Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Time: you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

It is hard to believe it's almost over. This election has been going on seemingly my entire life.

I voted last week. The experience was not in any way extraordinary. In my lily-white suburban district there was a significant line at around 10am, but the line moved quickly and -- apart from an overly officious person chastising voters about their cell phones and their cups of Starbucks -- there were no problems or really anything out of normal at all.

I voted for Obama, and certainly I hope he wins, as looks relatively certain from all available data. I think I like Obama as a person, and surely no one doubts that he is competent, knowledgeable and intelligent -- characteristics that have been sorely lacking in the White House this decade.

On the issues, I do not agree with a lot of what Obama represents. While I agree with his tax plan and believe a return to Clinton's tax policies is both fair and fiscally responsible, in my view Obama leaves a lot to be desired in terms of policy. He supports the failed and increasingly ridiculous War On Drugs (otherwise known as the War On Non-Conformists and Brown People). He appears to have bought into the framing of Bush's War On Terror. He's relatively close to Bush's Iraq policy as it currently stands, and is in general much too much of military interventionalist for my taste. He supports the Wall Street bailout, which is the biggest program of corporate welfare in the history of the world. He has not committed to punishing any of Bush/Cheney's lawbreaking, and has only very weakly expressed any support for rolling back the executive power grab accomplished by the current administration. He's weak on civil liberties, which for me is a huge negative. And none of these are small things, but rather to me the most important issues we face as a country.

Of course, on each of these items John McCain is worse, and on some of them far worse. I believe a McCain administration would be an unmitigated disaster for this country -- and for the world. McCain and Palin represent a toxic mix of anti-intellectualism, reality-denial, religious zealotry, abject incompetence, and violent bellicosity. They must be defeated.

And if that's not enough, Obama's election would represent a solid repudiation of Bushism which can only be healthy for us as a nation. Not as much as a repudiation as I would personally desire, but an unmistakable repudiation nonetheless. (For a more eloquent and detailed argument on this point, I suggest Andrew Sullivan's lengthy endorsement from yesterday.) This, at least, is a point on which "Hope and Change" is, um, hopefully not merely a slogan.


Gleemonex said...

On eggshells all day today ... me & Mr. Gleemonex took Kid Gleemonex to vote with us -- that's two for Obama, 2 against prop 8, and 2 against prop 4, with one baby consultant who agrees: bama!

I think that President Obama will be able to rein in most of the excesses of the civil liberties offenses -- it didn't pay for him to make that a cornerstone of his campaign, what with the ridiculously well-entrenched meme of Democrats being "weak on terror," but I think once elected, he'll be able to pull it off.

Hope and change, indeed!

Is it too early for a Scotch?

bgirl said...

Glee, the giddy teen!

BTW, I'm kind of thinking of stealing that smokin Obama picture (which I am certain you stole, yourself) to be my facebook photo. Hope you don't mind.

Kingfish said...

WTF? it's been over a week. Did you get kidnapped by the Gestapo?