Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Hillary Should Bow Out

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Personally, I don’t like to knock the distinguished Senator from New York and former First Lady when it comes to politics. And yet this post is all about politics and reality. The Democrat Party is united in one message, no more Bush! That is a concept that we all can agree on. Something that makes your blood boil and your heart race in anger as you contemplate the unbelievable morphisim of Senator John McCain over the last couple of years into a George W. Bush clone. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is a total wag the dog hypocrisy created by Bush and Cheney and the soldiers coming home in caskets continue on a daily basis simply because they serve our nation.

Do we as Democrat’s want more of this or do we want to pick one another’s pockets to see what deep dark secrets our candidates really have? Do we as Democrat’s want to see our political party dissolved and lose the next election because the opponent on the Republican side loaded his gun with the ammunition we supplied willingly? As many main stream media pundits have pointed out, Hillary Clinton can not win the nomination from the Democrat Party. Mathematically, it is impossible and yet she continues for the sake of what? Being right? Being a political party contender? Or simply for believing that the Clinton political machine will come through for her? That isn’t going to happen. The votes are not there for her, the delegates are not there for her and the ride is over.

Bill Clinton destroyed the Clinton political machine with the disgrace he brought to the Presidency. What Bill did should not reflect on Hillary but it does whether she or you like it or not. People see a cheater, a liar, a man that looked us all straight in the eye and told us all that he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinski. What part Hillary had to do with what is irrelevant. Bill Clinton lied, destroyed the trust of the people in doing so and is now a President that achieved such great heights but the matter still comes down to the blue dress evidence. Again, not Hillary’s fault.

Politics is a very strange business and Hillary Clinton has given this a good run. I respect her gumption for sticking in it for so long but her place is in the Senate from the great state of New York. From that post she can do much good and use her skills to work across party lines to unify a divided nation. From that spot she can make change possible with one voice among many with a hammer as strong as her personal convictions.

For the good of the Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton should bow out in an honorable manner. If she and her husband the former President, are in fact true Democrat’s, then they both know that the unification of all Democrat’s is the most important fact facing America today. This nation can not survive another President in the pocket of big business and the industrial military complex. Those free range pigs need to be rounded up and brought back to the family farm so to speak.

Hillary and Barack are alike when it comes to all of the issues and if the outcome of the election process is that our political party is too divided over personal issues then who wins? Answer the door because John McCain is knocking on the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Is that what we want as a political party?


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Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Fox News: Tool of The Devil, Tool Of The Right

Friday, March 21st, 2008

News? You be the judge:

“Icky?” Karl Rove is a happy man every time he has lunch with Rupert Murdoch.

No Basis For Comparison

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Found out this about Barack Obama’s mother:

Kansas was merely a way station in her childhood, wheeling westward in the slipstream of her furniture-salesman father. In Hawaii, she married an African student at age 18. Then she married an Indonesian, moved to Jakarta, became an anthropologist, wrote an 800-page dissertation on peasant blacksmithing in Java, worked for the Ford Foundation, championed women’s work and helped bring microcredit to the world’s poor.

Makes me wonder what George W. Bush’s mother has done to advance the world. I’m sure there’s no basis for comparison, but it looks to me that Barak Obama is coming from a solid rather the entirely privileged lineage like some Presidents we know.

Democrat Election Over Kill

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

With all the hype over the election it makes one wonder who the real person is that is actually the candidate for President of the United States of America. I can picture John McCain red faced with anger in a doubting mode just before bed forgetting where he put his glasses only to have his lovely wife point out that they are on the tip of his nose. Hillary, upon getting ready for bed would kick all of the campaign staff off the Clinton couches and out of the kitchen so she could get the 3:00 AM call from Bill at yet another undisclosed location. Barack would be rolling into bed as the stars were perfectly aligned, the sound of choirs from heaven above singing and just as he kissed Michelle good night she punches him solidly in the arm demanding that he shut the damn motivational tapes off and go to bed like a normal person.All of the candidates claim to be what is best for America and yet each has their own faults. While John McCain takes a walk as the duly elected next candidate from the Republican Party he is not the next President. He might as well be if the two candidates on the Democrat side keep up the daily slams of one another. He said, she said, is bull and the only one that wins in that kind of debate between Obama and Clinton is McCain.

