Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still Undecided?

Can anyone possibly be "undecided" in this election? Thus asks David Sedaris in the New Yorker:
Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Speaking of differences between these two dishes, check out the video Fred posted that answers why Colin Powell went with Obama:

Sir, what role did McCain's negativity play in your decision?

POWELL:
It troubled me. You know, we have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. And so those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who's not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are. If you're an American you're an American.

And this business of, for example, a congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America. We have got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity....

Not too difficult a choice it seems to me. Sedaris concludes his article:

I wonder if, in the end, the undecideds aren’t the biggest pessimists of all. Here they could order the airline chicken, but, then again, hmm. “Isn’t that adding an extra step?” they ask themselves. “If it’s all going to be chewed up and swallowed, why not cut to the chase, and go with the platter of shit?”

Ah, though, that’s where the broken glass comes in.

H/T keith for the NYer link

32 comments:

  1. Well, I'm definitely undecided. How can everyone think it is so clear, and easy? So much is at stake, here.

    Our country, and the economy could be toast. Totally need God's wisdom.

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  2. That's right, Grace. And that's why a woman's autonomy over her own body and a few gay couples wanting to make a life together is of so very little importance in the big scheme. Yet that is what the Republican party wants us to think is of the GREATEST possible concern.

    The next president will select hundreds of federal judges and perhaps three Supreme Court Justices. That person will also have to negotiate with people who may have once been our friends, but aren't any longer. That person is going to need every ounce of integrity and wisdom he has, and an ability to think logically and calmly.

    I am definitely NOT undecided.

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  3. You see, Snad, that's part of the reason I'm undecided.

    I'm totally supportive of gay marriage, and very pro-life at the sametime.

    I want peace, and I want us out of Iraq, but not at the expense of the Iraqi people, and the possible loss of more innocent lives. We helped to start this mess, and we have a responsibility in the Middle East.

    I care very much about the poor, and want people to be lifted out of poverty. The economy is a great concern. But, I don't know that the answer is to increase taxes on business owners. This may backfire, and actually lead to higher prices, and a greater increase in loss of jobs, and opportunities in the long term.

    Plus, as a Christian, can I support a forced redistribution of wealth in this way? Is it truly wise, and just?

    Snad, I could go on, and on. These issues that seem so clear cut to you, are not to me at all.

    I definitely need help to make a wise decision in this election.

    Pray for me.

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  4. Colin Powell refers to Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachman who appeared on Chris Matthews' "Hardball".

    Bachmann said Obama is anti-American. She strong implies that liberals are anti-American. She called for an investigation of congress to discover which representatives were pro-American and which were anti-American, thus suggesting a worthy renewal of McCarthyism.

    When asked which parts of America were anti-American she didn't name a specific geographic area, but she did mentione "college campuses", twice, and she mentioned "institutions of higher education."

    When her statements got wider distribution, Bachmann back-pedalled and stated that Matthews set her up and she fell for it.

    Yeah. Right.

    Here's the link.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGRKrUHR0OY

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  5. Grace said:
    Plus, as a Christian, can I support a forced redistribution of wealth in this way? Is it truly wise, and just

    Luke, author of Acts of the Apostles, reported in the Holy Bible:

    Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:32-35

    Sigh. If only Grace believed in God. Unfortunately, she thinks Acts is nothing but theological fiction.

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  6. I was teaching Acts5 in my Scripture study class today... All I can say to Grace is to ponder what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.

    Frankly I hate that story,not because I think they should have been allowed to hold back, but because of how they came to a bad end.

    Then again as a Catholic I can step off the literal bus and talk about not holding back AND about how we turn from God, metaphorical death.

    Already off track here, sorry.

    Grace, I can tell you this... In a conversation with a woman that I know that felt similarly to you, she came up with these questions for herself:

    Does she want to vote for herself or for her kids and grandkids future?

    Does she want to vote for fear or vote for hope?

    Does she want to vote for someone that will run the country as it has been... as if America is the king of the world or as it can be, by someone respected and who will collaborate?

