Our last day in hell

I’m sure if there is a hell, its inhabitants don’t believe that there will be a last day and even if they think there might be, the worst thing would be is to hope or believe in it.

It’s been a long 8 years, from the Supreme Court deciding who the 43rd President of the United States would be. We’ve experienced the horror of 9/11; the subsequent and emotional rush to war in Iraq; the “Mission Accomplished” and the next six years of trying to accomplish that mission; the re-election of George Bush so that he would become the worst two-term President in history; the negligence of the government’s post-Katrina response; the implosion of the economy to its worst state in 70 years.

Yes it’s been a long eight years and now we get to count down to the end of Bush not in days, but hours. Right now he’s having his last dinner on the tax payer’s dime. It’s amazing how excited I am for him to leave, go to Texas where he should stay for the rest of his days, and not screw things up any further.

We’ve survived and after 8 years of nowhere – we can finally say “Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives”.

Mission accomplished.

Not Spencer: Hope vs. Fear in a Steel Cage Match For the Title

Today’s Not Spencer post is from  Cynicsgirl  from Suburban  Masquerade.  She did want to title this post using the following lyric from a Michael Penn song:  “I can’t hope for crying”, but then realized her thoughts were more angry, than sad.

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I remember the exact moment when I became disillusioned with the political process.  

It was November 1972.  Richard Nixon won the presidential election — by a landslide.   I was just 13 years old, but I knew that was wrong.   See, at St. Aloysius Elementary School, we students had held our own (mock) election.   Young, uncorrupted, naive, all of us — the girls, in their shapeless navy jumpers and peter-pan-collared white blouses, and the boys, in their clip-on ties and double-knit pants — cast our votes for President of the United States.   We had elected George McGovern.  

Eight years later, I’m old enough to actually vote…and along comes the Moral Majority.   (And I’m in the minority.)

As the years pass, politics seems to get dirtier.  Clinton is impeached for lying about blowjobs (which I think is icky-gross, but his own damn business.)     The Powers That Be manipulate the masses with fear, blur the separation of church and state, and question the patriotism of anyone who dares suggest that the emperor is unclothed.  

This country re-elected George W. Bush for chrissakes. How does that happen?     How Does That F*cking Happen?

One may gather that I’m a tad cynical about the political process.  

But then — something surprises me; something strong enough to make me cause an embarrassing scene at a family get-together; something I haven’t felt since…well…since I’ve legally been able to vote.

Hope.

I was just as suspicious of Barack Obama as I have been of any other politician – at first.   But I watch him closely as he navigates the primary, wins the nomination, and campaigns for president.   And I become more and more impressed.   While I would likely vote for a Democrat for president regardless (because I am an evil liberal – although technically an Independent until this past primary season) what impresses me about Obama is his obvious intelligence, his poise, and his attempts to focus his campaign on the substance of the issues.      

And he is a class act.   As superficial as that may sound, after eight years of the Good Ole Boy, the U.S.A. needs its leader to be someone who can inspire respect throughout the world, not have citizens of every other industrialized nation in the world rolling their eyes in disbelief.

John McCain lost my respect when he chose his running mate.   Whether Palin was his choice or was a calculation foisted on him (or something in between) his acceptance of her as his running mate shows a serious lack of judgment.   A blatant “I will ignore what is best for this country in a desperate attempt to win the presidency.”    

Still, Obama gives me hope.   The polls are promising. But I can’t let myself be optimistic.   Because ignorance keeps slapping me in the face.    

Two days ago, I received an e-mail from a retired gentleman who lives in the Southeast.     He’s a distant cousin with whom I’ve corresponded from time to time over the years while researching genealogy — and I’ve found him to be a personable and mentally sharp fellow.   Expecting a genealogy query of some sort, I was shocked to open his e-mail and find a call-to-action, full of half-truths, such as:   “…In addition to the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayres, Barack Obama has formed unsavory alliances with some of the most dangerous social misfits of modern times…” And this:   “With a liberal democratic congress, a liberal democratic president, liberal Supreme Court appointments, and no filibuster, we will rapidly become a socialist country.   When all of the illegal immigrants are declared eligible to vote, who do you think they will vote for in the next election? We must now make a decision between SOCIALISM or FREEDOM?”     (Oops, he forgot to take out the “?” after “freedom”, didn’t he?)

The e-mailed contained a link to USA Wake Up.org which he claimed opened his eyes.   What I saw there sickened me, especially considering my friend’s espousal.   (Went back right now for quotes, but that part of the site is currently disabled.)   It was a page of illogical fear-mongering fiction with the phrase “Socialist Barak Hussein Obama” repeated innumerable times.

Even more disheartening were the “Reply All” responses I received the next day.  One called Obama a “socialist fanatic” Another:   I know H—-   would not have said what he said unless he was sure of his facts and I stand with him.   I am an Independent Voter (unlike Bill Oreilly or Retired General Powell whom profess to be  an Independent/Republican, but we can tell otherwise).”  There was: “Vote the Bible.”    And: ” I am scared for the USA if Obama is elected. It is shame money and political parties elect our President.”  As well as: ” Thank God  there are  still a few of us AMERICANS who believe in FREEDOM.   For all others, if they are tired of living free, speaking free, working, walking, talking, shopping and practicing religious freedom, go ahead and vote for Obama.”   (Though somebody should tell them that in proper Palinese it would be “livin’   workin’ walkin’ talkin’ shoppin’ and practicin’.   You betcha.)   (Is it wrong of me to want a vice-presidential candidate to pronounce their “g”s?  Is it? )

How did our country get to this point of Us vs. Them?   Why is someone we disagree with not only wrong, but also Satan’s spawn?  