I have been in constant contact with some very interesting friends and bloggers that write about politics all the time and this election is unique in a generation or more time span. Not since the primaries of Bobby Kennedy have the Democrats been so active with such a passion for politics that we are all in fact wearing our heart and soul candidate for President on our sleeves. Our choice of candidate no matter who it is can be and is the only hope for change in America. We are a political party so desperate for change that the actual process of selecting the one candidate to represent our political party could be our undoing. While we tear the candidates down in comments on blogs we in fact tear one another down in the process. Who benefits from that other than the one true candidate from the right, Senator John McCain.

If you do not know what Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama stand for then you have not listened. If you know one then you know the other and the end result is a Presidency based on change. Neither is George Bush and that is honestly clear. If you love W then by all means vote for more of the same in John McCain. If you want a new America not owned by special interest where the future is just a little bit brighter than a ten thousand year war in the Middle East then vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Pick a damn issue and they are close enough on those issues to be brother and sister arguing over who did the dishes the last time. As a voter you should not care who did the dishes last but care if you have a clean plate to start your meal off with.

If there is one more debate, Obama and Clinton should not bash one another over the issues but concentrate on what McCain will not do for the people. Other than his commitment to continue to send our sons and daughters off to fight in a land that would not recognize freedom even if it was stuffed down their throats. Isn’t that what Hillary and Barack are both running against anyway?

The people are voting in such large numbers because they do not want George Bush policies anymore. Concentrate on that and you win the election.


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Unemployed with NO Insurance

Friday, March 7th, 2008

The vast great economy of George W. Bush finally tapped yours truly on the shoulder on Thursday March 6th. I was laid off by my employer and for the first time in my entire working life I am without a job. Depressing as that may sound, my families health insurance for my five girls, my wife and I, was canceled effective with my the deliverance of my vacation pay and box of personal effects.For some odd reason my interest in the election for President has a new foundation on why health insurance for all is very important. Not having health insurance that I’ve had my entire working life is somewhat perplexing that for every day I no longer have coverage our former Governor Mitt Romney found it in his heart to penalize this out of work citizen for. What a swell guy… NOT!

If you have followed this little blog then you might be aware that one of our children has been very sick for a very long time. She is the star in her Daddy’s eye and her life has such huge potential that sometimes it scares me. Even with what most would call full medical coverage by my now former employer, we lost everything when she spent ten months in the hospital. Our home, our A1 credit rating, and our self respect. One thing we did not loose was faith and hope in our oldest baby. Time is a wonderful thing and today she still has personal health issues but her future is brighter than ever. Is it really health insurance when all the things your companies medical plan does not cover drags you financially under?

One of the reasons that I am backing Barack Obama is the simple fact that his Universal Health Care plan has the best chance of passing in the Congress once he is elected President. The important part of that last statement was “best chance”. We still live in a democracy and legislation like this is not a given once you sit behind the desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Unlike President Bush who has had a slam dunk, in his pocket, looking the other way at all times Congress. Our nations next President will have a very new and independent Congress to face. Just because you promise Universal Health Coverage does not mean the Congress will pass it.

When it comes to health coverage for all we need a President that can and will work across party lines for the good of the country. Not that Senator Clinton has not shown that ability in the past but on this issue you need to convince the opposing side with a little kindness and political charm and Obama brings that and more to the table.

I’m off to figure out what to do with my lack of a good job with good pay and health insurance. I’ve already begun the networking of friends in the wire and cable industry. If you hear of anyone looking for a great sales guy in the wire and cable business please point them my way. Otherwise I’ll be knocking on doors come Monday morning till one of them says come on in and have a seat.


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Super Delegate & Super Heroes

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

If the race for President comes down to the Democrat Convention then super delegates will play a huge role in deciding if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be the parties nominee. That being said the Clinton machine is in trouble with a huge loss of super delegates. NBC and Brian Williams report that Obama has gained 35 super delegates in the last couple of weeks where as Clinton has suffered a net loss of five super delegates.

One of the super heroes of the civil rights movement John Lewis is also a super delegate. One other fact is that he has been and is still a very close personal friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Formerly, he committed to supporting Hillary Clinton in the convention but changed his mind to vote for Obama.

In the latest campaign setback for Clinton just days before crucial Democratic primaries in Ohio and Texas, Lewis said that his constituents back Obama, an Illinois senator, and that it was his “duty … to express the will of the people.”

Clinton had hoped that Lewis, who was severely beaten during civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, would help her win the support of black voters. If he wins the White House in November, Obama would be the first black U.S. president.

Previously, Lewis said he was supporting Clinton, a New York senator, for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Something is happening in America,” Lewis said in a statement explaining his shift. “The people are pressing for a new day in American politics and I think they see Sen. Barack Obama as a symbol of that change.”

Obama, campaigning in Ohio, said in a statement: “John Lewis is an American hero and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement, and I am deeply honored to have his support.”
Asked about the switch, Clinton said she respected Lewis and understood that he has been under tremendous pressure. - Reuters

This was a tough personal call for John Lewis but it was the right one for the right reasons. John Lewis has fought for change his entire life and it could be said that he of all people can recognize the power of change in an Obama candidacy for President.

Hillary Clinton’s last chance for a knock your socks off debate in Ohio passed with nothing more than a he said, she said, minimalist attempt at true debate. The only outcome was the simple fact that Hillary looked like she was whining.

You’ve seen it here first in this political prediction. Hillary Clinton will follow the party line if she looses Texas and Ohio with a suspension of her campaign. Not because her chances to win the primary are over but for the simple fact that she too believes in change and her political party needs to win the White House this election for a far greater purpose than her own desire to be President. Her candidacy is strong but it isn’t strong enough to get the votes she needs to unseat Obama from the nomination of the Democrat Party.

Getting past this election cycle in Texas and Ohio, if Hillary Clinton suspends her campaign then Barack Obama would be a political moron not to pick Hillary Clinton as his Vice President choice in the general election. Beginning the campaign of two very brilliant minds and campaign staffs merged for one purpose and that would be CHANGE!

Politics makes very strange bedfellows and John Lewis made a tough decision that is admirable. Instead of following party politics and a friendship he surely cherishes, he chose the path most difficult to travel endorsing Obama and it was the wisest choice for someone that has believed in change for decades.


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Texas and Ohio Debate Cook Off

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Hillary Clinton is running for the exits with her latest political strategy of attacking the new and improved Teflon Don Obama. Barack Obama will gain no ground on attacking the American version of the Iron Lady Prime Minister Thatcher that is Hillary Clinton. In the political cook book of Presidential politics there are way too many cooks in the kitchen and in that respect to0 many people in both campaigns tossing everything they have into the pot. When the original recipe called for boiling some water, adding plans to change America, debate plans, and simmer and allow public opinion to decide. Clinton and Obama are adding one too many Emeril-eske Bam’s (No offense Emeril) to this recipe! The end result is that the political dogs may sleep well with a full belly, the rest of us will be reaching for the Pepto Bismol or Alka Seltzer.

What you get with all of those unnecessary Emeril-eske Bam’s (Sorry Emeril) is fodder for the McCain political machine to pick up and run with come the general election. Just a note of interest, Karl Rove is in fact a political donor to the John McCain for President campaign. Don’t kid yourself, if a woman or a black man wins the nomination for President that the Republican war machine with its tap on hundreds of millions of corporate dollars will not pull any punches to get their man elected to the White House. When both of these Democrats are making Healthcare, Education, ending the war in Iraq and Energy consumption the base of their platform then that is the call to arms for Republican big business donors. That is the Republican pocket book in the nutshell. Do not pass Go, do not collect $2oo Billion dollars.

Having watched one clip after another it has been already decided by the main stream media that Hillary Clinton is done. I was not shocked to see it on many of the networks at how they all posed Senator Clinton in a negative light. MSNBC and Chris Matthews pretty much made toast of Senator Clinton. Keith Olberman continued the bashing relentlessly. With her message at most of her campaign stops more or less telling voters that Barack Obama is not the second coming of JFK or Jesus Christ and in doing so she lost some appeal to moderate voters. Attacking the issues is fine and good politics, attacking your opponent on the fact that he is a better public speaker comes off shallow and resentful. “The sky will open up, the celestial choir will begin to sing”… not getting it Hillary, not buying it. That was the MSNBC spin.

On February 26th, MSNBC is hosting the debate in Ohio with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is the Iron Chef debate where one of them is in the cook off of their life and the other has the latest Teflon pan set that pretty much tosses the sticky stuff out of the pan and at the opposing Chef. Hopefully, the viewers and voters will get to see a real debate on the issues and not another damn love fest.