    A 73 year old Republican will likely vote for Obama. I am just saying.

    Anyway, what I really came here to say is that I love David Sedaris.

    I did order the platter of shit once. It would have been ok and not that different from the chicken, but then I bit the freaking broken glass.

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  7. Rastus,

    That big smile on her face as she mucks around in the cesspool trying to fling any label that might stick was truly revealing of the character the GOP has taken in this election.

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  8. John,

    Michelle Bachmann was on an ugly, vicious tirade. It's hard to watch that much hatred and venom.

    Many people who identify with the Republican Party, and with neoconservatism have a great deal of trouble with abstract thinking. They are desperate to see the world in simplistic terms. I heard on the radio this morning a woman say she was a "values voter," that her issues were abortion and gay marriage. She was against both, and those were the sole factors that determined her vote.

    Both issues are typically addressed as being right or wrong, black or white. There's no shade of gray, no nuance and no middle ground in the eyes of neocons. If you believe gay marriage and abortion "are wrong", there's nothing to think about, you don't have to deal with any difficult concepts, and this is the comfort level that most McCain/Palin supporters seek. And in order to maintain the comfort of non-critical thinking, they are easily tempted by lies and distortion: Obama might be a Muslim, Obama has links to terroists, Obama is anti-American, Obama is a liberal and liberals are evil...Al Gore said he invented the internet, John Kerry was not really a heoric figure...it goes on and on. Michelle Bachmann's rant about anti-American activities is a direct continuation of the non-thinking hysteria of hatred that drove McCarthism, and is currently feeding conservatives. This non-thinkingness is typical of the Republican party, and it is so, so clear in the words of McCain and Palin.

    If you look at what it is that makes America great, it's not our economic prosperity or our miltary might; it's our constitution, an inspired document arising from a true spirit of enlightenment. Above all, the constitution celebrates the rights of the individual, it protects indivduals against usery and abuse by the majority, or the government. Republicans have completely lost sight of this. They've been living the lie, happily endorsing George Bush and the leaders of the now badly failed republican revolution.

    As much as anything, I hope this election stands as a broad-based repudiation of Republican divisiness, small-mindedness and ignorance of what makes America great.

    Grace, we are all pro-life. We all deeply respect life is all forms. No one applauds abortion, an act that is never a happpy one. But some of us recognize that there are times when a woman must make a hard decision in favor of her own life, and neither the government nor any other person or group has any business preventing her from acting in her own best interest. It's her body, it's her decision. I'm not pro-abortion, I don't know anyone who is. But I am pro-self-determination, I do believe in the right to decide for yourself. A woman does not give up her rights the moment she become pregnant. Many have been gulled into believing that a freshly fertilized egg is endowed with full human rights, equal to those of the woman who created the egg. They believe this because they struggle so with the shades of gray that paint the emergence of human rights as a continuum over stages of development. It's not a black or white issue.

    I'm not asking you to support Obama as the cost of sacrificing your principles regarding the sanctity of fetal rights, I'm asking to vote for Obama in favor of the rights of those of us who are fully endowed with those rights at this present time, who exist as free and independent beings.

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  9. Thanks, Rastus. That captured exactly what I have been thinking. And especially good regarding living with the "gray".

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  10. "Plus, as a Christian, can I support a forced redistribution of wealth in this way?"

    One part of that was addressed by John, but the other part is the redistribution of wealth that has occurred over the last 8 years.

    The rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the definition of middle class was downsized to keep their numbers up. Jobs were outsourced while corporate executive compensation reached hights never imagined. It takes a hundred layoffs to pay for one bonus.

    We invaded another country on false pretenses.

    We got rid of Habeas Corpus.

    We got rid of prosecutors who went after corrupt politicians if the corrupt politicians happened to be Republican.

    We gave the president the right to rewrite laws retroactively to allow him to break the law with impunity.

    We got rid of Posse Comitatus.

    We got rid of the equal time doctrine on the public airwaves so conservative media outlets could play propaganda twenty four seven instead of presenting balanced points of view.

