Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Take: The Next Week

This is my take on what you are going to be seeing in the next week! Let's see how right I am next week:).


Here are a couple of facts around which I am prognosticating:

1. It is very clear that the majority of both the House and Senate will be Democrats. No question there. There are still some key battles that need to be won, but just how many dems is the question, not whether the House/Senate will be democratically controlled. This is not an unimportant distinction as the dems are looking for a veto-proof margin. There will be a sweeping number of democrats coming in that we have not seen since the 60's... 40 years. And for most, that is a greater amount of time than they are old.

2. Given the above, McCain cannot CHANGE a thing without Congressional approval. If the Congress is veto-proof, McCain's in even deeper doo-doo. He will get virtually nothing important done. If it is not, he may get a few nods. But most certainly, his presidency will be a changeless, do nothing presidency.

So, how does this end up? McCain cannot, realistically change anything. He can claim all the 'tude he wants--fantasy or not--but he can't get there from here. McCain, in the whole view of the political situation, cannot change anything.

The difficulty will come in 'splainin this to the public. If you are voting for McCain and you expect change, be prepared for a huge disappointment... Palin or no Palin which of course will only help the dems in 2012.


But there is another concurrent theme going on here, one I talked about last week here. John McCain (who is far left of Palin from what we can now see, given her past statements, voting records, etc.) was long branded as a Maverick, something lost in the last several years as he has aligned more closely with Bush on almost everything in a (largely failed) bid to grab the Republican base.

Enter Palin. Palin, because the pro-Palin propaganda machine has already cranked out what we can expect to see in the future--but more emboldened and more propagandized--is not only a hearty Alaskan, and a woman, but her (false) attacks on the status quo will look Patton-sized when they are done with it. She will be the Maverick--the change--that McCain has NOT been and which her record cannot show, but nonetheless, say it enough times and it will stick.

While SOME of the media is already getting this--and going after her real record--the majority won't do that on prime time TV and as you and I know, most folks don't watch the important Sunday interview shows (which is why you MUST!... and why I gave the links so those of you that miss them because of church, so now you have NO excuse:).

Her strong talk will make it appear she is a strong advocate for change and a get-it-done kinda gal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her stances are far more right wing than McCain. She will speak to the social right wing (read evangelical and social conservatives), but given reality, Palin will have an equally zero capability to do anything but yammer.

What we have, then, is a woman who "represents" the Maverick "Change" everyone "wants", but, in effect, can do absolutely nothing. That ear she talked about for families of special needs kids? Well, that's all they'll get . Her ear.

A dem congress can stop drilling in ANWR, they can stop Supreme Court appointees, they can stop radical policy shifts in everything from the DOE to the DOA and EPA, etc. Likewise, McCain can stop (without a veto-proof margin) Congress from getting anything real done.

They can also stop (and George Miller is working on this now) some of Palin's huge mistakes in her state, such as aerial shooting of wolves (which is caused by a loophole in federal law). But how hands off McCain/Palin will be in Palin's "Alaska First" state is unknown.

Furthermore, what will intrinsically take place (and Alaskans should think long and hard about this) is that their record of earmarks will drop considerably under the coming Congress. Can Palin bring home more pork for Alaska being VP? No. It is likely the reverse. Alaska is a "welfare state" in the sense they only take from the fed coffers, they do not contribute. We'll see if any dems have the guts to point that out. Dems have nothing to fear from Alaskan voters in pointing it out. With Palin as the Alaskan VP nominee, the state is no longer up for grabs anyway. And, the fact is, they ARE a welfare state. Stating the obvious can be done in such a way that it is done offhandedly rather than putting the idea on the map.


There has been some discussion about McCain naming possible appointees prior to the election. It's been discussed before. I don't think it will happen right away, but it may well happen. Here's why.

As some of the pundits have observed, there are few experienced republicans left to serve. They have burned most of them into the ground in the last 8 years. McCain, knowing this, has said he will appoint folks from the democratic congress or otherwise from among the party. It's smart for him to say this, politically, because it implies (especially to independents) that he isn't a GOP stalwart, something ridiculous, but nonetheless it will fly.

There are goods and bads to this for McCain were he to do this.

Goods: Will attract some on the fence independents in line with that Maverick/Change image.

Bads: Will move some close-edged conservative (non evangelical) voters to the left.

You can bet they are looking extremely closely at what they think they need to do in each case (eg. as the Energy Secretary, etc.) and looking at every pro/con of every name they can live with and its effect on this close race.

The reason I even bother to bring any of this up at all is because you are the mouths that will represent knowledge and change for Obama. Those of you that will be talking to others in any capacity (at the water cooler or at the soccer game), these kinds of ideas (and actual issue stances of both candidates) will be the bedrock WE need to address.

We MUST get off the personality message and back to the issues. THAT is where Obama shines.

Whether Palin is/isn't a Barbie doll, let alone a woman (especially for you men!) isn't the issue. It is her positions and the fact that she represents, for instance, a barbaric approach to the environment. Remember, those wolves dying are ONLY to gain more prey for hunters (read tourists) to shoot. It's about money, not subsistence hunting. No one likes a brute and I can tell you first hand the animal rescue and humane organizations are not happy about this at all. Many knew of the disgusting practice, but most are only now learning that the VP was responsible for it and has done it herself. Many are using the info on this blog to get out, for instance.

For those who are scientists or in science teaching, the difference between McCain and Obama is startling. Read Obama's answers to the 14 questions I posted yesterday. Print it out. Science organizations are banding to do something about the dismal condition of science in America--a sad reality given we have some of the best scientists in the world here, and not in any small quantity. Get the people at work up to speed on the two positions of each candidate.

When it comes to economy, those of us in the lower 48 are going to be constantly hit with the "you just don't get Alaska" line. Well, Palin doesn't get the lower 48. Don't be afraid to talk about Alaska's welfare state. While she is getting pork from our wallets, she is refunding money from her own state budget to her people. Most states have not gotten payment from the feds for serious budgets, including education. States are having to cover more and more of this (which is part of California's problem, for instance). But in Alaska, they have a surplus. Instead of using that surplus to cover costs of things they need, they want to give it back to every person and let US pay for it! Not theory, fact.

Because of taxes paid on oil that goes to the state, EVERY Alaskan gets $1200.00 annually. Sweet deal, huh? No wonder Alaskan's are wholly for ANWR. What Palin is giving back is this additional surplus beyond the normal. Gee, wonder if some of that almost $400 million they got in pork in Alaska could have helped anyone in the lower 48?

It's touchy for politicans to address this, but not for we citizens who pony-up the bucks that get redistributed.

We need to start calling Palin by another name: Sarah Same might work... same old, same old wrapped in a bright new package. John and Sarah Same. If you think of a brilliant new name for them, throw it at the blog world and let's see if it sticks.

Don't use their vocabulary. Develop your own. Stem cell research (something Nancy Reagan supports, but McCain doesn't) is hugely supported by the public. McCain and the anti-choice folks use the term pro-abortion. So, you use anti-science to explain their position on stem cell research, for instance.

Their position on drill, drill, drill? Too late, too long, too little, too expensive and playing right inTO the huge oil corporations.

We need to stay educated and we need to get busy. We need to get Obama elected.

It's going to be a VERY close race. We can only hope the debates better define the real from the fantasy, the great from the gremlins.