That’s that scares me.   Not socialism.   Not Obama’s middle name.   People who hate without cause or reason scare me.   People who justify their choices by demonizing the alternative scare me.  

And the political machine that would pull out the Giant Wrench of Fear from their toolbox to fix a broken campaign — that scares me the most. Because I’m afraid it will work.   Again.

I made a reference to “an embarrassing scene” earlier.   There are a few “core” Republicans in my life that I happen to love in spite of their political leanings.   They have their Right-to-Life beliefs, and I respect their right to believe as they wish (though I believe in Choice.)   And they have their giant bank accounts, and I suppose it is within their rights to want to keep those full of giant amounts of $$.  

The point is I don’t expect everyone to have the same belief system that I do.  Or to have as skimpy a bank account.   But I do expect a discussion of politics to be based on fact. And if, in the Year of Our Lord 2008, one can say (with a straight face) that G.W. Bush is a good president, quip about the “hotness” and “breath-of-fresh-air-ness” of Sarah Palin, and insult the injury by mocking Barack Obama’s ears…well, I am going to get pissed.   And shout a bit. Even if it embarrasses the in-laws.

If your fundamental beliefs align with that of the Republican party…feel free to vote that way, my friend.  But along with your vote for McCain, you will have to make peace with casting a vote for Vice-President as Novelty…a vote for Campaigns Based on Fear and Hate…a vote for Truthiness over Truth.  

Or, vote for Obama.   And make me believe in the political process again.

Cynicsgirl is a card-carrying member of the evil media,  although she has  secret aspirations of one day becoming both a  gadfly  and  a bon vivant.   She resides in the Eastern Suburbs of Philadelphia  (okay, it’s New Jersey)  with previous guest-blogger Radiocynic and their two nutritionally-deprived daughters.

Now it’s time to focus on McCain

All of the angst and bitterness of the past 16 months is done. We Democrats have a nominee and now it’s time to focus on righting the ship. It is time to end the enduring, national, embarrassment that has become of our executive branch. It is at this point in history that we have a chance to make an inspired choice that is hallmarked by optimism in our country and who we can be. We can choose to ignore the politics of fear that we know the Republican party will resort to.

The Democrats are going to take more of our money, make us weak, invite gays over to screw your wife, take your guns, and burn the flag. Obama will be a first cousin of Bin Laden and married to the Saddam Hussein’s sister.

Anything to scare you into four more years of the Bush administration. The Democrats gave you a black man and a woman as your options. Obama is focusing his entire campaign on “Change” – isn’t it time?

After George Bush was elected the last time, I was depressed. I knew that we had made a mistake. There were many reasons why he won the biggest of which was that the Democrats really didn’t present a great option. How many people said “There’s no real difference between Bush and Kerry”? This is four years after saying the same thing about Bush/Gore- or what I refer to as Bore 2000. Now you have a choice. A man who supported the war then, supports it now in light of what we now know, and supports it for the foreseeable future, or a man that has always been against the war – and will correct this mistake.

And while we’ve been in Iraq, we’ve abdicated our role as leader of the world community. This is what happens when your President lacks the skill required to be a diplomat. McCain is ready, fire, aim – more of the same. That’s what got us into this mess. We need someone who will be careful with the future of generations to come, because they’re the ones that pay the debts incurred by current Presidents.

Please someone give me a good reason why you would vote to continue the past 8 years with McCain? Is it because the economy is so good? The dollar vs. the Euro? The price of fuel? The foreclosure crisis? The sinking opinion of the U.S. by our allies? The unfinished war in Afghanistan? The debacle in Iraq? Tell me – what exactly is it that this administration has done even a fair job at? So why would we reward them with four more years?

There is no more important task that you can do over the next few months than register. If you have registered, get educated. If you are educated, then you know Barack Obama is the choice you need to make – you need to convince your friends and family to get out and vote.

Don’t let this one go the wrong way.

And as important of an election that this is – Obama needs to settle the differences he has with Clinton, and choose her as the Vice Presidential candidate. With all her negatives, she still rounds out this ticket in a dynamic way in which no one else can. Honestly, if she fought this hard against one of her own, imagine her against McCain.

Barack – bring her aboard. Just ask her to leave Bill at home.

W: The Movie

I cannot believe that there is a George Bush movie in the making. It will start filming on April 21 starring Josh Brolin as the President and James Cromwell as senior. Apparently it covers just how the shrub became President regardless of having a less than stellar career (hasn’t improved once becoming President). It will be directed by Oliver Stone if you’re wondering if it will be fair and balanced. Here’s the internal positioning statement:

W is the improbable story of a man who went to the White House despite getting fewer votes than his opponent; who became commander-in-chief despite having avoided military combat himself; and who became the least popular president ever to be elected to a second term. W will shock and surprise you and leave you questioning everything you believe to be true.

I can’t wait.

The Onion: Bush: Keep Abstinence in Aids Plan

I love our President in the way late night hosts love – well our President. So much material I think comedic potential should be considered in voting for the President.

 

The Onion

Bush: Keep Abstinence In AIDS Plan

President Bush wants to keep a contested provision in his global AIDS package in which one-third of all prevention spending goes to abstinence…