    We repealed 40 years of environmental protection laws as the North Pole melted away, our forests dried up and burned, and the pine beetle climbed another 3 thousand feet.

    Oil companies made more money than anytime in history while the price of gasoline went nuts. More "redistribution" of wealth.

    The president and vice president outed their own CIA agents for telling the truth instead of towing the party line - an act of treason by any other citizen - then lied about it for years, vowing instead to catch and prosecute the thugs who did it.

    (Kind a like OJ saying he was going to dedicate the rest of his life to finding his wife's killer).

    We let New Orleans drown on TV while the president's own mother said that the people in the Superdome were fine because "those people live like that" all the time anyway.

    Water boarding became an "aggressive interrogation technique".

    The symbol of American justice became a hooded Arab standing on a bucket, wired for electric shock treatment.

    The economy finally imploded in the worse melt down since the great Depression, and the only thing saving us from selling apples on the street again is embracing Socialism. Now there is an irony for you... the Republicans embracing socialism. Wow.

    Ten Trillion dollars of debt. How's that for redistribution of wealth?

    And McCain is and has been a Republican Senator all these years, and picks a small town mayor from No Place Alaska as his successor in case his 73 year old beat up body quits on him. There must be thousands of mayors more qualified the Palin, some of them even female Republicans

    Still undecided? What would it take to help you make up your mind???

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  11. "Redistribution of wealth"?

    Go to the link below to see how taxes would change under McCain vs. Obama.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/06/09/ST2008060900950.html

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  12. Issues smishues.

    Sarah Palin one heartbeat away from the button with a potentially nukular Iran? Two weeks before the election and she still doesn't know what the VP does (the VP does not "run the Senate" as she said the other day.) Why would anyone choose to reward such incompetence? Well, I guess we're talking about Republicans here, and they did vote for Bush ... twice.

    Do we really want someone even dumber than Bush that close to the presidency?

    Really? There's even a question here?

    OK, if we're going to talk issues, yeah, I get how abortion is a big deal for people. What I don't get is how they expect, after 30 years of inaction on both sides suddenly *this* is the guy to do something (either guy, one way or the other.)

    Does anyone actually seriously think that John McCain's pro-life stance is stronger than Reagan's or the two Bushes? And yet those guys did nothing to end abortion, but somehow, John McCain, who once said, "I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations", he's the guy who's going to get rid of Roe? Really?

    Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Electing Republicans over and over and expecting them to actually do anything about abortion seems to fit that definition pretty well.

    And why would they? They'd lose one of their greatest moneymaking issues. Now I'm not saying that they're so cynical that they'd rather raise money on the issue of abortion than actually do anything about abortion.

    Oh wait, yes I am saying exactly that.

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  13. I put the link to the tax chart in quickly, and wanted to comment more about it. Briefly, the Obama plan would benefit 80% of American taxpayers, compared to McCain's plan, and more compared to current code.

    Yes, the rich would pay more taxes. The very richest 1% would pay 11.5% more. How will that impact them? Will they no longer be able to afford to sent their kids to college? Will they no longer be able to save for retirement? Will they be forced out of their homes? (If so, there is a lovely little place with 6 bedrooms, 10 1/2 baths and 5 - yes 5 - "energy efficient" furnaces available just a few miles from us that I'm sure they will be able to work into their budget).

    On the other hand, my husband and I would spend 2.4% less on taxes than we do now, according to the chart. That means I might be able to buy one of those new energy efficient furnaces with cash instead of plastic, should mine go down. That would make me very happy.

    Under McCain's plan, my taxes would still go down, but so would that top 1%'s. We're already borrowing from the future to pay for two wars, umpteen bailouts (to which I am not entirely opposed, by the way), and probably another useless "stimulus package" before W leaves office (glory! what a day that will be!).

    So, Obama will "redistribute the wealth" among people who have had a pretty good ride. McCain will "redistribute the wealth" onto those who have no say in the matter because most of them haven't been born, yet. Perhaps that's why the Republicans are so concerned about protecting the unborn.

