Sunday, June 8, 2008

Barackmeter to November Elections

Taking the reigns of the Democratic party. Barack Obama has impressed many with his implementation of the "no lobbyist" money rule for the DNC. He has also been praised for aligning with Howard Dean's vision of a 50 states strategy for winning the November election. Finally, many see his backing of Joe Lieberman against the wall during a Senate vote for an impromptu tete-a-tete as a show of leadership talent a la LBJ.

Undoubtedly, Barack Obama has political talent, but only time will tell whether he is a political genius as some have suggested. I reserve judgment. I am particularly disturbed by his pandering to the Israeli lobby (Jerusalem will remain the capital of the Israeli state -- from his address to AIPAC last week; a real blunder and step in the wrong direction, away from mediation to authoritarianisms).

Continuing the US foreign policy of Israel = US proxy in the Middle East is disastrous. The US cannot be an honest broker of peace between Palestinians and Israelis when its policy is to back whatever Israel does -- making the US hated and feared as a hypocrite and a warmonger.

Many have their political barometers poised and predict a win for the Democratic candidate...
    "In an article last week on University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Web site, Abramowitz declared that “it appears very likely that the Republican Party is dealing with the dreaded 'triple whammy' in 2008: an unpopular president, a weak economy and a second-term election.”

    Abramowitz has tracked the effect of those variables on the last 15 presidential elections and found that they accurately predicted the popular-vote outcome in 14 and came close in the 15th.

    ...The Abramowitz barometer is a shortcut variation on American University professor Allan Lichtman's famed “13 Keys to the Presidency,” which adds such factors as wars, candidate charisma, scandal and the incumbent party's performance in off-year elections to the economy and incumbency.

    When Lichtman published the latest edition of his book early this year, he flatly predicted that “the Democratic candidate will capture the White House in 2008 no matter the choice of a nominee."
Maybe John McCain is alarmed by such predictions. Senator McCain used the word change 33 time in his speech introducing his campaign's new slogan -- "change we need right now." In his attempt to co-opt Obama's message "change we can believe in" McCain is hoping to gain some Obama-mentum for the upcoming November election.

An insider produces a book describing "high incompetency and low deceit in the White House"... that sounds like a description of Scott McClellan's book "What Happened..." but it's not. It was a book (IN THE LAND OF THE MAGIC ASTERISK) written about the Reagan presidency by Reagan's former budget director David A. Stockman; reviewed by Michael Kinsley in the New York Times in 1986. Reagan advocated "small" government via budget cuts and tax cuts and this refrain is oft repeated by the Republicans.

John McCain is not deterred by the Reagan presidency incurring a huge national debt using just such a formula as he has proposed or by the Bush administration having surpassed all other administrations combined in the amount of debt owed by the US government. He's voted with Bush 95% of the time.

John McCain's eyes glaze over when he discusses the economy (he knows nothing about it, he's admitted -- the so-called "straight shooter, shot himself in the foot on that one!). He's no genius and his tax plan is wrong for the US economy.

Why don't the Republicans ever learn from history? Didn't they learn from the hurricane Katrina ineptitude and embarrassment? The US needs to invest in its public infrastructures to avoid such disasters happening to levees, roads, bridges, highways, schools, etc.

There's ample proof that McCain's plan to reduce the size of government to the infamous size "where we can drown it in a bathtub" is ill advised and delusional. There is no merit to his "...corporate giveaways and phony freezes and scrubs, McCain's tax agenda undermines his core political appeal" (from McCain's Delusional Tax Plan by Robert Gordon and James Kvaal).

No matter what barometer the political pundits use to gauge the political winds, it is still possible that John McCain will be our next president. I was shocked when Reagan was elected. I will be mildly amused when and if McCain is. For many reasons, but chiefly because the American "electorate" is predictably ill-informed.

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