04 September 2008

Palin Rocks

I have never been a fan of John McCain. Not ever.

His continued wishy washy stand on the 2A, and the disastrous campaign finance reform legislation he authored, which was later (I still cannot understand how or why) held up as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, put him pretty low on the "candidate who best represents my values" totem pole.

I have voted conservative most of my life, though I have voted for people of both major political parties. It is about the candidate and their policies, not a political party for me.

In this presidential election, all of the democrats in the field have pandered to me. Pandered to people like me -- educated people, thinking people, business people, parents, firearms owners. They say they will raise taxes on "the wealthy," particularly capital gains taxes. What they leave out is that the middle class is who usually pays capital gains taxes. Anyone who owns investment real estate -- even the smallest rental home or a duplex -- can legally avoid paying capital gains taxes using an IRS 1031 tax deferred exchange. Anyone! This includes middle class investors and "the truly wealthy." Doing so, they indefinitely defer their capital gains taxes. But "taxing the wealthy" sure makes for a hellava sound byte and buys some votes from people who don't know the difference. The MSM gleefully laps it up, passing on this powerful policy proposal when in reality it is smoke and mirrors.

This kind of "weasel wording" is intellectually dishonest, in my book. Its wrong for the candidates to propose this, knowing it is just for show. And as a former journalist, that no one in the media is even calling the Obama campaign on this subterfuge is, well . . . makes me embarrassed for my former profession.

Democrat candidates for president have also told me they support the Second Amendment. Then they tell me all the reasonable reasons my firearms rights should be limited. Regulation for the children, they say. They guilt the American people into accepting gun control that government stats, anecdotal evidence, and anyone with a brain knows does nothing to stop or even slow crime. Common sense, they add.

Even though I am a law abiding American taxpayer, because I enjoy the lawful use of firearms, I am referred to as "bitter." I'm not bitter. But I am educated. I am enlightened. Again, this is an intellectually dishonest approach. But if it helps them try to convince voters in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to trust them, Sens. Obama and Biden will play "the gun card."

To the GOP. The few republican choices I liked dropped by the wayside fairly early. The only one left standing was John McCain. I was not thrilled. Not one bit. He is strong on the national defense. I credit him that, and know that he understands that particular issue better than anyone else running for America's highest office. But many in the republican party have been lackluster about this choice, myself included. War hero and POW experience aside, he has done little in his time as a public servant that motivates me to push the button next to his name. In fact, he has done more to push me away than encourage me to give him a second look.

Gov. Sarah Palin changed that.

There are areas in which I disagree with her. Several actually. But most of what she says she stands for, I stand for. I am with her on far more issues that those where we part ways. She is the rugged individualist, the government waste killer, the reformer when ethics issues bubble up, the moose hunter, the limited government enthusiast, the "we can do it better here than what Washington tells us" aficionado, the self defense advocate, the firearms enthusiast, the handy-with-a-competition-rifle soccer mom -- all packed into some Prada, perched atop a pair of Manolo Blaniks, and sporting designer eyeglasses.

When her name first popped up, I, like many other Americans, said "Sarah Who?" I am not saying that any more.

Let me tell you a story. Living in Central Ohio, I am an Ohio State University football fan. Having grown up less than three miles from "The Horseshoe," I was raised on Scarlet & Gray. Several weeks every autumn found me and my dad, or me and one of my dad's friends, heading to Ohio Stadium to watch the Buckeyes. I was raised on Woody Hayes. He will always be "The Coach" to me. I have the books he wrote. I still have posters with some of his inspirational messages. I know the stories of him tearing cheap wristwatches off his arm to motivate players. One of his books is signed and inscribed to me. I will treasure the day I handed it to him and he asked me my name, then signed it. I was probably 13 or 14 then.

Fast forward to a few years ago. The new OSU football coach is being introduced. I am listening on the radio and they say it is going to be the (then) head coach of Division 4 Youngstown State University. I am asking myself, "what the hell are they thinking?" My idea of a coach was the fire and brimstone of Coach Hayes, a teacher, a philosopher, someone who motivated his players to do their utmost personal best -- not just to perform in hopes of getting to the NFL. Sure, the guy had won multiple national championships, but . . . Division 4? Why would we be reaching back to a school that many (mistakenly) likened to a community college?

