2008-11-05 10:20 in /politics/US
It’s been a year and a half since my last political post. I’m a little surprised that it’s been quite that long, but not entirely shocked. I spent nearly all of this election cycle somewhat withdrawn from the whole thing; feeling disenfranchised from years of being told that my dissent was unpatriotic, and being disgusted by the amount of ugly politics-as-usual that was going on. I wasn’t spellbound by Obama like so many of my friends and neighbors, but slowly gained respect for his thoughfulness, general positivity, sense of context, and willingness to confront real, serious issues that most politicians shirk from.
So, it wasn’t until yesterday that I really started to feel a nervous excitement that maybe we really would see a change this year. By 5PM, I was compulsively reloading web pages, and when the counts hit 200 electoral votes with only the east coast reporting I got that “OMG it’s really happening” feeling. Around 7, I headed down to the Green Dragon with a friend to watch on the TV there. I think I started vibrating at some point shortly before they called it.
The whole room was silent for Obama’s speech. I’m pretty sure most of us cried. I think over the last couple years I’d resigned myself to only being able to have an effect on my local community. His speech inspired me to again turn my efforts to a larger sphere. My community will still be my primary, day-to-day focus; but I’ll definitely be more engaged at the national level as well. What Obama said is true: this election doesn’t change anything by itself, it just gives us the opportunity to change. This is a difficult time for our country, and it’s going to take hard work by many people to solve these problems. But there’s a huge population of people like me that had all but given up and are now re-energized, and I think we can really make some improvements.
Closing thoughts... To Obama: live your rhetoric and remember that you now represent all Americans, not just your supporters. To McCain: you won back some of my respect with your concession speech; please let this be a return to your old, pre-election self. To supporters of both: be as gracious in victory and defeat as your candidates were last night. Talk and listen to people you don’t agree with, and realize that your goals are largely the same, even when your methods differ. Find the places where you can work together.
2006-10-03 23:20 in /politics/US
Okay, you anti-Bush protesters. Yeah, you there holding up signs in front of a theater that shows primarily liberal propoganda films, in the middle of one of the most liberal neighborhoods of one of the most liberal cities in the US. Who, exactly, are you trying to influence? Seriously, step back for a moment and ask yourself why you have chosen this place for your protest, and whether you really care more about change or about impressing your peer group.
2006-02-18 09:54 in /politics/US
News flash to the liberal press: Cheney’s hunting accident is just not what you ought to be trying to crucify him over. Seriously. There’s a hundred more important issues you could be spending your time and your ink on. This thing, though, it’s like the Republicans going after Clinton over blowjobs, only more pathetic.
2006-01-26 10:29 in /politics/US
2005-09-30 10:22 in /politics/US
The front page of today’s LA Times looks like this above the fold:
John Roberts Sworn In As Chief Justice
I wonder if it’s intentional commentary by the layout editor.
(In low-quality newsprint the photo looks a lot grimmer, by the way. You can’t tell that those are houses at all.)
2005-02-03 18:17 in /politics/US
The true motivations of the administration become clear when you compare how they are approaching Social Security vs. Medicare
By any rational estimation, Medicare is is far, far worse shape than Social Security. It is the real crisis. However, Bush isn’t saying a thing about it.
On the other hand, Social Security is in decent shape and could be fixed with a couple minor course corrections. But, Bush want to radically overhaul the system, piling a huge amount of debt on it and removing the whole “security” part.
Clearly, the goal is to completely dismantle both systems. Medicare will implode on its own in a little more than a decade, so there is no need to intervene there. Social Security is fully solvent for another 45 years and the long-term solutions are obvious, so action must be taken to subvert and drive it out of existence.
Social Security is the soft underbelly of the welfare state. If you can jab your spear through that, you can undermine the whole welfare state.
-- Stephen Moore, former president of the Club for Growth, in the New York Times