Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Presidential “Debates,” Round 1

Well, one thing about U.S. politics, they can be entertaining.  When you have this many candidates, these “multi-candidate appearances” cannot be real debates, but they are chances for the lesser known candidates to make themselves known. Last week 8 Democrats squared off against each other. Tonight, 10 Republicans did the same.  I was critical of the Democrats–it is a very imperfect party. But tonight I had reason to be certain that almost any Democrat would be better in the White House than the GOP.  We are billions in debt, we are borrowing constantly from China who is single-handedly keeping our currency afloat, and we are bleeding both people and money in Iraq–and every single one of those fools on the GOP stage tonight wanted to cut more taxes, especially on the rich. Did they all flunk economics or what?

It was sheer fantasy land.  And not pleasant fantasy either.  However, what was very entertaining was to see the GOP guys try to kiss up to their base by being pro-Iraq war while simultaneously trying to appeal to independents by being against the Iraq war.  They know this war is incredibly unpopular and that no one can win the general election by supporting Bush on it. But they also know that anyone who truly breaks with Bush will lose the Party support and the support of that 20% or so hardcore base for the GOP. So, the two-step. Very funny–or it would be if so many weren’t dying because of it.

I haven’t picked a candidate, yet, but I know it won’t be one of those on stage tonight.  Instead of “tax and spend liberals,” the current GOP is “don’t tax and spend anyway” reactionaries–and spend all that one is borrowing on military buildup, prisons, walls for the borders and other fascist moves.  Scary.

May 3, 2007 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. The debate reaffirmed one thing for me tonight…

    John McCain scares the bejesus out of me.

    My Politico question to Tancredo would have been…just how much do you hate hispanics? At least that’s the feeling I get when I hear him speak about the borders.

    The Mormon had me when he used the phrase “separation of church and state.” I bet he’s in the Religious Right doghouse now….

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | May 3, 2007

  2. For really scary, try googling “Giuliani,” “police brutality,” and “racism.” It sort of calls into question his credentials as a “progressive” Republican.

    Comment by haitianministries | May 4, 2007

  3. Not being a GOPer anymore it would take a lot to vote GOP, but this lot leaves much to be desired. McCain is probably the best of the lot and he’s just plain too old. If you put him up against Obama the contrast between youth and age will be over whelming. And Romney, as others have pointed out, will just about say anything to get elected.

    On the Dem. side, I’m just worried that Hillary is not the right candidate for this time. She has name recognition, but way too much baggage, including Bill!

    Comment by Bob Cornwall | May 4, 2007

  4. Bob, I saw a news feature a week or two back on “Bush Fatigue” and why Jeb wasn’t running for president in 2008. Given that either a Clinton or a Bush has been on the presidential ticket (or considered for it) in every election since 1980, I’d say that “dynasty fatigue” is definitely part of the baggage that Hillary carries. While not insignificant, that’s a minor issue compared to her stand on many of the crucial issues.

    Comment by haitianministries | May 5, 2007

  5. Do you think anyone in the Republican party is concerned that they keep running rich old white guys who try to channel Reagan? Setting aside morality issues, from a purely self-interested marketing point of view, wouldn’t they want to at least give the appearance of being diverse?

    Comment by Dan Trabue | May 7, 2007

  6. That was one of my questions, Dan. On the Dem side there is a woman, an African-American, a Latino, and at least SOME range of diversity on issues and perspectives. But the GOP–every candidate looked the same, wore the same suit, echoed the same lines. If those lines weren’t so scary, it would have been completely boring.

    Daniel, I also think that dynasty fatique could prove a problem for Hillary. It is offset by her being a female candidate (so not looking completely like more of the same), but her policies are so out of touch with the Party Base that this could be a real problem. I think that both Hillary and Obama feel they have to “talk tougher” than John Edwards or Bill Richardson (much less a Kucinich) so that they don’t get tagged with stereotypes: See, we knew a woman couldn’t be tough on defense, or see, we knew a black man would throw money at welfare cheats or see, we knew a guy whose father was Muslim wouldn’t be pro-Israel enough, etc.
    But this tends to be self-defeating. What is the point of breaking new ground on race or gender representation, if that means we are stuck in old patterns of ideology?

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 7, 2007

  7. I was reading someone pointing out today that, if Hillary wins, that would mean that two families have held the Whitehouse for six terms – 24 years.

    Comment by Dan Trabue | May 7, 2007

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