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  14. Yikes, I'm being hoisted by my own petard!!

    John, I"ll never look at that passage of Scripture in quite the same way again. :) I can see what you're saying.

    But, still I'm not sure it's quite the same. It's one thing for a group of people out of love, and conviction to choose to hold on things in common. But, is it the samething if it's forced?

    To put it another way, would Jesus show up at someone's house with force hijacking people's assets? And, then is govt. the best agency to decide who is going to benefit from the redistribution, anyway.

    My libertarian streak is showing, here. (Where are you, Rachel?) But, God as my witness, I'm not sure.

    Rastus, if you think all Republicans/Libertarians think in black or white terms, meet me, Ms. Politically Confused, and Perpetual Shades of Grey. (Not when it comes to the gospel of course. That's another issue.)

    Anyway, everyone thanks so much for your input. It's definitely good to hear every perspective, and what progressive people are thinking out there.

    One of the saddest things in the world to me is to see how people in the church have basically turned on each other through this whole election. I alluded to this over at Fred's blog.

    I mean it's not enough to just think the opposition is wrong, and to strongly disagree. So many from either side have to paint the other as either the enemy, or totally whacko. What a terrible witness to our faith.

    I think that no matter what happens in this election, we need to hold on to each other, and show the love of Christ.

    Rastus, I appreciate your comments, especially. It's not that I'm a one issue voter. I realize things are alot more complex than this.

    But, I'm totally grieved by Obama's stand relating to abortion. I realize this is probably not the place to have a lengthly discussion.

    I'm certainly not one that would want to ban artificial contraception, or all abortions especially very, very early on in a pregnancy. But, I definitely feel that we need more legal parameters than exist right now to protect the life of unborn kids at later weeks of gestation.

    I can't think that unborn children are nothing more than extensions of a mom's body. It's a deeper issue than just allowing women rights over her own body. An unborn child is a person in her own right.

    I'm just so grieved that Obama probably has the most pro-choice voting record of anyone in the entire senate.

    On the other hand, guys, I realize this is just one issue. I will say that I think Obama defintely comes across as someone who is more likable, and charismatic, more articulate than McCain.

    But, is he the best person to be our next president? Like I said, I'm really, really struggling with this right now, and not at all certain.

    Sincerely,
    Grace.

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  15. To put it another way, would Jesus show up at someone's house with force hijacking people's assets?

    Typical liberal obfuscation and rejection of scripture.

    Let's see what Jesus would do:

    18 A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 19Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother.” ’ 21He replied, ‘I have kept all these since my youth.’ 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money* to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 23But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich.

    Or maybe this:

    he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.


    Yes, the Lord will be taking your assets and then some!

    Ms. Politically Confused, and Perpetual Shades of Grey. (Not when it comes to the gospel of course. That's another issue.)

    Yeah, right.

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  16. John, are you feeling that it's wicked for people to have wealth?

    I definitely feel that money can certainly be a stumbling block. It obviously was for the rich young ruler. But, is this the case for everyone? It's plainly wrong to worship money, to be materialistic and selfish, not to share with the poor. No argument there.

    But, I don't know that overall the Lord calls every culture to socialism.

    Actually, I think my own priest leans in this direction, but I have to be honest, and say this isn't something God has put on my heart.

    I can see alot of good things about free markets, ways that we can create wealth to benefit everyone in the long term.

    Do you think I"m wrong about this, and not taking a position consistent with following Jesus?

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  17. John, are you feeling that it's wicked for people to have wealth?

    What does it matter what I think? I am the heretic. You told me I need to come back to Christ. You told me how to read the gospels. You are the Christian and you put your questions as to what you should do as a Christian:

    Plus, as a Christian, can I support a forced redistribution of wealth in this way? Is it truly wise, and just?

    You are the one who is not confused when it comes to the gospel, no shades of gray there, as I recall:

    (Not when it comes to the gospel of course. That's another issue.)