What would ultimately be best for the Democrat Party is that both candidates of course debate their plans but stipulate the differences with their own plans and what Senator John McCain does not have to offer? Sell that and the Democrat political base will not be lost in the food fight of who can bake a better damn Health Care roast! Now that is a Papamoka Bam! (Sorry Emeril)


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Thursday, February 21st, 2008

This is a rambling of the events in the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Austin Texas. Please forgive any spelling errors and grammar. This is a play by play of the event that starts about roughly fifteen minutes into it. In this report there are some infrences from my own memory of the broadcast. This is the second time that I have tried this so let me know what you think…


Obama: We don’t need an economist to tell the American people that our economy is busted and people are struggling. Our economy must be a priority of the next President. Cutting tax breaks for companies that outsource American jobs, giving a middle class tax break. Seniors making less than $50,000 should not have to pay any taxes. How do we get it done with the dominance of special interest?

Hillary: End the tax code loopholes. The wealthy have had their special interest President for the last eight years, it’s time for you. I want a trade prosecutor. Foreclosure crisis needs a 90 day moratorium. Freeze interest rates for five years. Clean green jobs with a $5 billion dollar investment. Infrastructure rebuilt creating thousands of jobs. Ending the war on scientist from Bush. Fund the future of an innovation nation.

A question on Immigration and stopping the raids on illegal immigrants

Hillary: All for stopping the raids, against the reality of parents taken away and children coming home to nothing. Failure of the immigration system is the problem. Cracking down on employers of illegalls. Fed help for border towns and cities to deal with the burdens on the system.
Obama: Immigration is a political football. Tone down the rhetoric and hate crimes against Hispanics. Border security and cracking down on employers. Policy change to fix the immigration system but the back of the line is where illegal immigrants must go. Years of delays have made the problem worse. Fines and higher fees for immigrating legally have become exorbitant and do not make sense. Improve our relationship with Mexico to ensure jobs in Mexico. Bush has no outreach to immigration policy.

Finish it or kill it?
Hillary: We both voted for it. There is a smart way and a dumb way on border security and Bush just does not get it. There are places where a a physical barriers works and does not. Bush does not listen to the people on the borders. Technology innovation is the way to go. There are limited places where a fence will work like cutting through the middle of one of the colleges in Texas.

Obama: Agrees with Hillary. Bush is not good at listening to the people most affected by the border problem. Better border patrol and deal with the problem. Deporting 12 million people is not the answer. 12 million people are living in the shadows. Reform of immigration is important. Fight for the Dream Act which does not penalize the children of illegal immigrants born here from and eductation.


This was a question on the English language only issue where as 120 million people will be of Hispanic decent in the next ten years…

Hillary: Learning another language is important. I do not speak another language. We have a common language but she is against a common language? Against English only in hospitals, court rooms and public places in government.

Obama: Everyone needs to learn English. All children should be learning a second language. It’s an opportunity to learn and communicate across language barriers.


The question was posed and stated in the terms of “Where’s the Beef” of Wendy’s hamburger fame. Texas logo “All hat and no cattle”.

Hillary: I have a lot in common with Obama and we both have run vigorous campaigns. We have differences and 35 years of experience. No accomplishments from Obama where actions speak louder than just words.

Obama: I provided tax reform, ethics reform, transparency in government, veterans meals paid for at Walter Reid. On getting real comments from Clinton camp. Voters are not delusional and every major newspaper in Texas has endorsed me. Let’s focus on the solutions and end the bickering. This isn’t just about policy as much as it is about inspiring people. Beyond racial and religion differences. I’m running for the people and not for more of the same.


Obama: Governor Deval Patrick is a national chairman of my campaign. Speaking to the people is something I have done for two years. Deval Patrick gave me the lines and said that I should use them. This is silly season. Some of my speeches are pretty good. $4000 credit for college, change the tax code, end the war in Iraq. Let’s not tear each other down but lift up the people.

Hillary: Your own words? Lifting words? (Crowd booed) Elequent health care with 15 million people left out. We need a moratorium of foreclosure.

Obama interupts with: That will not work with entrenched opposition.

Hillary: I did healthcare when it was not popular.

Obama: My medical plan is not as good but politics has changed that. Cutting cost and prevention, bureaucracy, stats on plans and blah blah blah on specifics. Leaving 15 million out is simply not true. I credit Senator Clinton on her work in health care but the closed doors discussion ended her efforts. We need to change the politics of health care or we will be both here in four years discussing it no matter who is elected.


Hillary: Demands more time on healthcare. Obama Plan mandates fines and penalties against parents that do not inure children.

Obama: The mandate is on you. What works in Massachusetts has the poorest 20% fined for not having healthcare.

