Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin's Latest, and Did Anyone in the McCain Campaign Bother to Vet Her?

Anyone who knows my meager work knows that I try to focus solely on the issues, not the peripheral personal stuff that all too often substitutes for political discourse and exchange these days. Though I find myself profoundly disturbed by Sarah Palin's views on abortion (all women must be forced to bring the fetus to birth, in her opinion), global warming (not man-made, in her view), and a host of other issues, including censorship and gay rights, I am also left wondering whether the McCain campaign did any serious vetting of their vice-presidential candidate.

The Associated Press, not some liberal blog, did some basic investigation of Palin, what McCain should have first done, and have found that she took gifts from businesses while Wasilla, AK, mayor. According to the report, Palin "gladly accepted gifts from merchants" and "stepped in to help friends or neighbors with City Hall dealings." This raises some serious ethical questions about Palin's ability to govern honestly and to do so without the influence of special interest groups.

My genuine question is whether McCain really did any vetting of Palin, who seemingly has a closet full of skeletons and who has used her position to assist friends and receive free gifts. At the very least, McCain's judgment is brought into question, and Palin is once again found to be not even close to ready to serve as an able public servant.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

John Adler Wins Second Debate against Chris Myers

I've written a brief report over at Blue Jersey on the second debate between Democrat John Adler and Republican Chris Myers. Adler won.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Republican Congressional Candidate Chris Myers is a Hypocrite

In one of the most-watched congressional races in the country, New Jersey's District 3, Republican candidate Chris Myers, the Deputy Mayor of Medford, has been running a campaign based on negative attacks on his superior opponent, State Senator John Adler, and has created faux outrage over various portrayals of Myers -- all of this while neglecting to discuss the important issues of the day. Now it seems that Myers is bringing in Pres. Bushto help his failing, cash-strapped campaign. Of course, Myers' ideology, from his support of an endless war doctrine in Iraq to his belief that oil companies rather than average citizens deserve tax breaks, are completely in line with Bush and Cheney.

Glenn Paulsen clone and apologist Chris Russell stated about the Bush-Myers event: "We were always confident that we would be able to raise the money in enough time to get our message out and to compete, but this certainly helps." Actually, there has been no message from the Myers campaign, only personal attacks on Adler and, hypocritically enough, attempts to distance Myers from the failed policies of the Bush-Cheney campaign. In fact, a few weeks ago, Myers went apoplectic (again, faux outrage just to gain media attention) simply because a flier was distributed with a picture of him walking with Bush.

Now Bush is raising money for Myers, who is behind 10-1 in fundraising, and Myers is all too eager to have his hand out. There's a hypocrite in the race for the 3rd district congressional seat, and his name is Chris Myers.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Things Happening for Democrats in Virginia

As a native Virginian who headed home over the weekend, I was reminded how much the electoral politics have changed in the Old Dominion State. For example, in the 1990s, the U.S. senators were both Republican, and Gov. Wilder notwithstanding, so were the governors; ditto for the state senate and state delegates. As of 2008, there is a Democratic governor, a Democratic state senate, and, almost certainly, two outstanding Democratic senators in Jim Webb and (hopefully) Mark Warner. Warner has helped draw enough support in Republican parts of the state, including the Shenandoah Valley, to change the dymanics of Virginia politics. At least one congressional district, the 11th, in which Tom Davis, a moderate Republican, is retiring, is going from red-to-blue; and one near Hampton Roads might do the same.

Grassroots action on behalf of local Democrats, coupled with enough financial backing and a good strategy, has yielded some very favorable results. Is this enough for Obama to win Virginia, though?

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Short Post: Bipartisanship Dead?

For some reason, I've lately been thinking of bipartisan legislation (the original No Child Left Behind on the national level, for example, or environmental legislation here in New Jersey on the state level) and whether the country has become too polarized to make bipartisan legislation a reality. I'm thinking of this partly because the tenor and tone of the presidential contest is not at the high level I think it should be -- and I do, fairly or unfairly, blame conservatives for much of that negative tone.

Surely, the media's "frame narrative" that is told about bipartisanship (more ideological partisanship than ever before) needs unpacking, however accurate such a narrative may partly be. But have the dual poles of progressivism and conservatism become too distinct, too completely different to result in legislation in Washington that is, collectively speaking, for the good of the country? If, for example, comprehensive energy legislation that invested in alternative and renewable energy was also couple with something I vehemently oppose, new oil drilling in environmentally-safe (as safe as possible) sites, came up, I would support it. One reason that one commentator applauded Joe Biden as Obama's vp pick was because of bipartisanship purposes; Biden originally arrived in the senate at the time of less partisanship rankling and polarization.

Legislation must move forward when it meets certain qualitative and quantitative criteria of approval, and I would hope that the new administration and congress, come 2009, invoke a genuine spirit of bipartisanship, though I imagine that's an ideal that may not come to fruition.

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