    Here are the words of Jesus:

    Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’

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  18. John, of course I care what you, and others here are thinking? Why would I ask, otherwise? I certainly don't think I know everything, Christian or not.

    To be honest, I'm not sure where you're coming from spiritually.

    Sometimes, you sound like a Christian believer. Other times, like you don't know that a personal, loving God is even there, or that Jesus actually existed at all. Can you blame me for feeling confused, here?

    But, I'm not trying to be snarky, or mean. I'll back away from conversation for awhile.

    Sorry if I'm offending you.

    Pax.

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  19. Grace,

    No offense at all. You have been making statements about what is the orthodox Christian way for a long time now. You aren't bashful about that. You come across quite confident that you know the Lord and that others should as well.

    And you have pointed out that others do not know the Lord because they read the gospels incorrectly among a number of other things.

    And you say it is not just your belief, it is >>the Christian<< belief.

    I have pointed out a number of passages from the Bible (and there are many more) regarding economic injustice that a consistent person would take as literally as any other.

    Is it possible that you are inconsistent?

    Is it possible that you are selective regarding the gospel?

    You question whether I am a Christian believer. I could do the same for you.

    But I won't.

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  20. To be honest, I'm not sure where you're coming from spiritually.

    Grace,

    That is the point. It is not your judgment to make. It isn't your role to worry about where people are coming from spiritually.

    We can debate texts, ethics, theology, and so forth, but no one can make a judgment on another's heart.

    It is not your decision regarding the spirituality of me, or John Shelby Spong, or the Jesus Seminar, or anyone else.

    It isn't my decision regarding your heart or anyone else's heart.

    Now as far as being undecided in regards to this election is concerned, I trust you will make a decision by the first Tuesday in November.

    The statements by Snad, Jodie, Rastus, Alan, and Fran are pretty darn persuasive it seems to me!

    Peace.

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  21. John,

    All Christians are inconsistent in some matter. We don't have every answer, and "see through a glass darkly."

    I think it possible for people to be equally committed to Christ, and be radical socialists, or conservative Republicans, depending on their culture, and background, how they take ahold of the issues.

    But, the glue that holds us all together, is the reality of the incarnation, and the cross of Jesus Christ. We agree concerning the gospel, that by the dying, and rising of Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God, and to each other. We've found new life in Him.

    It's true that only God knows anyone's deepest heart. In that sense, you are right, we can't ultimately judge, only the Lord.

    I don't think this means, though, that we shouldn't care for one another spiritually, or practice any kind of discernment in the church, or have a concern for people not a part of us to know the love of God in Christ, and to come to faith.

    I can't see it, John.

    Sincerely,
    Grace.

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  22. Becky -

    (I'm using your real name from now on. Calling yourself something doesn't make you that. If it did, I would have been calling myself "Size 4 Blonde" since about 1974.)

    I'm not sure what it is you are struggling with. You say your libertarian side is showing. The only difference I see between Libertarianism and Anarchism is that Libertarians go to meetings. I don't want either group to run things!

    You have some wealth, it seems, and you feel threatened that your wealth will be taken from you if Obama is elected. And so you skip through the teachings of Jesus and go right into the "Christ died for our sins" mantra, as though all other actions mean nothing in the end. You want us to give you permission to be well-off, like it matters what we say, anyway.

    And then, when permission isn't granted, you say things like "I don't think this means, though, that we shouldn't ... have a concern for people not a part of us to know the love of God in Christ, and to come to faith." Huh?

    I heard this on the radio, this morning: "To find one of those undecided voters, we're going to the grocery store to see who is paralyzed by the question 'paper or plastic'."

    Make up your mind. Stick another brick in the wall or chip away at the bricks that are already there.

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  23. Snad,

    (Laughing) I'm not wealthy. It's to my personal advantage if Obama is elected in the short term. I would love not to have to pay for health insurance, and possibly have my taxes lowered. This could mean an earlier retirement for me, as health insurance is a huge issue.

