Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Democrats are handing the Presidency to McCain--and woe is us!

The Democratic Presidential primary race has degenerated into such a nasty battle--largely caused by the Clinton camp's unprecedented belligerence--that I fear that Sen. John McCain will win the November election. The Democratic candidate will have run out of steam by then. Many of the party's disaffected members, plus independents, are thus likely to vote for McCain.

Sen. Barack Obama seems to have tied up the Democratic nomination. But I think he is not as electable as some of the candidates who dropped out of the primaries might have been. Nor would Hillary Clinton be any more electable against the Republicans because of the political baggage she carries.

I believe that Senators John Edwards, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd--and perhaps even Governor Bill Richardson--would have been stronger candidates against McCain. Unfortunately, they apparently lacked the "glamour"--and the money--to beat Obama and Clinton for their party's nomination. In short, the media overlooked them because of the phenomenal presence of an African-American and a woman who might become President of the U.S.

The Republican attack machine is already undoubtedly assembling all the ugly stuff that Hillary and her surrogates threw at Obama, planning to regurgitate it during the actual election campaign. With even more venom, we will be hearing once again about Obama's controversial church pastor, his alleged Muslim connections, his neighbor the Weatherman bomb-thrower, his failure to wear a flag pin in his lapel, and his so-called "elitism."

So be ready for another four more years of George W. Bush's disastrous domestic and foreign relations policies! McCain once fancied himself as a maverick who often strayed from the Administration's positions. To gain the Republican nomination, however, he has pandered to the party's right-wing base and has become a Bush clone.

In Iraq, for example, McCain intends to keep U.S. forces at roughly the current level. The situation appears to be growing worse there, however, despite the White House's glowing and absurd claims of the "progress" produced by the highly-touted and amorphous "surge."

Under McCain, there will be no talk of a troop withdrawal in the foreseeable future, even as American casualties continue to soar, billions of dollars keep being wasted, and Muqtada-al-Sadr's pro-Iranian Mahdi army carries out his new threat to wage an all-out "war for liberation" against the U.S. If the situation becomes even more critical, it is conceivable that McCain will want to ship more U.S. troops to Iraq. Such a move would have to lead to consideration of a draft and would provoke widespread political unrest that would rival the Vietnam anti-war movement.

How can we expect a man who didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims to cope with the convoluted situation in which U.S. troops are performing as referees and policemen in the battles between those two sects, the growing conflicts among factions in each sect, and the infiltration of sectarian militias into what is supposed to be a national army?

And yet McCain echoes the Bush Administration's nonsensical argument that the U.S. presence in Iraq has made our nation "more secure." The truth is just the opposite. Because of our occupation in Iraq, we have been distracted from the war in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas against the Al-Qaeda organization, which was responsible for 9/11 and still represents a genuine threat to national security. Meantime, the nation's defense capabilities have been so weakened that our generals worry whether the U.S. is capable of contending with a new military challenge.

And in the midst of the most serious economic crisis in recent history, what can we expect from a new President who casually reveals that he is ignorant about economic matters. He has already foolishly declared that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, made amidst soaring Federal expenditures and a ballooning national debt, will be retained.

To bolster has right-wing credentials, McCain talks again about privatizing Medicare and shows little interest in the universal medical care issue. He also now seems obsessive of the so-called "values" social issues-- the "pro-family" and "pro-life"causes that did not figure so prominently in his agenda before the Republican primary race.

Worst of all, McCain has embraced the fanatical belief that the free market can cure any economic problem, minimizing the need for government intervention in the current economic crisis. That is, if you are not Bear Stearns.

Fortunately, a Democratic-controlled Congress is likely to be elected despite a McCain triumph. I hope it can prevent the blunders and excesses of another Republican in the White House.

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Blogger zasu said...

Oh Mort, I fear you are much too fast to declare that Senator McCain will be the next president.

Yes, it is true that the Democrats are having a really difficult primary season, and I too lay most of the blame on the Clinton campaign. But all that being said, let us not forget that primaries and general elections have always been totally and entirely different events.

The bickering and negativity of a primary campaign, no matter which party, does not necessarily carry over into the general election.

It is only in recent years that candidates have been determined prior to the nominating conventions. And do remember, they are called nominating conventions and not coronations for a reason.

John McCain is a terribly flawed candidate. He is enjoying a somewhat free ride for now, at a time when most of the country is not paying close attention. But when the general election begins, his hawkish policies and economic ignorance will be stark to the voting public. And that is the time when the country will be focused 100% on the campaign.

I believe Obama will be the nominee and I believe he will be elected. I too agree that Biden, Richardson and Dodd are all seasoned politicians and public servants who would have probably made excellent presidents. But we cannot dwell on that.

Obama has the potential to be a once in a generation transitional candidate, and if the Democrats can stick together after this unpleasant primary season is over, I believe he will prevail.

Remember, the Republican attack machine always finds dirt to throw at their opponents. What they cannot find, they make up. It does not matter if Moses was running; they would slander and rip him a part with glee. Obama is no more or less subject to that. But McCain, being the weak candidate he is, and preaching the same kind of policies as the reviled George W. Bush has given us for two terms, he is eminently beatable.

I love your blog postings my friend, and I read them regularly. Oh how I wish you would write for the Gantseh Megillah. What a wonderful addition you would be.

All the best,

Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Ooh! Don't say this! It is too scary! Please tell me that you're just panicking and that everything will be ok.

Monday, April 21, 2008 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Werner Cohn said...

Obama's ties to his pastor Wright should be of more serious concern than they seem to be to you. This man Wrigfht has thundered against "the white man," against American, and yes, against the Jews, for as long as Obama has been a member of his church. I believe that Obama disapproved of all this rant and rage, but that he thought Wright to be useful to establish African-American credentials for himself. If Obama becomes president, who else will be useful to him ?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:00:00 AM  
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger joared said...

Once again I think you have zeroed in on matters, many of which reflect my own cautious view. I, too, have come to prefer candidates other than those the Democratic Party offers presently.

Knowing how political campaigns progress, in the beginning I could not rush to the forefront to promote any of the present candidates, when there was so much time before the actual nomination process. I was anxious to see just how they all would conduct themselves, what and how issues would emerge.

I can only hope my apprehensions about the electability of either of those two candidates are incorrect and your observations prove wrong.

I cannot abide the reelection of any candidate that promises more of the same we've had the past two terms. Elections the past years have shown just how many people vote against their own best interests, bamboozled by devisive issues that predominate over major problems our country and the world faces.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Karlo said...

McCain is somehow who has a complete lack of vision at a point in history when vision is sorely needed. The populist appeal for a gas-tax holiday at a time when half of world production goes to the U.S. and states are running out of funds to maintain infrastructure provides a good example of what we can expect from a McCain presidency--a complete lack of leadership. Obama has stuck his neck out numerous times to take the high road. I'm hoping that once the squabbling in the Democratic Party is over, Obama can turn things around in the polls.

Thursday, May 01, 2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

And those of who are conservative see McCain as a Democrat's choice. Strange times!

Sunday, May 18, 2008 5:44:00 PM  

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