Can't Decide 2008: Voter Guide

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bobbymcgill, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. bobbymcgill

    bobbymcgill Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    A look at the latest polls shows that 18 percent of Americans remain “undecided” on who should be the next president. While I admire your prudence –I myself was sitting at your table until recently – don’t you think it is time to settle up on the bill?

    Though the first debate offered little in the way of knockout blows, the contrasts between Barack Obama and John McCain are so striking that some of you are either not paying attention or waiting for an October surprise.

    In the event that October is just another October, and the candidates continue along their ho hum path to the presidency, I have summed up their positions on the major issues. By column’s end you will know which horse I am betting on and hopefully you will, too.

    The Economy

    Just a few weeks back John McCain was quoted as saying that, “the economy is fundamentally sound.” If that is the sound of something “crashing” then he was absolutely right.

    Since then McCain has tried to walk the statement back --- so far back that he wanted to cancel last Friday’s debate and run back to Washington to hammer out a solution.

    Though the debate went on, both candidates attended an inconsequential meeting with congressional leaders. Participants say that McCain was largely absent from the discussion, whereas Obama peppered the panel with questions and has been in daily contact with U.S. treasury secretary, Henry Paulson.

    Presidents, much less presidential candidates, have little influence on the economy other than taking credit for a good one or being unjustly blamed about a bad one. Obama was at least candid about this. "The important thing here is making sure that we don't have a photo op session, because this is serious. We should not have been here in the first place."

    The Economy: Obama.


    Both candidates promise tax cuts. And while McCain’s plan would cut overall taxes by an average of $1,195 per American to Obama’s $160, the people who benefit most tells an entirely different story.

    According to the non partisan Tax Policy Center, people making $66,000 to $600,000, would receive a 2.5 percent tax cut under McCain. For that same group Obama promises a cut of 1.9 percent. Not much of a gap there, but it is at the top end and the low end where the differences are dramatic.

    If you have seen the Obama ad about how McCain never once uttered the words “Middle Class” during the debate, here is why. People making $600,000 to $2.87 million will receive a 3.9 percent cut under McCain, yet those making below $18,000 on up to $66,000 will see their tax rate reduced a paltry .5 percent. Obama on the other hand, will raise taxes 10.1% on incomes over $600,000, but for those in the under $18,000 to $66,000 range, he will cut the rate by 4 percent. The Obama plan also calls for an elimination of taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.

    Taxes: Unless you are raking in some serious coin Obama is your guy.

    Foreign Policy

    The different approaches to foreign policy can be summed as thus: McCain favors isolating potential adversaries, Obama desires dialogue. Overall, history shows that neither approach has enjoyed more success than the other. Neville Chamberlin’s appeasement of Hitler being the classic example of failed dialogue and the war in Iraq the failure of isolation and then aggression. In both instances the adversary was emboldened --the Nazis with Chamberlin and Islamic extremists with Bush.

    A gathering of five former Secretaries of State, both conservative and liberal, unanimously called for dialogue with Iran and North Korea --two miserable failures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations. This is not to say that dialogue is the panacea we are looking for, but considering where we now stand it’s the only option left outside of invasion.

    Foreign policy: Toss-up.

    Being Presidential

    The last category is the intangible quality of character. Who will project the best image of American following the disaster that was Bush? After the debate, 43% of registered voters said Obama had more "honesty and integrity," compared with 34% for McCain. A week ago, the same voters were evenly divided.

    And as Noam Levey writes for the Los Angeles Times, “Though more voters still see McCain as more knowledgeable, Obama was seen as more "presidential" by 46% of debate-watchers, compared with 33% for the Arizona senator.”

    Obama’s years as a law professor cause him to come off as pedantic --unlike McCain, who is the kind of guy you want to toss back a couple of beers with. Though the Republicans have correctly criticized Obama for his lack of experience, McCain’s shoot-from-the-hip style gives the impression that his experience is not necessarily an asset.

    It is profoundly vexing that he would choose Sarah Palin to succeed him should something happen to him in office. The Alaska governor has been a public relations nightmare ---fumbling her way through interviews like a high-schooler trying to B.S. her way through a foreign policy exam. Is this the fruit of experience? Are such poor choices relevant to our judgment of our leaders? Yes.

    Being Presidential: Obama

    This is of course a very rough sketch of each of the candidate’s positions and personality. Anything can happen once in office. Should adversity arise, one might face it while the other might falter. But, for what little its worth, you can figure out who I am voting for.

    From Idle Wordship

Share This Page