    But, I don't know if this is all going to actually be good for our country, or the economy in the long term, or the truly poor. I may be wrong, but am sincere about this.

    I do know folks that are very wealthy though, and not followers of Jesus, either. Trust me, they will know how to guard their assets.

    Being a Christian, is not just about parroting the right mantra. It's about being trusting Christ, being found in Him.

    Hey, I'm not the enemy. Friends, Snad?? What do you say? I'm open to hearing your thoughts, and ideas. But, I have to process them, and may not always agree.

    Sincerely,
    Becky.

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  24. Becky -

    You said "But, I don't know if this is all going to actually be good for our country, or the economy in the long term, or the truly poor."

    As opposed to what? McCain's continuation of the neo-con agenda?

    Do you consider that a choice? Really?

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  25. I don't know, Snad. McCain, and defintely Palin do seem more mavericks to me, not always just following the party line.

    I am worried that an increase in the capital gains tax on small business might in the long term result in the loss of jobs, more work shipped overseas, and less economic growth which will harm the most vulnerable in our country. I could be wrong, though.

    Personally, I think we need to reach across this political divide, drop our barriers, and trust each other. We need to put our heads together to find ways to help the poor, and our country in general, that will be lasting, not just a bandaid approach.

    I'm defintely about finding the common ground, and I never feel that because anyone disagrees with me they have nothing good to say, and are an automatic enemy. I'm sure you feel the same, Snad.

    But, I want to share with you that I chose the blogger name Grace, not because I think I am always this grace-filled person.

    Oh no. I wish!

    Just ask my husband, and kids sometime. :(

    But, I chose "Grace," just because it reminded me of God's unconditional love, and grace shown to me, and everyone in Christ.

    Also, I was thinking of the awesome movie, "Amazing Grace." It chronicles the story of Wilberforce, a follower of Jesus Christ, and wealthy member of the English parliment, who spent his whole life, and destroyed his health fighting against the slave trade.

    The movie also chronicles the story of John Newton, a former slave trader of that time, who through a Christian conversion, renounced his whole way of life, and actually became an Anglican priest.

    It is an awesome, and beautiful film, Snad, if you haven't seen it.


    This is still trafficking in the trade today. Young children are being sold into sexual slavery in places like Cambodia, and Thailand. This is a burden on my heart, Snad.

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  26. Becky, you said "Personally, I think we need to reach across this political divide, drop our barriers, and trust each other."

    And you think the maverick Palin is going to do that? The maverick who accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists"? The maverick who said she was glad to be in the pro-American part of America? That maverick?

    Again, is that an option? Really?

    And again, I must point out that, while Obama's plan may not be ideal, the situation we are in now was created in part and supported in whole by the elder maverick. Recall that he was smack dab in the middle of the S&L crisis, along with his economic advisor, Phil Gramm. He was officially rebuked by the Senate. And he's also a craggy old heartbeat away from handing the presidency over to a woman who's bulk of political experience consisted of taking her small town budget from a surplus to a deficit twice the national per capita average.

    These mavericks are a choice? REALLY?

    I don't understand you at all, Becky.

    Size 4 Blond

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  27. Well, we'll have to agree to disagree for now, Snad. I don't agree with Palin's comments either in this.

    Although, Obabma seems well ahead in the polls. I think there is a pretty good chance he will be elected to the presidency.

    And, if that's the case, I plan to throw my full support behind him, reservations or not.

    My concern is Snad, Obama is probably the most liberal member of the Senate. He's a good man, but is he truly going to be able to bridge this partisan divide, either? McCain does have a reputation as more of a moderate among the Republicans, and has opposed Bush on more than one occassion.

    Also, I"m thinking that it's not a bad idea to have checks, and balances in govt. If Obama is elected the democrats will control both the executive, and legislative branches. But, I suppose this could be good or bad depending on your perspective.

    Hey, I struggle with my weight too. For me, right now the issue is more about health, and fitness. My goal is to eat a more plant-based diet, cont. to exercise, and to cut out most refined carbs.

