Saturday, October 4, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Question: Am I considered “Joe six-pack”? I hope so.

Wait, what did Palin mean by six-pack? Never mind. I was asked if I was going to post on the Palin-Biden debate. I wasn’t planning on it. I’m hoping to be done with politics, at least on this blog, with the exception of maybe a last minute pep-talk. But, alas, I want to please my readers. A more articulate, experienced, and talented writer for the Wall Street Journal wrote the review that I would first lead you to: Palin and Populism

My observations are fairly simple:

I don’t think I have heard, nor do I think there is, a Republican who thinks Biden won the debate, or a Democrat who thinks Palin won the debate. So in that sense, the media commentary and polling is pointless, and they might as well show the debate, and then go back to regular programming. Oh yeah, there now are MULTIPLE stations that talk about politics ALL the time, as regular programming. Ugh. And, just to remind you, this was the Vice Presidential debate. That’s not who we vote for. (As a side note, I thought the question about what their administration would look like in the event of the worst happening was unfair, but they both handled it well.)

I don’t appreciate untruth. Why is this such a problem on both sides? Is it intentional? I’ll give you one example that to me is glaring, and reveals a major weakness and danger of the party guilty of it. Palin (as has McCain) pointed out that Obama said he would meet with leaders of Iran, North Korea, etc. without preconditions. Biden said last night, “Can I clarify something? That is simply not true about Barack Obama.” Um, yes it is. Obama’s attempts to cover this with vague interpretations of what he actually meant are more admirable than lying about it altogether. I don’t deny that there was some untruth on the other side - but not this bad or significant, in my opinion. All the other lies ultimately cancel each other out. I’m not sure whether the deception or the foreign policy naïveté is worse, but neither is a solid characteristic of a president (or vice president) at this point in history.

I’m interested that both parties oppose gay marriage and essentially agree with the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Saves me from having to give a theological perspective on this, which I hope is obvious. All the talk about hospital visitation rights is small potatoes compared to what’s really at stake.

In the end, the two most important issues in this election, the economy and the Iraq war, are approached fundamentally different by the two tickets, and that is not going to change. Take away all the media-spin, all the unfair attacks, and all the politics, and the most important issues are 1) raising taxes to fund programs and more regulation vs. cutting taxes to stimulate the economy and less regulation, and 2) ending an unfavorable war as soon as possible vs. staying as long as needed to win. You undoubtedly feel one way or the other on both of these, so whichever way it is, that’s how you will vote. So, ok, great. Let’s have this thing tomorrow, and get on with it. I want to watch Dwight Schrute instead of Joe Biden on Thursday nights.

It wasn’t the “fireworks show” it could have been if Biden had told a handicapped man to stand or Palin had forgotten what newspaper she reads (or if they had let them cage fight), but it was engaging nonetheless and overall good for the country. And there were moments where I honestly think God was glorified; in the agreement of the candidates on marriage or the unacceptable suffering in Darfur, or the mention of heaven. So that is what I care about. Seriously though, can we vote already?

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