Hillary: Health care is important and the people have this as the number on issue. Your plan fines parents for not having healthcare for children.

Obama: My plan is affordable and parents that do not provide it are not being responsible parents.


Hillary: I’ve been to 80 countries fighting for woman’s rights. We face change in Cuba’s leadership. I support Kosovo and I’m more prepared on day one.

Obama: I would not be running for President if I could not be commander in chief. I will act against those that would harm America. Military needs to be prepared and armed to do the job. Bush has had poor planning. Using the military wisely. I did not vote for the war in Iraq. Our military is over stretched. We have to many eggs in the basket of Musharif and that is wrong.


Hillary: Iraq government needs to make changes. Their purpose is not fulfilled. Iraq government has failed to move. I will withdraw troops in sixty days. I will not give a blank check for the Iraq War. Our military is stretched to thin. Bring our troops home and Iraq owns their future.

Obama: Fort Hood troops pushed AlQuida out of Baghdad. McCain was wrong first and still wrong. $3.7 billion a week in the Iraq war. Iran is the biggest benefactor of this war. We need veteran care after service. Homeless veterans? $12 billion a month spent in Iraq with McCain saying he will keep us there for 100 years. McCain embraces George Bush with more of the same politics.


Obama asked about $90 million in ear marks

Obama: Not true. The funds were for Google for government where all bids and awards are listed. More disclosure and transparency. I’m out in the open of government spending.

Hillary was asked about her $393 million in ear marks

Hillary: Obama supported the Bush tax cuts. Bush deficit is $400 billion this year. I’m for back to fiscal responsibility. Expire the tax cuts for the rich. Middle class tax cuts, ending the Bush no bid contracts. I’ve just published my new economic blue print.


Hillary: We will win!

Obama: Primaries and Caucuses count. It’s the will of the voters. We need to have the government listening to them. There is a brick wall of government that can not be overcome. We need to knock down those barriers of government. We face a higher purpose and want our government back.


Obama: My trajectory of life. My single mom raising me alone with my grandparent from age two. Mistakes of course as a young man. But I’ve worked to bring people together and the American people just deserve better.

Hillary: I’ve lived crisis in my life. People already know that. They ask me how do I do it? With prayer and more. I have been through nothing compared to what America is facing. Kicks she has taken, faith and upbringing gets her up in the morning. I’m honored to be with Barack Obama. This election is about the American people. (huge applause)

That was the end of the debate. Who actually had one up on the other is not up to me to decide. I’m sure you can catch a CNN rebroadcast somewhere.

I apologize for all the typo’s and grammar errors. I was working from notes watching the debate. The full transcript is in the CNN picture link above. I’ll be curious myself how accurate I was.


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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Electing Obama Only The First Step Towards Real Change In Government

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

The push to select Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate continues to build as Obama won his 11th straight primary victory, winning 65% of the votes cast by Americans abroad in what was billed the “global primary.” As the candidates move towwards the Ohio and Texas primaries, Clinton campaign officials, including ex-President and potential future First Husband Bill Clinton, admit that if Hillary can’t win at least one of those states her campaign may well be over.

It’s no secret here that I am an Obama supporter. It’s his message that has energized me, in no small part because his message is so similar to the one I laid out when I began political blogging in 2005. Long before I even knew about Barack Obama I began writing about a different kind of politics- one where the power lay with the people and not with big corporations and special interest donors; one where politicians worked for the good of the citizens and not for the good of their benefactors or personal spoils; and one where government policies were crafted on sound principals of the greater good and executed with efficiency and common sense. Of course these weren’t new concepts when I wrote them and they’re not new concepts today, but when was the last time a serious politician not only espoused the rhetoric of political change but had the moxie to actually make it happen, to make it a central theme of a presidential campaign in such a visible and believable way? Not since Thomas Jefferson has a president offered such a stark choice for voters in determining what path their country will take. Jefferson’s grand change for American politics happened when he busted down the door of the new American aristocratic ruling class and delivered our government into the hands of the common man. Prior to Jefferson, political kingmaking and policy crafting was the exclusive domain of the upper classes, and the common man was thought too ignorant and/or too incapable of having a hand in political affairs. Jefferson abhored that idea, found it too similar to the monarch system of government this country fought so hard to divest itself of. Jefferson brought the common man into politics, and thus brought a bit more democracy in to this Democratic Republic of ours.

