makes you feel like she’s speaking directly, and only, to you.

Sarah Palin did not fall flat on her face. She shined.

Joe Biden did not induce catatonia. He showed his intelligence and experience, as usual. But he also showed warmth, vulnerability (showing that his wounds are still fresh when speaking of his first wife and daughter, killed in a long ago accident, and his seriously injured but surviving sons), respect and humor.

I do not like in the least little bit Sarah Palin’s alignment with Dick Cheney’s contention that the Vice President has more powers than any reasonable person’s interpretation of our Constitution would suggest. No, ma’am.

I hate that both Biden and Palin told incomplete truths about several of their contentions. If you are like me you know that what you’re hearing isn’t the complete truth. That what you’re hearing is spin, and that if you only had the time or the inclination you could find out what the real truth is.

Well, it’s not that hard to find out. Check out this link for some fact checking results, and while you’re at it bookmark the site to help you wade through the spin and rhetoric.

And, on a separate but kind of related note, I do not like anyone’s contention that people who are caught in the sub-prime mess should get to renegotiate their principal. I have no issue with them getting a better interest rate, but their principal should not be forgiven, even if they have to give half of the profits from some later sale of their house back to the government. That is totally unfair to all of the rest of the people whose home values have plummeted – and to the institutions who lent them the money. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! (Okay, that wasn’t really debated, but it was part of the bailout that really pisses me off.)

I came away from last night’s debate knowing both candidates better. I’m still officially undecided, but I’m leaning one way pretty heavily at this point, and the night’s debate didn’t change that.

I lost all my virtual chips playing poker last night, but I’m not worried. In real life I’d never be so impulsive as to go all in on a pair of 2s when there’s a flush draw on the board. I’m just not that much of a gambler. I promise to be more careful than that when my money is really on the table – and on November 4th.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

I am a staunch No Party Affiliation registered voter that grew up in a very liberal Jewish household. I am on the mailing list for both Obama and McCain’s campaigns. The spin is just incredible. This article is part of an occasional series on this year’s Presidential Politics.

Each morning I’ve been watching the Today Show, and my ears bleed as I hear the their obligatory updates on what the candidates are doing that day. Here are some of my impressions:

1. Apparently there’s big controversy over Obama allowing Babs to throw a big shindig for him and raise a brazilian dollars. The Repub rhetoricians say that Obama should not raise that kind of huge money on the eve of Lehman Brothers, AIG and a 20% loss of value in the stock market.

As if John McCain hasn’t raised a brazilian dollars, too. And just because the financial world has uncontrollable diarrhea doesn’t mean that fundraising stops – for either side. And anyone who even tries to use that to discredit the other side is just a political hack, jealous that Babs isn’t raising money for their side.

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2. They interviewed John McCain about the state of the market and his contention that the foundations of the economy were fine, when anyone who is not dead, or not Paris Hilton, knows it is not. John just did not answer the questions asked. With every question he answered that American workers were good. American workers were great. He loooooooooooooves AMERICAN WORKERS. AMERICAN WORKERS can do no wrong! It was so very painfully obvious that someone said to him, “Hey, John. You have totally screwed yourself with the people whose vote you need to get – the AMERICAN WORKERS. Make sure you get across the message that things are tough for AMERICAN WORKERS, and that you’re the one who can make it all better.”

Pssssst. Hey John! He didn’t mean for you to infuse that into EVERY FRICKIN SENTENCE.

Dadgum, I hate when you can see the puppeteer’s strings.

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3. They mention that Sarah Palin has rejoined McCain on his campaign stops, and that she’ll be visiting the UN to meet with some world leaders in “an attempt to bolster her foreign affairs experience”, or something that means exactly that.

Wow! I didn’t know that going to the UN could give foreign affairs experience! I wonder how much experience I can put on my resume. After all, I toured the UN in 5th grade, and I lived three short blocks from the UN when I lived in NYC!!!!

Also, I didn’t realize that simply meeting dignitaries counts as experience for Sarah Palin and qualifies her to be on the dignitaries’ level! I’ve met Jon Bon Jovi (he even kissed my cheek when his band played my 8th grade St. Valentine’s Day Dance – go ahead, be jealous), so I guess that makes me a terrific singer with great hair.

Anyone who has heard me sing will tell you that just ain’t so. I couldn’t carry a tune in a suitcase.

But I do have great hair.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition


My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

Let me preface this by saying that I’m sure, sure this type of hypocrisy goes on with liberal windbags rhetoricians, too.

But this is why I want to have Jon Stewart’s children.

Okay, not really. But I’d love to have him over for dinner. I’d even serve gefilte fish.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

I am a staunch No Party Affiliation registered voter that grew up in a very liberal Jewish household. I am on the mailing list for both Obama and McCain’s campaigns. The spin is just incredible.

Some friends and I were discussing the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate, and a good-natured debate blossomed.

She is fairly inexperienced.

I think it was a brilliant choice. He’ll take most of the women who were voting for Hilary just because she’s a woman, and she’ll satisfy many of the conservatives, too. HE has the experience. She doesn’t need it. McCain’s campaign will totally spin it “Who would you rather have get on the job training – the President or the VP?

Besides, any woman that can be the Governor of a state and still be involved in 5 kids’ lives has to be doing something right!

McCain chose someone he barely knew, and his his choice was insulting to Hillary supporters as McCain thinks they are shallow enough to now vote for him simply because he chose a woman VP.

I’ve read that he’d met her 6 months ago and spoken to her once since, so it’s true he does not know her well. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a negative, though. I mean Obama chose for his running mate someone he’d spoken out against publicly, someone who he insisted he didn’t agree with on many issues, and now they’re bestest buds? I’m not really holding that against Obama, either – that’s the nature of politics, and one of the reasons it’s so distasteful to me. There is just so much hypocrisy.

I think there are many who would have voted for Hilary simply because she is female, just like I think there are many who will vote for Obama just because he is black or McCain just because he is white, and male. There are people that vote for candidates because they’re from the same state, or the same university, or they’re both Elks, or the look like their Cousin Floyd (or not vote for them for that r eason). There are people who will vote for the candidate that looks most likely to win, whether they agree with their politics or not.

There are those that vote either Democrat or Republican or Green, regardless of the merits of the candidate, just because they believe the general philosophy of the party, or they fear the general philosophy of the other parties.

I think Obama’s a hell of an orator, and he’s got charisma galore. I like that McCain is a bit of a maverick. I think both are relatively decent men with different philosophies, and I fear for our country no matter who is elected.

So I will do what I do with every distasteful yet necessary responsibility I have – hold my nose, devote some time to research the issues I feel are most important, tune out the rhetoric and vote.

And appreciate that I live in a country where have the right to do so.

And pray.

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Read the rest of this series:


My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

Coffee Tawk with Be This Way

(You can see a higher quality version by clicking here, but they didn’t have a way to embed, so poop on them!)

Discuss!

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