Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Conversation

I received an email yesterday from a coworker who raised the by now tiresome Bill Ayers issue with Barack Obama. I responded that McCain 'pals around' with a convicted felon, one G. Gordon Liddy.

My coworker sent the following back:

Point taken, however, having an association with a convicted felon is hardly the same as Bill Ayers. Ole Billy was not a would be, he is an unrepentant domestic terrorist, no different than the 911 attackers. I think you can even admit that. The facts are there to support that, and the pictures are there showing Barrack in Ayers living room launching his political campaign in 1995. The funny thing is the media never even jumped on him for lying about it during the last debate. It's funny how most democrats try to discredit fox news, but if not for them, and talk radio people, one might honesty believe Barrack can walk on water, and that beams of sun light come out of his ass. I know you are not God fearing but, have you read the book of revelations? It may be a scare tactic by some to cast doubt on Obama but I find it eerie how well it potentially describes Obama. I know you dislike McCain for fear of 4 more years of Bush. The GOP dropped the ball by letting a bafoon win the primary election, but I know somewhere inside of the twisted soul of yours you know that Obama is not good for this country. With McCain we can at least tread water for 4 years. Maybe you can shed some light on this for me. Hell you may even be able to sway my opinion. 95% of Americans will receive a tax break. Everyone making over $250,000 will pay that bill. Correct so far? Here is my theory; I see employers leaving this country to places with lower taxes and less regulation. The employers that remain here will simply raise prices on products and services to cover their tax increase. 5% of Americans are going to fund his 900 billion dollar budget increase, as well as fund the yearly budget, and they will also be paying enough taxes that 95% of Americans get a check in the mail. Do you think the Robin Hood tax system will work? My only point is this. People always want the next best thing, it is nature to believe the new one will be better. I think that is why people are taugh t the grass isn't always greener. I guess we will all get to see if that is the case. I hope the Bradley effect is in play and the pollsters are wrong, we shall see. Sorry my words may seem a little disoriented as I am typing and fighting with my 2 year old daughter at the same time. Peace.

And here was my reply to him.

Took me a moment to get through everything you dumped out on me yesterday, so apologies for the delay. I hope you won the fight with your daughter (although I'd give it to her on points in a TKO).

So, here goes:

1. Association with a convicted felon who is *also* quite unrepentant. Liddy has never apologized for his actions and has used his radio show (which McCain has appeared on, by the way) to tell his listeners the right way to kill Federal ATF agents.
You point is taken about Ayers being unrepentant, but I point out that he turned himself in to serve time and it was only because the evidence against him was tainted that he isn't still in prison.
Equating him with a bunch of religious fanatics seems a tad far-fetched, but I understand your desire for equivalency.

2. Fox's correspondents have admitted that the network openly supports the Republican Party and the GOP agenda, and anyone with access to the Internet or common sense can discredit some of their assertions.

3. I am far from a starry-eyed idealist or even wildly optimistic, and no politician - hell, no human - has or ever will have the sun shining out his ass. Ever watched the documentary "Jesus Camp?" Part of the video showed little kids being encouraged by their elders to venerate a life-sized picture of Bush as if it were a religious icon, and some members of the GOP base still believe that GWB was anointed by God.
Thank you for saying that I'm not "God-fearing." No Deity is worthy of my devotion if it requires its followers to live in fear of it.
Oh, and it's "Revelation." The full title of the book is "The Revelation of St. John the Divine;" no plurals. Find me any chapter or verse in "Revelation" that supports your contention.

4. Do not be ruled by fear.
Had McCain continued his tactics from 2000, when a fairly decent Senator allowed himself to be savaged in the primaries to the point that he repudiated 'the politics of personal destruction' and called Falwell and Robertson 'agents of intolerance,' I might have been persuaded to support him. I voted for McCain in the primaries, you'll remember - if only because he was the least moronic of the group on the ballot.
My soul may actually be sprained, not twisted, and while my foresight has been a touch erratic over the past few years I do not see where Obama will be any more of a danger to the nation than the medically shaky and temperamentally unsuitable McCain might be.
"Treading water" is not an option for the next four years. The stakes are far too high; we have a queasy economy (personal prediction - the bottom will be reached about the end of this year, and we'll start to climb out of the hole next year), two wars and our moral standing among the other nations is practically the same as a flaming sack of dog poo. If it does come to another Bretton Woods Conference, the US will play a role but it will be the G8, Russia, China and India that will have the whip hand. We are no longer in the position to dictate how the rest of the world will manage their economies, nor are we in the position to criticize others.

5. It's been written that "between the Idea and the Reality, falls the Shadow." I think TS Eliot wrote that.
I'd follow it up with a line from Clausewitz: "Plans never survive first contact with the enemy."
Obama can make what promises he will; politicians have been making promises to the people ever since the days of Athens and Sparta. And no, a Democratic majority in both houses will not necessarily be a help to him.
"Here is my theory; I see employers leaving this country to places with lower taxes and less regulation. The employers that remain here will simply raise prices on products and services to cover their tax increase."
That's entirely possible; in fact, plausible. That's why it's a plan and not carved in stone. Recall that the President doesn't - does not - control the nation's wallet. The House of Representatives does, and I should rather hope that the Congress will re-assert its Constitutional prerogatives in stead of rolling over and exposing their softest parts. As with everything, a compromise shall be reached. Does that sound realistic to you?
"Do you think the Robin Hood tax system will work?"
Heh, I like that. We've been operating under a Robin Hood tax system for oh, about 230 years now; we allow the government to take a percentage of our income in order to pay for certain things. Here's an interesting fun fact: Warren Buffet, one of the richest people on the planet, pays less in taxes than his secretary (who makes about as much as I do). Does that sound fair to you? It didn't to Warren Buffet.

6. Yes, we'll have to see, and there are a lot of people who throw out the Bradley Effect. Some pundits are clinging to it as if it were a lifeline or security blanket. I'm not certain that such will be the case this year. Change is a constant, and many people fear it. Machiavelli said that it was the hardest thing for a leader to do and for people to accept. I recently hit the next prime number (47), and I'm not so set in my ways that I can't imagine a President who isn't an old white guy. I can imagine a woman as President, and I can imagine an African-American as President.

And you're right; for good or bad, we'll see.


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