Politics as Usual? Hopefully not.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post along with Does George Bush Know the Bronx Exists? and Osama who?, are a bit dated but I moved them over from a defunct political blog. Newer posts appear below this one. 

New York City, November 2008

I was greatly encouraged on Election Day morning when I saw two things outside of my regular polling place: the line of voters was out the door and down the street, and there were a lot of young people waiting in that line. For the last two presidential elections the line usually extended from the auditorium, where the voting machines sit, out into the lobby and it took me around 15, 20 minutes at the most to vote. This time it took me a little under an hour but that certainly didn’t bother me. 

It’s a shame Al Gore and John Kerry couldn’t draw the crowds, and youth vote, that Barack Obama did. If only Mr. Gore could have done that, and then not get robbed by Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court, thousands of American soldiers would still be alive because he would have never invaded Iraq in the aftermath of 9-11. 

We’re still in the honeymoon phase of the current election and President-elect Obama has not yet taken office. I’m swept up in the optimism people have been displaying, but cautiously so. President Obama has a daunting task before him and I hope he can solve many of the problems we face. 

As for Senator McCain, I can only hope the slime-masters that have taken over the Republican Party fade into history. I certainly respect Senator McCain, he suffered terribly for this country as a POW in Vietnam and has served in the Senate for several years, no easy feat. But he ran one of the worst campaigns ever because he hired the same slime-masters like Tucker Eskew who slandered him in South Carolina during the 2000 Republican primary, sinking his chance at the nomination. 

He used the same people who spread vicious, racist rumors through a fake phone polling operation that asked South Carolina voters if they would vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black. Was there a dark-skinned child in the McCain family? Yes. Her name is Bridget, she’s from Bangladesh and was adopted by the McCains. Other attacks on McCain included that he was mentally unstable and that his wife was a drug addict because she had some problems in her past with prescription drugs. 

This is pure Karl Rove slime, and unfortunately effective (Bush won the South Carolina primary). When George W. Bush ran against the incumbent Anne Richards for the Texas governorship in 1994 a similar tactic was used. Texans were called at home by people claiming to do independent research on the election (whether the telemarketers knew they were in on a scam is unclear) and asked would they vote for Ms. Richards if they knew she had a lesbian on her staff. 

For someone who claims to be a maverick, Senator McCain’s 2008 run for the presidency was anything but mavericky. I can only hope that politicians will tone down the slime in the future, but I’m less optimistic on that pathetic front. 

Politics As Usual? Hopefully Not update: for a great analysis of what went wrong with the GOP and America during the Bush years read this article by Ron Paul, a Republican Congressman from Texas. And while I don’t agree with everything he says about the incoming administration time will certainly tell what President Obama can do: from cnn.com 11-12-08 Commentary: GOP Should Ask Why U.S. Is On The Wrong Track.

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