Then I heard the man speak. I was transfixed. Jim Tressel was waxing poetic about growing up in Ohio, and meeting and sitting at the knees of the great coaches who knew his dad, also a college football coach. He talked about personal responsibility, doing your best, being all you can be, working for an education, and having fun playing football, too. It was like I was listening to Woody reincarnated, reanimated. I called a couple of friends, told them to turn on the radio and listen to this guy. "He's going to be awesome," I told one buddy from my college days. "He IS Woody all over again," I told another. Finally, I realized who he was. He was a teacher first, a football coach second.

He was Woody Hayes for the 21st century.

Fast forward to September 3, 2008. I am listening to this speech last night. Sarah Palin. Not a politician. A statesman (statesperson? . . . stateswoman?). Not someone who is pushing a big government agenda, but someone who lives for her family, lives to help others, and has the credentials to back it up. Like listening to Ronald Reagan, some have said. Ronald Reagan in a skirt.

There is an old saying: "If you want something done, ask a busy woman." Gov. Palin came across as someone who gets things down. I have been doing my reading the past several days. As someone who works until I'm done, rather than punch a clock, much of her "can do" attitude resonates with me. She is resonating with women, too. Many women are infuriated that the media and others suggest a woman cannot serve her country and her family at the same time. Focus groups, mainly hired by opposition researchers, are finding that people like Sarah Palin. Even if they aren't convinced she is on the ticket they will vote for, they like her. "She is real," they tell those who ask. She understands the issues families face. If you follow the more scandalous things being said about her, her family has issues alright. But they are the issues of an American Family. She, her husband and her kids are not unlike many others across this nation.

In a conversation with a good friend today at lunch, we talked about pros and cons of McCain and Obama. The choice of Biden and Palin as VP picks. The issues where we disagree with these two presidential candidates. And where we agree with Sens. Obama and McCain. Of concern was Supreme Court justices to be appointed by either of these two men. How such nominees would fare in the confirmation process through the left-leaning U.S. Senate. And in particular, where, if at all, would a president compromise in order to get their candidate confirmed. On gun rights? On abortion? Private property? Privacy? Civil Unions? Gay Marriage?

These are things to think about as every American heads to the polls in November.

So what to do? Sarah Palin rocked the house last night before delegates to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Sent the MSM into PSH. The Obama camp was sending out rebuttals left and right to things Gov. Palin said. For someone who is such a lightweight, why were Sen. Obama's staffers scrambling to undo things she was saying? Was she resonating in the minds of people across this nation who are unhappy with the choices they have for president? With people like me?

I mean really . . . Why bother?

Until recently, I have told everyone who would listen that there is nothing that John McCain could say to convince me to vote for him for president. Not one thing. But there have been PLENTY of things that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have said that have disturbed me. That might convince me to vote for McCain. Even though the thought of such a move has been more than distasteful.

Several days ago, John McCain uttered 12 words or so (who's counting) that are causing me to reconsider. He was in Dayton, Ohio, of all places, just a little over an hour west of me. His words made me say to myself, "Hey John, yeah okay, I just might vote for you."

Those words were -- and I am paraphrasing here -- "I have asked Sarah Palin to join the ticket as my vice president."


Anonymous said...

Palin/McCain in '08...the Right kind of Change!

Be well, Brent


Anonymous said...

Wow, I couldn't disagree more, but I do respect your opinion regarding the VP candidates. What does the VP do again (think Palin has figured it out yet)?

We have our Heller decision, and it's not going to be turned completely upside down, no matter who is president or how many justices he appoints. 2A should not make for a one-issue presidential vote.

I can't compete with your long, well-thought out diatribe, but in short, I find the Palin choice a ridiculous effort to pander to women and siphon off Hillary supporters. I can't believe you say Obama "panders" but don't see the GOP as pandering to women & social conservatives.

