The Columbian Endorses Obama Based on McCain’s Preferred Issues

October 20, 2008

The Columbian newspaper endorsed Obama recently. This is interesting because it is a fairly conservative newspaper having endorsed Bush last time.

The basis for this endorsement was pretty much the factors that McCain ran on early in his campaign. First, leadership. The newspaper compares the divisiveness that seems to characterize McCain and his supporters with the way in which Obama has been able to unify his party and open it to others, attracting not just independents but according to the newspaper conservatives as well.

McCain has been hammering on the question of Obama’s judgment and it is that issue that The Columbian finds persuasive in supporting Obama. It compares the choices the two candidates have made during the campaign and finds these facts to favor Obama.

The personal attacks on Obama the newspaper finds to be true of McCain as well and it has little trouble discounting the terrorist and Acorn “issues” and it sounds like McCain’s pushing these issues diminishes him in the estimation of the newspaper.

What is interesting about this is that the McCain campaign has been intentionally trying to distract from the issues relating to the economy. (It was barely mentioned during the Republican convention.) McCain strongly prefers to direct attention to “character-related issues.” The Columbian’s endorsement is based entirely on the issues that McCain is pressing. It does not even mention the policy issues on which McCain is most vulnerable.


You Go, Joe!

October 17, 2008

Here’s a healthy sign:  Bidden denounced a Palin statement.  It has for me been weird hearing her highly inflammatory statements echoing through the news with nothing but denials by Obama and Biden.  Palin has been treated like a little girl who should not be treated severely.  This has given her a sort of immunity to make the most outlandish statements which seems to be mobilizing a segment of the population that everyone prefers not to talk about.

Today Biden called her out for apparently identifying areas of “real America” as apparently opposed to geographical pockets of sedition.  This of course is  (I thought) by now a hackneyed tactic of setting Americans against each other for political gain.  All you need to do is fill some people (a majority) with self-righteous contempt for others or promote righteous doubt about the legitimacy of others, including candidates.  (Palin informs us that Washington D.C. is not pro-America and cities should be viewed with suspicion.) It seems so transparent but it still seems to work to some degree.  At least the tactic does not appear to be effective with a majority of the people.  At least not right now.

Anyway, I say call demagoguery out.  This tactic needs to be aired and revealed for what it is.


Biden Sounds Like the Straight Talk Express

September 20, 2008

Joe Biden, never known for flowery speeches, seems to be getting right to the nub.  He is saying what Democrats seem to have been afraid to say out loud.  The Atlantic quotes him as follows after being told of claims by McCain and his running mate:

“How many small businessmen are making one million, four hundred thousand–average in the top 1 percent. Give me a break. I remind my friend, John McCain, what he said–when Bush called for war and tax cuts–he said, it was immoral, immoral, to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it. I am so sick and tired of this phoniness. The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble.  And the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing, as patriotic Americans, to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they’re getting and we give it to the middle class.”


Bush Will not Confirm McCain’s Economic Assessment

September 18, 2008

Bush’s press secretary refused to confirm the truth of the McCain statement this week that the economy is fundamentally sound.  Ordinarily you would think that this might put the Republican candidate out on a limb, particularly one who has endorsed Bush’s economic policies.  McCain though with characteristic alacrity now denies his own assessment and is calling for regulation of the financial industry.  We can ad this to the list of issues that he has argued first one side, then unblinkingly argued the other side.

Biden has developed a funny bit in discussing McCain’s 180 degree turn on this.  McCain has a little bit of bagage on this isuue, what with 83 Wall Street lobbyists on his staff and his chief advisor, Phil Graham, the senatorial champion of financial deregualtion.