    Good for me, and the planet. (Check out the website, Earthwatch.)

    Of course, this is easier said than done. Wanna join me?? Could use the support, and prayer, of course. These high sugar, high fat foods are addictive, I think.

    Becky. (Def. not a size 4, either. I've never seen the size. Well, maybe when I was twelve. :) )

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  28. "My concern is Snad, Obama is probably the most liberal member of the Senate. "

    Prove it.

    Seriously, get me a list, not just on one issue, but on say, 20 in which he vote more consistently liberal than anyone else. Prove it. Otherwise, that's just a slogan. (And BTW, on each of those issues, prove that he voted differently than Republicans including John McCain.)

    "McCain does have a reputation as more of a moderate among the Republicans, and has opposed Bush on more than one occassion."

    Prove it. More than one? The facts demonstrate he has opposed Bush on more than one occasion: approximately an average of one in 10 occasions.

    I'm always fascinated by people who simply quote campaign talking points as if they're actually evidence for or against something.

    Look, John McCain *could* have won this election in all 50 states. Prior to this election, say back in 2000, John McCain, a moderate, barely right of center Republican probably held the same positions held by 60-70 percent of the US Population. Had he held to his actual position on abortion, he would have not only siphoned off independents, but moderate Democrats. Had he picked a real VP with real experience instead of a blow-up doll to appease the base, he would have boosted his appeal to independents and moderate Republicans. Then, with his landslide election and mandate he could have brought the country together, and effectively ended the reign of neocons in the Republican party.

    Instead he went as far right as he could go, making Dick Cheney look like Ted Kennedy.

    And how did that work? As it is, even conservative Republicans are coming out in droves for Obama these days.

    So, can Obama bring the nation together? I don't know. Given how hateful the far right is being, and the responses from the far left, I'm not sure. What I *am* sure about is that John McCain could never do it after selling out to the sewer of Karl Rovian politics as usual.

    Yeah, that's a maverick.

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  29. Becky, you said: "Although, Obabma seems well ahead in the polls. I think there is a pretty good chance he will be elected to the presidency. And, if that's the case, I plan to throw my full support behind him, reservations or not."

    So, you're one of those voters, eh?
    You also said we would have to agree to disagree. Well, Becky, if by that you mean we can somewhat amicably disagree on whether that is at all a responsible way to exercise your responsibility to vote, then, yes, we can agree to disagree. Because I don't see "method" of decision-making as having one iota of integrity.

    Heck, if Obama is ahead in the polls on election day, you might as well vote for Ron Paul. At least you'll make Rachel happy.

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  30. Snad, you're misunderstanding me. I'm not just looking here to see which way the wind blows. I'm going to make the best decision, I can. But, if Obama is elected, whether I decide to vote for him or not, I'm supporting him then as our president no matter what.

    Alan, brother, I'm just feeling ganged up on here. I'll have you know that I recieve all of my up to date info. from Fox News, the only unbiased name in news, and the O'Reily Factor, "the spin stops here." I almost never miss commentary by that Shawn Hannity, a completely unbiased, and totally informed, erudite commentator.

    Why, when I shared this with my own priest she almost fell off her chair, and choked on a latte. (Now I hope you're not going to have the same reaction, brother.)

    I'm actually requested to watch some progressive, social justice channel, as a balance, and part of my spiritual formation. :)

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  31. Becky, I'm glad to know I misunderstood your comment about supporting Obama. But still, that is not necessarily the responsibility of a good citizen - to support whomever is elected. Rather, you should demand accountability from whomever is elected.

    As Twain said, "Loyalty to country, always. Loyalty to government, when they deserve it."

    As for you getting all your information from Fox News, please tell me you are joking.

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  32. "Alan, brother, I'm just feeling ganged up on here. "

    Your problem, not mine.

    I simply asked you to prove your assertions that Obama is has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, and that McCain is actually a "maverick."

    I've heard these assertions for about two years now, and never once heard any actual evidence to support them. I was just hoping you might provide some.

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