You say she's for less government - yeah, except when it favors her: campaigned for bridge-to-nowhere money (now trying to distance herself); used governorship to try to get ex-brother-in-law fired (abuse of power); and would seek to have government mandate the loss of a woman's right to choose, federally require abstinence-only sex education despite local educators consistent complaint that it DOES NOT WORK (really it's one of the stupidest, most ineffective things in the history of sex - abstinance yes, abstinence-only, please. Her daughter has been hearing "abstinence" EVERY DAY of her life and got knocked up - maybe if she taught her daughter to use protection...).

Lastly, I'm not sure, but given her ridiculous evangelical stance, I assume she's against stem-cell research, like the science-phobic Bush. Let's have the GOP work harder to make us fall behind the rest of the world in science and medicine.

2A is the ONLY think I like about Palin - and it's just not worth it...

Oh, and of course it's her right to leave her 5 children to campaign for (and possibly serve as) VP, and I support her right to do so, but that doesn't make her any less of a hypocrite for holding herself out as the moral majority on "family values" issues. I support individual rights - I personally have very high moral standards, and am pro-choice but would never choose an abortion for my own situation. However, it is a huge leap and NOT the role of a limited government to try to legislate morality - GOP in its current form is don't tax, but still spend, and on social issues seeks to be as personally invasive as government can be! We have to try a different way...

Perhaps like you, I was kind of on the fence, concerned somewhat with Obama's lack of experience. Now we have a old man that's fought cancer for the last couple decades running with the 20-month governor of a state with fewer people than Columbus, Ohio - I have made my decision with the selection of Palin as well, it's just exactly the opposite of yours! Go Obama - change is scary, but we can't do more of the same...

We CAN agree on the Ohio State Buckeyes, and Jim Tressel! (although I still wish he'd hire an offensive coordinator).

Go bucks!

Brent Greer said...

My issue with Obama is the same you have with Palin. NO experience. He has done nothing except make good speeches. As one who has taught how to give speeches, he ranks right up there with Bill Clinton in expertise. Regarding pandering, the choice of Joe Biden as VP was to siphon off McCain voters who are strong on national defense and American security. As far as CHANGE goes, Biden is a long-time insider -- hardly any change there. Her "ridiculous" evangelical stance? Why are you attacking her religion? If you really want to go there,then to be intellectlaly honest we need to examine Sen. Obama's long-time relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As I said at the top of the piece, neither of these candidates inspires me. I also noted that there are issues where I disagree with Gov. Palin. And while you suggest that she is good on 2A, if that is important to you then you need to think long and hard about your choice. For Sens. Biden and Obama look down their noses at firearms owners and ownership. It is the Second Amendment that protects the entire Bill of Rights. Thanks for writing, regardless. And GO BUCKS!

Kevin said...

I was going to vote against Obama, He had no vision, no plan just platitudes of hope and change. Then he picks the epitome of the old school Washington insider - Joe Biden. to bolster his lack of experience. I knew than that I had to vote against him

Then McCain, a man I distrusted for many of the same reasons as you, McCain picked someone who was a doer, not a talker. Someone who was a maverick, a real catalyst of change. A fighter who believes in the second amendment and the other 9 also!
The anon-coward above spews the party line slurs against her, which makes me pleased. We elect people to office, not saints or messiahs. People with blemishes and some with flaws. I would take a blemished hero and heroine over a superficially unblemished do nothing, someone proud of our country over someone ashamed to salute the flag.
I do not want a commander in chief who will appease terror and tyrants. I want a commander in chief who know the horror of war, who has felt the bitter fear of battle, who has tasted the salty taste of the loss of friends and comrades. That man will not send troops into harm's way without reason. I want an administration who has kids who are willing to stand guard so I can sleep peacefully at night. A President and Vice President with children in the armed forces have a stake in deploying the military for the right reasons, and will bring them home only when the time is right.

A community organizer who hates our country, disrespects our flag, does not trust me to own a firearm or only certain ones, lacks the primary requisites to be elected to the highest office in our fair country,
A lifetime politician like Obama does not have the experience to run the town of Wasilla AK, much less the last Superpower in the world.

Anonymous said...

I only want to respond to one thing, and that's the religion thing. I don't think I came off well there.

