Sunday, August 31, 2008

History in the Making, or Huge Blunder

With the announcement by the McCain campaign of his choice of Vice-Presidential candidate, there are a whole new set of considerations for someone like me, a blue-blooded Democrat who does not want to vote for Barack Obama.

I have analyzed several factors regarding the choice of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, interspersed with hilarious quotes from an op-ed piece by David Brooks.

1. She is woman: Very smart, given the 18 million disaffected female voters on the Democrat side, who did not get Hillary Clinton the nomination.

DB "Hillary Clinton's ringing endorsement of 'the weak-looking thin guy who's bound to lose.'"

2. She is extremely Pro-Life: This troubles me, in huge way. Just because she is a religious Soccer Mom, head of the PTA and mother of a child with Downs Syndrome whom she refused to abort, does that mean that I lose my right of choice? I treasure the division between Church and State, even if it is in name only.

3. She comes from of all places, Alaska, and both she and her husband are "real people": Excellent, given that Barack Obama has been critisized for not being in touch with the average American, black or white.

DB "We got to know Barack and Michelle Obama, two tall, thin, rich, beautiful people who don't prespire, but who nonetheless feel compassion for their squatter, and smellier fellow citizens."

4. She lacks experience: Actually fantastic, because if any Democrat dares to address this point, it bounces right back and them and hurts Obama in a big way. In fact the amount she has accomplished in such a short time, given the structure of her life, is quite impressive. If you want something done right, give it to a woman who is already busy.

DB "Barak Obama loves the future, because that's where all his accomplishments will be."
"We heard about his time as a community organizer, the three most fulfilling months of his life."

5. Her son will be serving in Iraq: Both positive and negative, given that she cannot be faulted for not contributing to the cause of a (lost) war, she might even work to end the war faster, to bring her son home. On the other hand, it means she supports the war which Bush blundered, and I just want our soldiers out of there; let the locals fight it out amongst themselves.

6. She actively supports using American oil resources (in Alaska): Not great for the environment, but a clever move given that Obama has spoken about the same idea. More cross-over from the Democrat faithful.

7. The perpetual question, is it good or bad for the Jews? The Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director, Matt Brooks, says that Palin has "enjoyed a strong working relationship with Alaska's Jewish community."

It seems in this election that actually the VP will be the determining factor; if McCain dies in office, do you want Sarah Palin in there, after all, he is 72 years old. If Obama falters, he has a VP with slightly more experience, though not always for the benefit of his consituents and the American people.

DB "We heard from Joe Biden, whose 643 years in the Senate make him uniquely qualified to pander to the middle class... and who is himself a verbal train wreck waiting to happen."

Youth counts here, Barak and Palin's youth, McCain and Biden's age.

Either way, history will be made with a black President, or the first woman Vice-President.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Winners and Losers, the Israeli Perspective

The outgoing oft-investigated Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has come up with a land return and exchange deal, which would involve 93% of the West bank, among other discussions of borders and prisoner exchanges. According to the delusional Olmert, he feels "there is time to reach an agreement during his remaining time in office."

Hmm...the most corrupt Prime Minister in modern Israeli history, who does not even have the support of his own party infra-structure, thinks that he can negotiate a major land deal. Right now, I don't think he can even negotiate himself out of "early retirement" into a comfortable prison cell.

And yet the Israeli optimism persists, in the form of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When an Israeli athlete fails to make the semi-finals, the news proclaims, "Israeli swimmers set new personal records." Not to belittle the accomplishments of the delegation thus far, but it is awfully convenient to ignore the real lack of progress if it does not suit your mood, and damn the consequences in the long run.

Not to be outdone, the sports pages in Haaretz happily reported today that "Two Jews and a Black Man help Phelps Fulfill Dream." If we cannot claim our own victories, we will latch onto the American team, a tactic which has not served us well in politics, in the last seven or so years that Bush has been President.