30
Sep
08

Don’t believe the hype!

This weekend I went to a birthday party for a close friend of mine. Seeing as how it was supposed to be a celebration full of good times I decided ahead of time to leave my soap-box-hopping-self at home (she’d get her chance out this Thursday at a VP debate party). Let’s face it though…nobody’s perfect. There were a few points where I simply couldn’t keep quiet because the hot air was getting t0o intense. Here are a few highlights from the evening:

1) Male #1: “John McCain is a respectable man.”

Male #2: “Yeah, he really is.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? He’s respectable?”

Males #1 and #2: “Of course.”

Me: “The dude left his wife!”

Male #1: “Your going to hold a guy to something he did 40 years ago? None of us would pass that test.”

Actually, YES I’m going to hold him to something he did 28 years ago! In particular, I’m going to do this because for some reason we all consider him accountable and HEROIC for his actions 35 years ago. So, I say, if you are going to hail someone for their actions on one front then let’s not turn the other cheek when they do a no-no. Granted, one action involves “national heroism” and the other is a personal matter; but in my opinion both reflect on how this man treats others and both contribute to his degree of respectability.

Interestingly enough, I know many people who would pass that 40 year test, many respectable people. I wonder, could John McCain be the candidate for those of us with a sketchy past? Is that another side of his appeal? John McCain: I’m not an east coast liberal elitist; No, I’ve been there just like you; Hell, I even cheated on my wife who was a swimsuit model with a rich woman who was 18 years younger and married her only a month after my divorce. See, I’m JUST like you (or how you wish you could be).

2) “Obama will raise my taxes. In fact, if my parent’s leave me their house he’ll tax that inheritance 50%! I don’t believe in income redistribution of any sort, Obama is a Marxist socialist.”

Ok, this one might take a minute. First of all, that is not Obama’s tax plan. Maybe this person’s information came from that widely-circulated-bogus-email-with-absolutely-no-references-or-sources-cited (big Sarah Palin finger wag from the social science researcher!). Though I’m not economics professor, from what I understand Obama would tax certain properties at a maximum rate of 45%, however, these properties are valued at at least $3.5 million or more. For a NON-PARTISAN breakdown of Obama and McCain’s tax plans see here.

Second, income redistribution is already happening, just in the reverse direction. We are witnessing a rapidly growing divide between the have and the have-nots and a whithering of the middle-class as a result of high debt, shoddy mortgages, and the general increase in the cost of living.

The richest 2.8 million Americans had $950 billion after taxes, or 15.5 percent, of the $6.2 trillion economic pie in 2000, Isaac Shapiro, a senior fellow at the center, said. The poorest 110 million Americans had less, sharing 14.4 percent of all after tax money.[NYTimes]

Clearly, through the use of tax breaks, incentives, and loopholes our income IS being redistributed…to the top. So, one can believe or not believe in income redistribution all they want, but the bottom line is that it is taking place, just in a rather unfair direction.

Finally, Marx would be rolling over in his grave. Obama may have progressive ideas but he’s definitely no Marxist.

3) “Sarah Palin is a strong woman.”

I have no doubt that that lipstick-wearing-pit-bull-hockey-mom exists inside of Sarah Palin. No doubt whatsoever. What pisses me off is that the McCain campaign won’t let us see it! As Campbell Brown so deftly noted in her rant, the treatment of Sarah Palin by her own campaign is sexist. They are keeping her under wraps and out of all the big-boy talks and sitting beside her all father-figure style when she does speak without the aid of a teleprompter. However, as Rebecca Traister of Salon argues, being a “strong woman” does not mean you are ready or qualified to be second in command of our country. Moreover, she continues, the pity party by liberals and conservatives needs to stop because Sarah Palin got herself into this mess just as much as anybody else (remember she said that when tapped for the VP nom she “didn’t blink”).

In other news:

  • Cary Tennis skillfully uses a well-known concept in personality theory (the “authoritarian personality”) to explain what is so gosh-darn frustrating about Ms. Palin.

As an authoritarian type, she strikes us as a person who prefers power to reason. The people running John McCain’s campaign seem to instinctively understand the uses to which such an impression can be put. Perhaps they know better than we do how deeply the American people long to be done with the problem of democracy, to yield to a powerful father-mother pair of authoritarians.

  • Did you know that Sweden had the VERY SAME economic crisis we did about 15 years ago? They handled it in such a way that they can now offer all citizens 4 weeks of paid vacation, universal healthcare, and the best materinity (and paternity! oy!) leave in the world! Politicians take note!
  • They are all full of shit, this much we know. Want to know exactly how BOTH candidates are “spinning”? Check out www.factcheck.org.
  • Still looking to be appalled? Well, check out Feministe for reports on a Louisiana state representative who came up with the idea of paying poor women to get sterilized (he realized that all those Katrina victims were a financial burden to the state!) AND offering incentives to rich people to have babies. I sure am glad we tossed Eugenics out the window; oh, wait a second. There’s also a link to an article in which Ann Coulter identifies the REAL problem of the mortgage crisis: poor black and brown people. She even goes so far as to say that mortgages were handed out based on whether you “had a good jump shot.”
  • And, finally, to end on a more cheerful note…Shana Tova! Happy New Year!
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