Of course, over 200 years later, Jefferson’s political revolution has paled, and too often seems little more than a charicature of itself today. Substitute today’s lobbyists and corporations for yesteryears well-bred and high-born, and the government we have been languishing under isn’t so different from where we began. We still have all the trappings of a democratic government-people vote after all- but none of the benefits of a government that truly governs for the betterment of its people. And the reason is simple- the average person still thinks that voting is enough, that personal involvement beyond casting a ballot is a waste of time, and our politicians and government reinforce this perception at every turn.

But Americans can see clearly now the failure that occurs when government is left to run amok, led for generations by self-serving ideologues, and finally handed over to a man-child whose best trick is to break the china and shove the shards under someone else’s carpet with a smirk on his face. We see that decades of citizen inattention and corporate dominance has created a wave of disastrous proportions coming on all fronts- a debilitating economic crisis, shattered health care and ineffective education programs, false security ploys that do little more than waste money,  a splintered and wounded defense capability- the broken bits are littered everywhere. Americans can see that change is needed. In Barack Obama, Americans are seeing that change is possible.

So let’s say that Obama wins the democratic nomination, wins the general election, and in January 2009 he is sworn in as the next president of the United States. Let’s say that he wins the election by a comfortable margin and has what would be considered widespread support among American voters. Let’s say that he rides into the White House with his banner of CHANGE waving in the wind, right under the American flag. What happens then?

Time for the reality check folks, because no matter how much I support Barack Obama and no matter how much I agree with his premise of change coming from the people of this country, from involving them and listening to them and acting to make their lives work a little bit better each day, I know in my heart of heart that the first two years of an Obama presidency will look a lot like they do now. In fact, aside from my hope that President Obama would put a quick and decisive end to the Iraq quagmire, I don’t expect much in the way of real-world political change from Washington D.C. until 2011 at the earliest.

The reason for this is pretty simple, but is probably missed by a huge number of voters. Because despite eight years of contrary actions, our president does not legally have brute power to do as he sees fit whenever he sees fit. Only in extreme circumstances (like in a government run by ideologues and selfish power brokers- or in a dictatorship) does a man like George W. Bush manage to reinvent the powers of the presidency and have his minions fall into lock step behind him. In normal, LAWFUL, administrations, the real power of government lies in the legislature, and the president is just the person who sets the tone, and guides the direction of government as the people see fit.

Obama is setting the tone now. The tone is change. The tone is getting corporations out of government and getting real people back inside. The tone is an end to wasteful spending and harmful policies. The tone is an end of cronyism and outsourcing and payback politics. And the people are responding to this new tone in politics. We want to trust our leaders again. We want to know that our hard earned dollars aren’t making the rich richer while we struggle to make ends meet. We want to have a say in how our taxes are used. And we want to reclaim our reputation in the world.

But even though this election could bring us new leadership in the legislature too, the attention and energy is all focused on who will be the next president. If the next president ends up being John Mccain or Hillary Clinton then the congressional seats up for grabs won’t really matter. Neither of those candidates have real plans to try to change the system of governing. They are both so entrenched in the status quo that they can’t even see why it has become so rotten. But if Obama wins the presidency, those who sit on Capitol Hill will be the conduit or the barrier to real change. And as few voters are considering the reality of the situation, a President Obama will be facing the same corrupted politicians, the same moneyed lobbyists, the same pay-to-play political culture for at least two more years.

Serious political watchers understand this, and critics of all things democratic are probably chomping at the bit for an Obama presidency, built on the mantra of change, that will likely produce little real change in the business of politics for at least two years. I can imagine the pundits now, ready to tear apart the concept of real political change by claiming that the campaign rhetoric was nothing but chump chat if Washington continues on as usual, as it is likely to do. But in looking ahead to this particular future, one can only hope that both the voters and a President Obama will use the first two years to plant the seeds of change, nurture them with care, and help them sprout into full fledged flowers of reality when the 2011 mid-terms come around.

As President, I expect Obama to immediately work to end the Iraq war and begin to repair this nations damaged reputation in the world. I would expect Obama to rescind the most vile parts of the Bush years- ending officially sanctioned torture, ending the most divisive aspects of partisanship, ending political policies that are shaped on evangelical, end-times philosophies. But I would also expect Obama to continue speaking about the things that have propelled him to the lead in this primary campaing. I expect him to continue to implore the people to seek power in government by ousting those who cling to the status quo of our dirty politics. I would expect a President Obama to issue a call for a legislature filled with people who believe that the politics of today are over, that a new day in America can only come when the Congresspeople and Senators finally discard the power-partisan politics, the high money campaigns or else get discarded themselves.

