~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The coveted Kadnine endorsement goes to...

... John McCain. And here's why:

Preface - Both candidates are flawed in my opinion, but between them one is clearly more preferable from my perspective. I don't much care for horse race politics anymore. The heady, passion filled drive to win more lever pulls for "my guy" over "your guy" tramples all over discussion of deeper issues. Oh, there is still rational debate over policy and philosophy even in election years, but good luck trying to find it amidst the constant shouting. But such is my desire to be an informed voter rather than a naif scooped up by the "Rock The Vote" bus on the way to the poll, that I've shouldered my way through this (insanely long!) election cycle and managed to come to these conclusions.

John McCain - Here is a man who has devoted his entire adult life to public service. 22 years as a Naval Officer, pilot, five years as a POW, and even after torture left him physically disabled, still he devoted his voice to furthering his contribution to public service. It's clear to me by his actions over a long lifetime that he wants what's best for America's future. His instincts are sound. It's his execution skills that need improvement.

John McCain regularly practices the politics of "compromise" (in the best sense of that word. As the old story goes, two women once fought over an orange, and eventually split it down the center. One ate the flesh while the other used the zest in a cake.) He frequently "reaches across the aisle" to find out what the other side's chief desires are in order to be recognized as the facilitator of a win-win deal. For this, he's earned the nickname "maverick." Too often though, while his intentions are refreshingly transparent, his execution lacks a certain savvy that I would prefer to see. Too often he comes back to the Republican base (meaning me) saying things like, "I got that authorization for the border fence you wanted! And all I had to compromise was the funding. Why are you so mad?" Or, "I'm cleaning up the cess-pool of campaign financing! All you have to do is shut up 30 days before a primary election, 60 days before the general. Problem solved! What? Still mad?"

But for all his flaws of execution, America as a whole is still strong enough to weather a McCain Presidency, and may even prosper under it. John McCain 1) has the executive experience (as commanding officer of a Navy Squadron) that Obama lacks, 2) a working knowledge of how Washington actually operates and a desire to improve it (as opposed to Obama's limited experience as a first term Senator,) 3) has promised to remove troops from Iraq after cementing their honor with victory (as opposed to Obama who promises to remove forces ASAP, victory or no, and I need not point out that I'm more than than a little invested in victory after seven months over there) 4) has never voted to raise taxes, and 5) only once voted against a tax cut (out of a belief that during a time of war and no draft,it was consistent with his vote for invading Iraq. He later acquiesced.)

As for Barack Obama - I'm not deaf to the historical significance of Obama's campaign as the first viable (probable?) black presidential candidate. But I'm growing ever more resentful that he initially sold himself to us as the post-partisan, post-racial-divide candidate. As it turns out, research into his scant background doesn't reveal anything new except race. His policy preferences are not substantially different than the old platforms of previous Dem candidates (Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, etc.) I hasten to add that this research was NOT done by our traditional, legacy news media who are more in love with the idea of riding on the coattails of history, than actual, um... facts. The job of vetting Obama was done by journalists working for small-time magazines both left and right leaning, and blogs.

I'm deeply unhappy with the (to my mind) dishonest manner in which Obama has presented himself to us. That's not to say he isn't an ambitious (just as all successful politicians are ambitious,) intelligent, educated, nice guy who wants what's best for the country. I believe he's all of those things. But I'm disturbed by his tactics. I'm disturbed by his... comfort level about hiding things from public view.

He constantly asserts publicly he'll cut income taxes for 95% of us when 40% don't even pay taxes. Under his plan that 40% will get a "tax credit" (read: welfare check) paid for by taxing the upper 5% (i.e. all the evil companies in your 401K portfolio.) More than half of Americans have their entire life savings in the stock market. Obama is hiding the fact that his tax proposals will essentially rob your retirement account to pay for his grandiose social welfare programs.

This is not "change" I can believe in. This is more of the same, "big government is the ultimate solution to all societal ills" type policies that I oppose on general principle.

- Keith

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