And on the subject of Sarah Palin, how many were as flabbergasted as I was this morning by the McSame/Palin campaign's contention that Obama was sexist for describing their credentials as agents of change as 'putting lipstick on a pig?' I heard that old saying before dear little Sarah was born. My mother heard it lo-o-o-o-ong before. There is nothing sexist about it. It merely means making a superficial modification that doesn't change the substance of the thing. This remark was not as sexist as her own characterization of the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom as 'lipstick.' I guess she can be excused on the grounds of having children and ovaries.
The Cranky Crone has another entry in the 'No How, No Way, No McCain/Palin' (thank you Hilary Clinton) saga. And to continue by this route to the discussion of statistics, I saw another one last night on the news that perplexed me. According to ABC news, among those voters who vote on the issues Obama leads McCain by, I think, 17 points. But among those voters who vote on 'character' McCain leads Obama by the same margin. I wonder how many of the character voters actually know anything of the candidates' characters. I vote on the issues because I can't really know the character of the candidates. I have never met them, talked to them face to face, or in any way interacted with them. Besides, momentary meetings or interactions cannot truly reveal character. McCain was a war hero 30 odd years ago, but is he the same man now that he was then? Besides the records of 'war hero' presidents are something of a mixed bag. Some were good; some were not. He is also a man who cheated on his first wife. I could go on but I think I have made my point.
So I have to look at the issues and decide based on the candidates statements, proposals, and past actions whether I agree them on those issues. Let's look the issue of choice--whether it is the choice in reproductive decisions, or what one reads, or with whom one communicates. I am pro-choice. McCain and Palin are anti-choice on all of these issues. I have read on several sites that McCain has voted against reproductive rights bills 183 times over his career and he has promised to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will vote to overturn Roe v Wade. Women fought too long and too hard for reproductive choice to give it up now and I am not willing to vote Republican on the off chance that they really don't mean their actions or their rhetoric.
Nor am I willing to consider candidates whose actions support censorship in any form. I have been a reader all my life. McCain supported the Patriot Act with its National Security Letters allowing the FBI to snoop into what citizens choose to check out of the library and its warrentless wiretaps. Palin asked her local librarian what the procedure was for removing books from the shelves and then tried to fire her when she didn't cooperate. I have read parts of Marx and Engels and parts of Adam Smith and John Locke. I am neither communist/socialist, nor a committed capitalist. I have read the Bible, parts of the Koran (in English, sorry to say), The Book of Mormon, and countless other religious tracts without converting to any religion. I have read absolute drivel with great pleasure and great literature with equal pleasure. I have been capable of making my own choices since I was thirteen and my mother told the local librarians to let me have any book I wanted on her card and threatened to raise hell if they didn't. I will take the actions and the words at face value. I won't say what I think they reveal about character.
For a nice little comparison of Obama and McCain over the few short years they have spent together in the Senate go to Archcrone at The Crone Speaks. This is a blog I found very recently and it has become a frequent stop on my morning blog visits.
Boomer Chick asks a question that has been on my mind a bit lately: "why is it the government's responsibility to bail us out?" My thoughts have taken the question into more general directions with some strange twists and turns in contemplating the financial mess the country is in. Boomer Chick asks "Sure, you can have your white picket fence, but why do you have to get into something that has such high risks if you know darn well that sometime down the road, there might be a problem with your job or a problem with your health?" From my own memories of my life, I, like many people, I think, started to consider negative possibilities only after something happened to bring home the fact that I should consider them. Do we really 'know darn well' that something might happen to derail our lives or what that something might be? A little over a year ago, I had some trouble with my car. It started running hot and spewed dense white smoke. I replaced coolant frequently. Thinking it might be the radiator, because I had a minor radiator leak before when a stone had put as small puncture in it, I drove the car to the repair shop. I arrived shrouded in a cloud of white smoke rising from under the hood. The guys at the shop knew what the problem was--a blown head gasket. Me?? I hadn't a clue. It was so totally outside my experience that I would never have guessed what was wrong. I think that is the story for many people in today's economy. The last thirty years of my experience have totally over turned the assumptions I absorbed during my first thirty years of life. I know, now, from experience, that jobs aren't as readily available as they once were when I was younger. I know, now, that more education will not necessarily yield a better job having spent more time than I want to remember pursuing advanced degrees for seemingly secure careers that have evaporated. I know, now, that the American Dream of that suburban home can be a nightmare when you are only one paycheck from disaster and that even if you keep that paycheck it doesn't stretch to replacing major appliances if they go out, or car repairs if needed, or a visit to the doctor because the job you have doesn't have health insurance. I didn't know any of that then. As to the original question--maybe we expect government to bail us out because we have what George Bush promised us when he tried to destroy Social Security--an ownership society. But what we own is debt, a lot of debt, and, as Obama said at the AARP meeting, when anything goes wrong, foreseeable or otherwise, we are on our own. By the way, it is lonely as hell, being on your own.
By the way, for anyone who wonders, I like Boomer Chick's blog a lot. She is entertaining, informative and I visit frequently. It is well worth the time to visit.