Change can come, it really can. But electing Barack Obama as our next president is just the first step towards change. We can’t just give the man the job and expect he can single-handidly change the corrupt culture in DC. We have to take the next step for him. We have to give him a legislature that will embrace a new day in American politics. We need to give him people who will fight for their constituents instead of their corporate donors. We need to elect a congress and senate who also embraces the power of change through people.

People may not be seeing this yet. Right now, the euphoria surrounds the possibility of a people’s president. And that’s all well and good. After all, we have to start somewhere, and electing a person who actually believes that change is possible, necessary, and achievable through the involvement of real people is a great place to start.

Just remember that Obama alone won’t be enough. We need to take the next step. It’d be nice to think that the steps would happen together, that not only would we elect a president commited to really fixing the worst parts of government but that we’d elect legislators who see things that way too. But in this I am realistic.

Barack Obama is just one man with a shared vision of a better America, a different America. We need him to be the next president if we ever want to move in a new direction. But we also must recognize that in order for him to succeed, in order for us all to succeed in changing the way our country works, we need to fill the halls of Congress with people who also will work for change. We don’t have these people there now. We won’t have enough of them there in 2009. But we have time to find them- people of all political stripes who care more about really helping America and Americans than they do about buttressing their resumes and bank accounts-and we have to elect them. Because with a president committed to changing the American government AND a congress that actually listens to the people, this country can once again be a leader in solving our own and the worlds problems without making things worse than when they started.

(cross posted on Common Sense)

Our Next President

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

With the fading days of the Hillary Clinton campaign proven in the latest win in Wisconsin today by Barack Obama it is almost a given fact that Senator Clinton will not be our next President. This is the 9th state in a row to vote overwhelmingly for Obama and that is a hill that Hillary and crew can not overcome. She has lost the inspiration game of politics but that does not count her race for President completely out of the election process. Senator Clinton still controls her delegates to the convention that will decide the Democrat nominee for President.

Toss aside all the hype over the convention handing the nomination to the second place winner, aka Senator Clinton. That will never happen! Yes delegates can change affiliation at the convention but the likelihood of Senator Clinton stealing the convention at this point is slim to none.

All of the pre-election poll numbers to date have been full of bad numbers and the end result is that they were way off the mark and the end result in every single state. I’m chucking the polls into the composting bin and hope the bacteria can stomach them. Same thing goes for the main stream media and the run up for each state and then they look stunned like a deer in the headlights when the actual voting results come in. If Tim Russert says one more time that he did not see this coming in one more state I’m going to throw a brick at my television.

Watching the Obama speech from Houston, Texas was amazing on the eve of his Wisconsin win. Where people have said that he speaks in parables of hope without substance I would have to strongly disagree. Apparently, they have never seen or heard one of his speeches. He touched on Iraq, he touched on health care, he touched on education and he touched on jobs being outsourced and forever lost to Americans. Barack Obama doesn’t list out for you paragraph by paragraph what each of his issue plans are but tells you in concise words how we can change the future in just a few simple inspiring words. Any candidate that got up on the stage and said this is my plan for healthcare in America, page one… You would be bored off your rocker and look for the gun to shoot yourself with! If you think he doesn’t have anything to say then you have never truly heard him give a speech.

Watching the speech he gave today gave me a sense of hope for our nation. If he can inspire the up and coming generations to get involved with what our nation is all about then that in itself is an American miracle. Camelot revisited once more if you will. One of the mistakes that the Clinton campaign has made is attacking hope in the Obama message and then trying to steal the message of change. You can’t have it both ways. Bill Clinton’s political machine is busted and so is Hillary’s by association.

Looking at the voting numbers from state to state change is coming and McCain does not have a chance of getting the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. One of the numbers in Wisconsin surprised me that Obama at one point had more Democrat votes than all Republican votes combined. That margin of votes has held true state after state and McCain does not have the crossover potential that an Obama campaign would. If you include the Clinton number of Democrats voting it is more than three to one in favor of the Democrat candidate. This is just the primaries!

None of the big boys in the main stream media are betting on the general election but I am putting my neck out on the line that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States of America and he will beat Senator John McCain by far. Then again in a mega landslide if he picks Hillary Clinton as his Vice President.


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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