Monday, June 30, 2008

Surprise! Obama's true colors emerge.

While John McCain is trying to shore up his support among conservatives by reversing himself on tax cuts, off shore drilling, and immigration, Obama has joined the "business as usual" politics with his rejection of public campaign financing and his "ruthless aversion to American Muslims." (William Falk, The Week July 4-11) According to Falk, at a rally last week in Detroit, Obama aides made two scarf-wearing Muslim women leave their seats, lest TV viewers see them in the same picture as the candidate.The NYTimes reports Obama has canceled or turned down all speaking engagements with Arab-American groups, and asked the only member of congress ever sworn in on a Koran, Keith Ellison, to cancel a planned speech on Obama's behalf.

Jay Newton of says Obama is walking a thin line. He skyrocketed to the nomination by casting himself as a principled outsider. Lately, though, the Democratic nominee has been acting like everyone else in Washington. As Richard Cohen of the Washington Post put it, instead of being the agent of change, "it's difficult to recall of a time when Obama has ever alienated his liberal base or took any real political risk."

David Brooks of the NYTimes said when Obama somehow made his "cutthroat political calculation" to reject public financing "seem like Mother Teresa's final steps to sainthood," he couldn't help feeling a little awe. This guy is good. "Even Bill Clinton wasn't smart enough to succeed in politics by pretending to renounce politics."

So there you are, folks. Vote for Obama if you agree with his (very liberal) economic, social, and political agendas. But don't fool yourself and think he's somehow going to "change" how politics is done. He's a politician playing the same games as all the others. His nebulous, feel-good messages of change and hope are just so much campaign fodder. McCain, who at this point really is sticking with public financing, is probably going to lose since he will have less than a third of the money that Obama will now have to work with.

Obama has shown his true agenda, and he's now going to probably win because he isn't willing to play on a level playing field. It's now "do anything to win" and then rationalize that it's for "the good of the people."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Treading water in the Tiber

Well, everything is on hold again as far as joining the Catholic Church. (I'll try to get back to my story of how I got here..where ever here is...soon.)

We tried to figure out the logistics of how to join the RCC, but it didn't come out satisfactorily for me. We try to go to both churches each weekend, but the truth is Will really has to juggle to make it to mass each week, and in the Catholic Church that's a problem. I realized that I didn't want to join the church until I could mean what I promised, which would include trying my best to attend mass weekly. Right now I can't make that promise. I realized that I am too tied to the church we've been going to for years. I want to be part of that community for my kids' sakes. I enjoy the community and friendship, too, of course, but mainly I want the kids to know I'm in solidarity with them. I realized my joining another church right now, and splitting my time between them, was too much.

I support Will's decision to join the Church, and I want to continue to go with him whenever I can. Someday I will join. But right now I don't want to make any promises that I can't keep, so here I am, in the middle of the Tiber, treading water! Indecision, or in this case the decision not to make a final choice, is not a comfortable place for me, but it just might be where God wants me right now. I've always been the type to want the answers NOW, to have my life planned out with no real uncertainty. Are you laughing?? Yes, well, God chuckles at that, too, I think. In fact, the idea that there is no good answer right now is probably God's answer for me.

Maybe I'll slowly find God on His terms instead of being handed some prepackaged set of beliefs given by someone else, or lots of someone elses. I don't like not knowing what God expects, and not having any boxes to check or lists to cross off. Right now I'm not comfortable. I worry. I wonder. I fret. What should I do, where should I go, what should I believe, is this true, or is this Truth? I believe this mid-life crisis of faith is designed by God to shake me up and get me moving. God seems to do "uncomfortable" well. ;-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama gets the nod...

It's been a long fight in the democratic primary, as you all know if you haven't been doing research on Antarctica. But it's over. Obama makes history as the first African-American candidate for president for a major party.

This time around history was going to be made one way or another. A woman or a black man, either way it was going to open doors and, hopefully, open a few mids. That's good. I am truly pleases that women and minorities are being taken seriously in this country. I only wish I could support one of them.

But I can't.

I'm glad that this day has come, and we are taking new steps into a future not based on gender or color. I'm going to take that step boldly and say that I will not vote for someone, anyone, just because they are black or are a woman. As many news anchors commented, the actually positions held by Clinton and Obama are indistinguishable, and on too many levels those positions are untenable for me.

Obama's campaigners may all dance around to strains of "We Are the Champions" today, but what is at stake here isn't an ideal, or a feeling, or a vague sense of "change." What's at stake is the future of our country, and I honestly believe Obama's economic plans are disastrous. I think his plan to pull the troops out of Iraq without adequate regard to the safety of that country is unethical. I think his words are big and his plans are small. I think he is a talker instead of a doer. And he has no real history of "crossing the aisle" and working on compromise. This "agent of change" that has so many people excited is going to be one more polarizing politician.

My money and my vote will go to the one candidate that actually does have a history of being different, a maverick, and agent of change, and an aisle crosser. John McCain.

In November if Obama loses to McCain I'm sure the U.S. will get all kinds of harassment and censure from Europeans on how we are backwards and unable to vote a black man into office. That, of course, will only show their own bias. Are we suppose to think about skin color or not??? But if McCain wins it will be because this country really is ready for change... a change from polarizing politics to real solutions.