2008/10/30

After the election?

I have to agree that this is about the dumbest idea I've heard all week:

Last, I believe this [that Obama will pursue a centrist strategy] is likely because Obama understands that to succeed, he must make peace with John McCain just as he has done with Hillary Clinton. When this historic election concludes, I expect the two to sit down, without precondition, and negotiate an agenda of reform.

The problem here, is that if Republicans had any serious ideas for how to run the country better, they would already have been talking about those ideas. Instead, Karl Rove's "big idea" is for them to have started attacking Barack Obama's relationship with Palestinian-American Professor Rashid Kahlidi last spring instead of waiting until the week before the election. To attack Professor Kahlidi is racist to the core as:

[Kahlidi] is a distinguished scholar, and the only objectionable thing about him from a rightwing point of view is that he is a Palestinian. There are about 9 million Palestinians in the world (a million or so are Israeli citizens; 3.7 million are stateless and without rights under Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza; and 4 million are refugees or exiled in the diaspora; there are about 200,000 Palestinian-Americans, and several million Arab-Americans, many living in swing vote states). Khalidi was not, as the schlock rightwing press charges, a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was an adviser at the Madrid peace talks, but would that not have been, like, a good thing?

John McCain has attacked Professor Kahlidi as a "neo-Nazi" and of course, Matt "the GOP-friendly Internetist" Drudge has splashed the story onto his home page, and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been pushing the story as only a Vice-Presidential candidate can. The Obama campaign's very appropriate answer is that the whole controversy is:

...another recycled, manufactured controversy from the McCain campaign to distract voters' attention from John McCain's lockstep support for George Bush's economic policies.

And this was a good one:

At an event Wednesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, Obama said McCain has spent the last few days calling him "every name in the book."
"I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich," Obama said.

Governor Palin then went on for a few paragraphs about achieving "energy independence" from Mideast oil, but didn't once mention alternative energy. Simply drilling for more oil runs into the "Peak Oil" problem (A few decades ago, the US had already pumped more than half the oil it will ever pump and the rest of the world is now at or very near that same stage). Nuclear energy has a lot of advantages, but storing the nuclear waste is a problem that hasn't been solved yet.

...the DOE acknowledges much progress in addressing the waste problems of the industry, and successful remediation of some contaminated sites, yet also major uncertainties and sometimes complications and setbacks in handling the issue properly, cost effectively, and in the projected time frame.

So, while "energy independence" is most certainly a valuable and worthwhile thing to do, it's far from clear that the McCain-Palin campaign has any seriously meaningful ideas for actually achieving such a thing.

How about in other areas? How's the War on Terror going? Well...er...not so hot, actually. It's really cool for:

...defense contractors, lobbyists, think-tankers, ambitious military officers, the hosts of Sunday morning talk shows, and the Douglas Feith-like creatures who maneuver to become players in the ultimate power game

but, as for the rest of America, it's

a fiction, a gimmicky phrase employed to lend an appearance of cohesion to a panoply of activities that, in reality, are contradictory, counterproductive, or at the very least beside the point.

Sorry, but the idea that Obama and McCain can sit down after the election and talk productively with each other about the future direction of this country is, well, a pretty stupid one. I simply can't see McCain having anything serious to propose.

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