I am completely tolerant of all religions. I believe there is some form of higher power, but organized religions are man-made, ancient versions of amway/multi-level marketing. Folks make fun of scientology, but how is their mother ship theory any sillier than noah's ark or parting of the red sea, etc.? It just seems silly because it's newer.

Having said that, if people draw comfort from their beliefs, I'm thrilled.

If they feel the need to push their beliefs on me, I'm annoyed. As an example, I knew some folks that were devout atheists - they went to meetings every week, put bumper stickers on their car, and tried to convince you of the non-existence of God at every chance - obnoxious. I used to tease them as the most religious people I knew, their religion was just atheism.

Once our political leaders use religion to try to force their beliefs and morality on me and my family, I'm more than annoyed, and actually will metaphorically fight back - by voting, speaking, campaigning, whatever. Wasn't it Bush that said that he governs by the bible as it is a higher authority than the Constitution? I think that is a fine statement for the way Bush wants to run his personal life, but for a leader of government, talking about governing, I think that's one of the most unamerican things I've ever heard - it's disgusting and wrong. Open legislative sessions with a prayer, fine, I really don't care. But to allow the man-authored 7th commandment as a driving force to legislate abstinence-only sex education (as teen pregnancies are on the rise) is stupid and irresponsible. Ditto for whatever religious nonsense precludes stem cell research in their eyes.

Religion to me is and should remain a deeply held personal belief - with emphasis on keeping it personal. That the man-authors of religion were smart enough to command their dupes, I mean disciples, to preach and convert others has created more death and war than probably any other single cause in history, and portions of the GOP seem determined to bring their hypocritical form of christianity into all walks of government. Palin is just another fine example...

If Obama will rule secularly, I don't really care what, or how wacky, his religious beliefs are.

You are right, though, Obama is a risky vote - however, I refuse to vote for McCain out of cowardice, as so many seem inclined to do, and McCain seems more than willing to capitalize on voters' fears...

Obama/Biden - our only chance at real change...

Brent Greer said...

A, thanks for writing. Thanks for clearing up the religion thing. I think you articulated that much better this time around.
Okay, with your premise being the need for "change," change toward what? Or change from what? What should our hope be? What kind of "change" should Americans want, in your opinion?

Anonymous said...

Whether politicians want to admit it or not, this country works best in gridlock, and that's why the framers designed it to be so difficult to pass a law - Schoolhouse Rock, anyone? That's the only true way to keep government off our backs (a libertarian will not rule in my lifetime, I'm convinced).

GOP in control of Exec & Leg, disaster, same for the Dems. In my opinion, a Republican Congress and Clinton as president was perfect. Nothing overtly ideological got done in either direction. Now Bush has gotten his way for 8 years, and in my opinion we are a mess.

At a high level, my ideal is 4 years of dems to repair some of the damage done by Bush, the worst president in history (and it's not often I agree with Donald Trump), and also let the dems replace the old, liberal SC justices, to maintain close to the center balance there as well, to help protect ALL our rights (the 4th Amendment protects our gun ownership almost as much as the 2nd, if you think about it!).

Once we get back to a secular, moderate country, with a balanced budget, let's rush to gridlock again! I don't care if it's a Republican Pres + Dem Congress or vice-versa. I would prefer NO ideological agendas get passed.

McCain as he used to speak before he sold out and started pandering to the far right, or Ron Paul - those guys are closer to where I'd like to be than Obama, but like I said we are a ship that's off course, and for me Obama will at least MAYBE move us back on track. To be honest, the WORST I see Obama being is another Jimmy Carter, and I'd even take that over 4 more years of Bush.

Do you REALLY believe McCain will provide a marked shift from the failed Bush policies? The country is hurting, so CHANGE is a message that resonates - of course McCain says he'll change things, as it's politically a smart thing to say, but his voting record speaks for itself. The only thing worse than a tax & spend liberal, is a don't tax, but spend just as much conservative!

And Kevin, really, name calling is not necessary. Act like an adult.

Anyway, I'll pipe down, I don't mean to hijack your blog.

Brent Greer said...

No worries. No hijacking concerns on my end. And on one thing, besides Ohio State football, we entirely agree . . . GRIDLOCK IS GOOD!!!

I am all in favor of getting BACK to gridlock!