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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Random Thoughts About McCain 
22nd-Oct-2008 11:16 pm
McCain Palin Abe Maude Simpsons
Shortly after Palin's nomination, somebody started the catch phrase "The hottest governor from the coldest state." But according to Google, I'm the first one to come up with the reciprocal phrase for McCain: "The coldest senator from the hottest state." (The supporter version, "The coolest senator from the hottest state" also gets no hits.)

McCain's debate points were largely about the past: what he'd done in the Senate, what Obama had (or hadn't) done in the Senate. Obama frequently referred to "The last eight years of policies promoted by George Bush and supported by John McCain," but focused more on what he plans to do as President than what he's already done in the U.S. and Illinois Senates, not making a huge deal about his days of youth. If the choice were just between the two men, their records, and proposals (ignoring their running mates, political parties, attack ads, and campaign structures), I think it would be a tough call. But I think Obama would get my vote in that context too. John McCain has demonstrated his ability to get at least 50 people to do important things, so why not leave him in the Senate where he can keep doing a good job? Barack Obama has demonstrated his ability to inspire lots of people all over the place (including Europe, where we need to thaw some diplomatic ice), so why not put him in the Presidency where he can make speeches and inspire Americans to do all sorts of great stuff?

That said, McCain's choice of running mate (a huge concession to the religious right) and the honor-free campaign he's run have eroded any support I had for the man. He's traded principle for a chance at power and may well be foisted upon his own campaign finance reform petard.

A surprising number of people believe that, with a name like Barack Hussein Obama, he must be a Muslim. Some assert that this is because his grandfather was a Muslim, as if Islam was like male-pattern baldness. But I haven't heard anyone propose the complementary position that McCain must be an Irish Catholic. (He's actually a Southern Baptist, formerly an Episcopalian. I guess now he's an Episcopalinan.) I also haven't heard anyone assert he's not American, even though he was born in Panama.

If Obama wins the election, I wonder how long it will take Bill Cunningham's listeners to realize their president is not a Muslim. Or what if they don't realize it and several years later say "Wow, having a Muslim president isn't so bad. I'd totally vote for a Muslim in Republican Primaries." Nah...

41 years after the Supreme Court declared that states can't forbid mixed race couples from getting married, the child of a mixed race couple is projected to win the Presidency. In another generation or two, will a canvasser be told "We're votin' for the f**got!"? You know McCain's in trouble when he's having trouble convincing those voters.

McCain's made a big deal about Obama knowing a former member of the Weather Underground, a group who expressed their opposition to the Vietnam War by destroying property in the U.S. Around the same time Bill Ayers was blowing up parts of targeted (largely unoccupied) buildings, John McCain was dropping bombs on a densely populated city. But I don't care about an old washed-up bomber pilot.

Incidentally, if you'd like to learn about the Weather Underground, I recommend this documentary. It presents history objectively and includes lots of interviews with former members. Some have lots of regrets about what they did, others are unrepentant.
23rd-Oct-2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
I think that's the real dig on Ayers. Not that he was a terrorist, but that he doesn't regret what he did.

Irish names are mainstream, which is why you don't see that dig on McCain. The last three babies in my office have been Logan Kehler, Connor Eisenhower and Logan Terranova (so much for my rants about crossing very ethnic first and last names). Whether or not Islamic names become that kind of mainstream in 50 or so years will depend on how much integration their communities do (I assume they will, although I think hispanic names will integrate first, which I've already seen with a few names like Carlos).
23rd-Oct-2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
I also haven't heard anyone assert he's not American, even though he was born in Panama.

The constitution says (Article 2, section 1): "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President"

I'd love to disqualify McCain on this basis - hell, on any basis. But sorry, he was born on a military base, which is US sovereign territory, and that's as good as being born on American soil.
23rd-Oct-2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Certainly; we all know that. But "He's not an American, he was born in Panama" is roughly equivalent to claims that Obama has a fake Hawaiian birth certificate. But I haven't heard anybody making the former claim.
24th-Oct-2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Cuz dammit, where we park our jets and tanks is American!
24th-Oct-2008 04:41 am (UTC)
I always enjoy your posts. Thank you.
I want to go backwards and ask a question about the economy.
I figured, when the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae thing hit the tarmac, the best place to be would have been in foreign currency, particularly the yuan which had been held artificially low for quite some time in order to facilitate international trade. But for the last few days, I've been reading that Asian stocks were flailing wildly and Asian currency is losing ground against the dollar. How can that be?
24th-Oct-2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
nicely worded, good read.

especially liked the part where you said something funny and poignant.

p.s. World of Warcraft has stolen my brain.
4th-Nov-2008 09:12 am (UTC)
"The hottest governor from the coldest state."

I'm re-reading your posts because...I am.

I'm pretty sure I read that the low temperatures in New York are below those in Alaska, so the coldest state is New York. Unless things have changed since I was shorter.
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