Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Night Endorsement Update


McCain is getting wiped out when it comes to newspaper endorsements-- and that includes at three dozen that endorsed Bush in 2004 and have come over to Obama this year.
Obama's lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.

If you'd like a great laugh, you should take a look at the poll of far right-wing Republican bloggers. Are they trying to fool someone or are they really all this stupid and allergic to reality? There were exactly 76 trombones in this sad funeral cortege and most of them claim they believe McCain will win the election next week. 91% think Palin has been a plus for the campaign and 67% think the Republican Party got its ass kicked in 2006 and appears to be in for an even worse drubbing this week because... the GOP isn't conservative enough! And if you've ever wondered where all the crazy hatred comes from... well it's not all Limbaugh and Coulter and Hannity and O'Reilly. The right-wing bloggers are pretty off the cliff as well. 89% claim Obama is dishonest; 76% say he's not patriotic and 88% say he's not qualified to be president. Only 8% say they're not Sarah Palin fans.

In recent days we've been reading about many high profile Republicans endorsing Obama. Many are sickened by McCain's viciously divisive and negative campaign and by the extremism of his supporters. Others are disillusioned by his selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate. We've all read about Colin Powell, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Leach (R-IA), William Weld, former Alabama Congressman John Buchanan, Chris Buckley, former Michigan Governor William Milliken, Arne Carlson, former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, Wick Allison, Rep Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Larry Pressler (R-SD), and even freaks like arch-Neocon Ken Adelman and GOP child molester Mark Foley. But all over the country there are lesser known Republicans backing Obama against McCain.

The GOP candidate for Congress in Portland, Oregon, Joel Haugen has gone a step beyond Republican Senator Gordon Smith and actually endorsed Obama. "I am sure," he writes, "that we need to choose a President who exemplifies the 21st Century and is not just an echo of the Cold War mentality. I personally admire John McCain, but I simply cannot see him inspiring the nation and our world economic partners to work together and solve our very daunting problems. My Obama support-decision matrix includes the characteristics of Judgment, Temperament, Charisma, Intellect, Adaptability, Virtue, Vision, Traditional Republican Values, and dedication to 'Main Street.'  Barack Obama is without question the superior choice for me."

One Republican who still hasn't come out for Obama-- and probably won't-- is one of the most respected colleagues of John McCain's in the Senate-- and the real war hero that McCain alsways tried so hard to paint himself, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Hagel's wife has donated to the Obama campaign and Hagel has pointedly refused to endorse his old pal McCain. This week's New Yorker published a Connie Bruck feature.

It isn't only Hagel's genuine heroism in battle that McCain has tried to claim as his own, it is also, even more overtly, the fact that it has been Hagel, never McCain, who was the Republican who opposed Bush's toxic Iraq agenda.
McCain no doubt understood how difficult it would be for Hagel to endorse him, yet their differences were what would make the endorsement so valuable. From 2004 on, McCain, in his desire to win the nomination, had embraced Bush’s policies ever more zealously, while Hagel had become the Administration’s most severe Republican critic. Although he has frequently voted with his party on domestic policy, his views on foreign policy represent a bold departure from those of the Administration, and his willingness to take Bush to task publicly has alienated many Republicans. In some ways, Hagel is far more of a maverick than McCain has ever been, and his endorsement would likely sway independents whose votes McCain probably needs in order to win.

...In mid-July, Hagel and his friend Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, accompanied Obama on a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. Describing Baghdad to me after he returned, Hagel said, “You can’t walk around-- you’ve got flak jackets, helmets on all the time, no matter where you are. It’s always struck me it’s almost like a Fellini movie, kind of unreal. The American people are told things are stable and secure and violence is down. No American would walk outside there without a convoy!”

Hagel’s unwillingness to endorse McCain is generally perceived to be a result of their ongoing disagreements over the Iraq war. But he told me that the gulf between them is much deeper: “In good conscience, I could not enthusiastically-- honestly-- go out and endorse him and support him when we so fundamentally disagree on the future course of our foreign policy and our role in the world.”

...Hagel said, he’s been “very disappointed” by McCain’s campaign. “He gave one unifying speech and then has spent fifty million dollars to destroy his opponent.” Hagel may be the only senior Republican elected official who has publicly criticized McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. “I don’t believe she’s qualified to be President of the United States,” Hagel told me. “The first judgment a potential President makes is who their running mate is—and I don’t think John made a very good selection.” He scoffed at McCain’s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. “To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees Russia—and that she’s commander of the Alaska National Guard.” He added, “There is no question that this candidate is arguably the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.” Hagel’s criticisms have prompted protests from Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, who said in an e-mail statement to me, “Senator Hagel knows that decades of foreign-policy experience in the Senate did not stop countless Democrats and some Republicans from declaring the surge a failure before it started and recommending instead a disastrous policy of withdrawal and retreat in Iraq.”

For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness--in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long Senate career, for example-- to belittle the notion that experience is important. “There’s no question, she knows her market,” Hagel said. “She knows her audience, and she’s going right after them. And I’ll tell you why that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because you don’t want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always strive to define standards up. If you start defining standards down—‘Well, I don’t have a big education, I don’t have experience’—yes, there’s a point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of wild populism, that those things don’t count in a complicated, dangerous world—that’s dangerous in itself.

“There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings,” he continued. “And we’re getting on the fringe of that, with these one-issue voters—pro-choice or pro-life. Important issue, I know that. But, my goodness. The world is blowing up everywhere, and I just don’t think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue. And, interestingly enough, that is one issue that stopped John McCain from picking one of the people he really wanted, Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge”-- the Independent senator from Connecticut and the Republican former governor of Pennsylvania. (Both men are pro-choice.)

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At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beijing, China
Unassociated Fictional Press

The Government of The Peoples Republic of China has unanimously
endorsed McCain/Palin for President of the United States.

"They are our kind of people!" says a Government spokesperson.
"They understand that business and the government should be in control,
not the silly workers, or 'people' as they sometimes call themselves."

A leading General, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say
about President McCain: "We planted many post-hypnotic suggestions
in our former P.O.W.'s mind and we are beside ourselves with
anticipation at having the opportunity to trigger them and have control
of the white house without even having to wage a war..."

"And if that fails," a second anonymous official pipes in "it's not like
George W. Bush did not already sell it to us anyway."


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