Wednesday, September 03, 2008

When Will Families Be Off-Limits?

So do we have this established now? I believe that Ms. Palin has shown questionable judgment as a mother, and I wonder how anyone could possibly trust her in the capacity of President. And that is exactly what this is about. I wouldn't be attacking anyone so strenuously if I wasn't genuinely concerned about seeing them in a position that demands complexity of mind, training, education, and experience in national politics. Sarah Plain clearly lacks all of these crucial qualities. On top of that, she has put forth "family values" as her strength. How anyone in her position could consider this an asset is entirely beyond me. But that is the public profile the GOP has assigned to her, and thus I consider it fair game to focus on it.

But Barack Obama and a legion of conservatives disagree. They all insist that "families are off limits". It actually sounds funny coming out of the mouths of Republicans. After all the invective that they have poured out on Michelle Obama, Chelsea Clinton, Billy Carter, and every single member of the Kennedy clan they can get their hands on... this smacks of rabid hypocrisy. Yet I understand why they want to change the subject after they introduced it in the first place- it's simply not working in their favor. They foolishly took Sarah Palin at face value- listened to the things she said about abortion, abstinence, gay marriage and creationism, and said "She's our girl!" Now they realize that she couldn't possibly live up to the standard they set for her.

Everyone is flawed, obviously. I'm sure Sarah Palin has her good moments, in addition to all of the mistakes we've seen and heard about already. It's quite possible that it would be entertaining (in a reality-TV sort of way) to see what type of shenanigans the Palin clan gets into during the next four years. But the problem with that is that there could be international consequences if her ticket gets elected. So why do we focus on her "family values"? Because that's how she was sold to the lower 48. And because we've had to hear this kind of self-righteous crap from the "Moral Majority", Christian-Right, nut-bags for decades. And we are tired of it and want it to stop. Still no matter what we've done it hasn't gone away.

We've been forced to this point out of exhaustion, frustration, resignation, and cynicism. It's completely appropriate to counterattack with the weapons they've been bludgeoning us with for years. The desired result is that they get so defensive that they themselves make public pronouncements condemning it. And then it will be over, and the public will have to turn their attention to something else. The minute the GOP gets off the "family values" train is the point that I'll back off Sarah Palin's relationship to her family, and her peculiar approach to parenthood. Because (like most Progressives) I am at heart a tolerant and non-judgmental guy. I'd love to agree to live-and-let-live. I want the Palin family to prosper.

Finally there's the question of Obama's insistence that "families are off-limits". Is anyone truly puzzled by this gesture? First of all, the guy's always been about the issues. That's because he's thought a lot about policy. He's not a knee-jerk reactionary or a fundamentalist. He recognizes nuance, and that's refreshing for a lot of us. But he also understands the value of taking the high road, and he's a shrewd politician. He realizes that if everyone agrees that "families are off-limits", then the Republicans are basically disarmed. That's all they've got in this election. They lose on substance. If we don't talk about Sarah Palin's "family values", then what is left to say? The reality is that no one really knows. And that's a disaster waiting to happen for the GOP.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Merge, This is the original anonymous.

I think looking for any clues as to a candidate’s values, character and integrity is generally reasonable and I agree that
Sarah Plain’s family values pitch makes this very legitimate.

Getting to Obama, a similar question arises in his history and personal relationships. His best selling book was called “Dreams From My Father” and was dedicated to him. But somehow, Obama fails to mention his father was a committed communist who strongly advocated communist policies in Kenya. He does call his father an “idealist” in the book while trying to evade stating what his ideas were. I also think he tries to hide the degree to which the two kept in touch through letters and other contacts.

“1. Obama advocated the communal ownership of land and the forced confiscation of privately controlled land, as part of a forced "development plan", an important element of his attack on the government's advocacy of private ownership, land titles, and property registration. (p. 29)

2. Obama advocated the nationalization of "European" and "Asian" owned enterprises, including hotels, with the control of these operations handed over to the "indigenous" black population. (pp. 32 -33)

3. Obama advocated dramatically increasing taxation on "the rich" even up to the 100% level, arguing that, "there is no limit to taxation if the benefits derived from public services by society measure up to the cost in taxation which they have to pay" (p. 30) and that, "Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed." (p. 31)

4. Obama contrasts the ill-defined and weak-tea notion of "African Socialism" negatively with the well-defined ideology of "scientific socialism", i.e. communism. Obama views "African Socialism" pioneers like Nkrumah, Nyerere, and Toure as having diverted only "a little" from the capitalist system. (p. 26)

Obviously I’m not trying to imply that ideology is handed down genetically but in the context of a candidate who seems to have had a substantial continuing flirtation with Marxist ideas in school and a list of close relationships with Marxists and hard leftists, I think it could be important.

As to any notion that Obama’s ideas are “nuanced”, his voting record hardly shows much of that. McCain is the candidate, in fact who likely had to pick Palin because his record is far too “nuanced” for many in the Republican Party.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Seriously?! Wow. Then Obama really might be an "agent" for change. I think he should be made to denounce his biological father, like the fascist commie he is. Only then can we be sure that he isn't actually working for the Soviet Union.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, here's the link to an article by his dad.

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

and the link to the commentary, I'm quoting.

http://gregransom.com/prestopundit/2008/04/last-week-i-sent-jeffrey-ressn.html

7:15 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Oh, wait... forget my last comment. We should just make him take an Oath of Allegiance to the USA, in front of millions of cheering fans. What are you doing next January?

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that is a true quote, it's very fair to ask what ideals he is talking about. He really tries to get away from mentioning that his dad was a communist. I think that's pretty weird. In the context of all the other relationships with hard leftists, in school, in the church he chose etc... the thing looks pretty relevant.

Really, it looks like anything close to "nuanced" positions appear only in the years he started running for president and these positions are hardly nuanced.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

anon,

Well, feel free to provide any evidence that shows that Obama has advanced policy positions that are Marxist.

Anyway, I guess it's ironic that you bring "socialism" up in this thread. If you are very concerned about such things in this race, you should be paying more attention to things Sarah Palin has actually done in office.

Like going after more federal earmarks per capita than any other state in the union.

Like supporting federal funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere", and then blocking construction when it got bad press, while saying she wouldn't let Alaskan funds be used for such Alaskan infrastructure projects. Instead of returning the federal funds (our tax dollars), she kept the money and used them for other things.

Like her lobbying efforts working for discredited Alaskan senator Ted Stevens. That's where she learned her politics. It was all about taking our tax dollars and passing them out to "her people".

Like her windfall profits tax on oil companies, which she has used to give Alaskans cash for "energy rebates". That's income redistribution, plain and simple.

No wonder she is so popular... in Alaska.

8:07 PM  

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