Archives for Politics

Race, gender and the Presidency

It's been debated for more than a century. But when this historical presidential campaign comes to a close next week, will we know the answer to the following question with any degree of certainty: which more fervently permeates the fabric of American society, racism or sexism?

I think we will and I think the answer will be sexism. The 2008 campaign has demonstrated it is more politically correct to be sexist than racist. American culture tolerates sexism to a degree it would never tolerate racism.

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Sarah Palin sure is a lot of fun

Just when things seemed darkest for the journalism racket the news gods smiled -- only briefly, as it turned out -- and bestowed Sarah Palin upon us.

However the campaign turns out, we can't let her go back to Alaska. She's too much fun.

Just recently she was the cause of a great new contribution to our political vocabulary -- "gone rogue." As in a McCain campaign insider's observation that in Palin's increasing tendency to depart from the script prepared for her the vice presidential candidate "has gone rogue on us."

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Laughing all the way to the end

In the standard metaphor of the presidential election race, it is the candidates who are said to be running. My friends, to borrow John McCain's phrase because soon he will not be needing it, we are all runners.

Over and over, we have slogged up one side of a debate and down the other, we have pushed hard against unfavorable political headwinds, we have stopped for liquid refreshment (energy drinks, i.e., beer), we have laughed, we have cried and we have seen our brains turned into mush by ridiculous TV commercials and robo-calls.

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Obama took cash from Ayers: That’s bad

Barack Obama's critics appropriately have spotlighted his ties to William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, the remorseless co-founders and leaders of the terrorist Weather Underground. However, Obama's detractors largely overlook Ayers' campaign contribution to Obama.

On April 2, 2001, Ayers donated $200 to Obama's Illinois State Senate re-election campaign. Though not a jackpot, this represents Ayers' only recorded political contribution.

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Obama’s foreign policy: Still an unknown

When it comes to economics, we know our right from our left. Those on the right, trust markets more than governments. For those on the left -- it's the other way around.

Where international affairs are concerned, it gets more complicated. Even so, I was stunned by columnist Peggy Noonan's assertion that Barack Obama could "more easily go left in foreign relations for the precise reason no one knows what going left is, because no one knows what going right in foreign relations is, at least if 'right' means 'conservative.'"

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And now a word from an informed voter

My wife is the kind of person who volunteers every election season, knocking on doors to canvass for a candidate. I'm the kind of person who immediately shuts the door.

I don't do phone surveys, I hang up on callers both robo and real, and I never, ever, offer my hard-earned (or easily earned) money for some promises in a suit. Some, my wife among them, would argue that keeping my cash to myself can mean giving it up to the government later. And I'm willing to take that chance.

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Driving off the bridge to nowhere

Sen. Ted Stevens is an institution in Washington, D.C., and Alaska, where he moved before it was a state. He is legendary for the hundreds of millions of dollars he directs to his state, which leads the nation in its per capita share of federal funds and, say watchdog groups, pork per person. (Stevens was behind the notorious "bridge to nowhere.") He is a seven-term senator and the Senate's senior Republican.

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What if…Obama is not that good?

In some ways, he has seemed too good to be true, this spectacular Democratic star named Barack Obama, this honest, moderate, nonpartisan, interest-shorn, unifying candidate for president, this harbinger of change, this vessel of hope.

And the truth is he is not that good, that he has sometimes been a scheming, manipulative panderer, that he divides to conquer, that he scrapes and bows to special interests and that the change he offers is more collectivism, not fewer of the bad old Washington ways.

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