What’s new, cyber-denizens? I have about eleventy-50 articles and posts bookmarked for suitable blog posts, as I haven’t written anything substantive in days. However, I have several days of Fall Break ahead of me, with nothing to do but luxuriate in the awesomeness of home-cooked food and fuzzy puppies, so I expect to make up for lost time.
So, let’s see – the debate. A lot of people I’ve talked to agree that it was ridiculously boring, but lots of people also feel that McCain made a complete fool of himself, what with wandering around during Obama’s speeches, making faces, being overly condescending to the audience members, and the infamous “That one”. Most polls agree that Obama won, which is good – not that most debates have an objective winner, but if people think a certain candidate won, it’s because they like that one better, so that’s good. Alternet has, as with the first presidential debate, short essays by six different people on who won the debate and why.
It really is breathtaking to take in the magnitude of McCain’s lies – both in the debate and in other venues, like ads and rallies. McCainpedia has a list chronicling his lies – the last time I checked, it had 129 items. Some of them are obvious and apparent to anyone who has just been watching debates or CNN, such as the idea that OBama is hiking up spending, but there are many others that I wasn’t aware of, such as the $3 million dollar study on bear DNA that is McCain’s favorite example of “pork-barrel spendng” – yet voted for anyway.
It seems that more and more people are catching onto McCain’s unique brand of ineptitude and fear-mongering, as many formerly red states are now looking distinctly blue. Fivethirtyeight.com has all the charts and maps and poll results and probability statistics you could possibly wish for, both country-wide and state-by-state. Right now, based on current polls, it has a 90.9% chance of Obama winning the Electoral College, which is certainly awesome. But that awesomeness is mitigated by the omnipresent Bradley effect, possible downturns in polls, and the almost certain possibility of voter fraud, so it’s far from a done deal.
Logically, it makes sense that more and more Americans are turning from the Right to the Light. A Gallup poll this week found that a mere 9% of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in this country – the lowest rating in the poll’s history (via ThinkProgress). As for the specific reasons people were unsatisfied, a breakdown is below:
Of the seven issues, only two are ones that the Republican party can even pretend to address better: “Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline; dishonesty” and “Immigration/Illegal aliens”. I disagree with the way the party deals with both of these issues, as well as the premise that they are as problematic in the first place, but people concerned with those two topics tend to lean conservative. But since only 4 & 3%, respectively, of people think those are the most pressing issues right now, the disenchantment with the GOP continues.
This Election Guide to the Economy from Alternet has a summary of the candidates’ positions on various economic issues, from minimum wage to unions to equal pay to paid family leave. Three guesses on which one’s record and plans actually help people. I honestly don’t have the energy to find or write about the ways that conservatives have handled Iraq or healthcare or education poorly, so hopefully you know that already.
However, there is something interesting about the “dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians; poor leadership; corruption; abuse of power” category. One of McCain’s main talking points is that he is a “maverick” who is a “straight talker” and cuts through the pork and bureaucratic doublespeak. Here, I could point out that he chose as his running mate someone who, historically, has had no problem whatsoever porking it up all over the place (or, you know, some less sketchy way of saying that she lets personal interests influence her making shady financial decisions). Alternatively, I could quote Steve Benen, who notes that “The McCain/Palin ticket is the first in American history in which both candidates were found to have violated ethics standards before a national election”.
But I actually think that in this case, Pundit Kitchen says it best: