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Congratulations From a McCain Voter

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Although I voted for Senator John McCain, I’m delighted at Senator Obama’s victory, and look forward to his presidency. May he live long and prosper, and may Senator Biden be barely seen or heard from again.

I’ve been a supporter of Senator John McCain for quite some time. I hoped to be able to vote for him in 2000, and that early support carried me though 2008, when I cast my vote for the 2000 McCain rather than the 2008 McCain, hoping that he would revert to form after the election. But unlike many Republicans (I consider myself a right-leaning independent), I have never been scared of a President Obama. I’ve been attracted to him since I heard him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In fact, I understand the feeling of hope his supporters feel. I, too, have high hopes for President Obama and for the United States of America.

The next couple of years are likely to be unpleasant. There are many things that have brought us to this point of financial crisis, and much blame for members of both ruling parties, but no matter the past, the future will bring some very hard choices. There simply won't be enough money to do everything we want to do. My pet projects and your pet projects are both likely to face cutbacks. Let’s be realistic: when Republican President John McCain says that program such-and-such must be cut, the hue and cry is sadly predictable: “McCain hates children, women, the homeless, minorities, and everyone else.” When Democratic President Barack Obama says that program such-and-such must be cut, we know that he doesn’t hate children, women, the homeless, minorities, and everyone else, so maybe — just maybe — there really isn’t enough money!

Just as “only Nixon could go to China,” I believe that only Obama can cut spending. Whether he will remains to be seen, but since Republican President Bush and a Republican Congress presided over the largest increase in federal spending in quite a while, it’s difficult to see how President Obama and a Democratic Congress could do much worse.

I’m disappointed that several issues I care about are likely to go “the wrong way” during President Obama’s tenure, but more than that, I’m delighted to think that more of us can now tell our children “one day you could be President” without crossing our fingers behind our backs.

And maybe, just maybe, President Obama will be a better President than I expect him to be. Maybe he will rise to the occasion. Maybe campaigning across America for the last two years has helped him to understand the American people better than he did before. Maybe the financial crisis will temper his desire for new spending. Maybe he will moderate his views on abortion. Maybe we will see a bit more of Obama the campaigner, and a bit less of Obama the partisan ideologue. I hope so!

Even if he doesn’t, if he turns out to be more like President Carter than President Clinton, he will still herald a new day in American politics as America’s first black President. The first sixteen U.S. Presidents could have owned Barack Obama, his wife, and his children as slaves, but now he will serve as the 44th President of the United States of America.

A process that began with the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, takes a giant step forward with a new Democratic President, Barack Obama. Today I am proud of my country.

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About pwinn

  • John

    Cut it out. With comments like that, we might actually find common ground and get some things fixed around here.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Don’t worry, John. That’s still doubtful.

    Actually, I suspect that a lot depends on the makeup of Obama’s cabinet. I hope he takes a cue from the former unexpected President from Illinois, Lincoln, and picks some Republicans for his cabinet. That would help a lot.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I will actually make a point not to find common ground with Phillip.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    If I find myself sharing common ground with Matthew T. Sussman, I will change my views quickly. ;-)

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Amen

  • REMF(MCH)

    I also wanted to vote for John McCain in 2000, but didn’t get the opportunity after his patriotism was slimed by GW Bush and Karl Rove in the South Carolina GOP primary.

    My choice this election was for Barack Obama, mainly because of his opposition to the invasion/occupation of Iraq, and his promise to bring our courageous troops home.

    McCain was always a hero of mine, although I did lose some respect when he agreed with Bush/Cheney to continue our torture of POWs.

  • http://www.parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Nice piece, Phillip. Now if only the Sean Hannity’s of the world will demonstrate the same graciousness and willingness to give ol’ Jug Ears a chance, we might must drag this country out of the mess that’s been made by donkeys & elephants alike.

    My hat’s off to you sir.

    Curmudgeon-At-Large
    In Jameson Veritas

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Here here, Mark. I second that emotion.

  • Lee Richards

    The generous, controlled and statesman-like McCain who made last night’s concession speech is the McCain many have admired during his career, and might well have had a much better chance of being elected than the attack-minded, fear-mongering McCain of the campaign.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Sadly, that’s the McCain whose campaign was torpedoed in South Carolina in 2000. That McCain, the real McCain, would never have made it through the primary process.

  • Clavos

    That McCain, the real McCain, would never have made it through the primary process.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Dusty Somers

    Great piece Phillip. This is exactly the mindset McCain voters, conservatives and all Americans should have at this moment.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Actually, I suspect that a lot depends on the makeup of Obama’s cabinet.

    Right now it looks like Obama is going to take Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. Since Emanuel is one of the most partisan, most anti-Republican figures in the Democratic party the chance of any Republicans getting into the Obama administration with him involved is about nil. Maybe Colin Powell has a shot, but that’s it.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Dave, give it a little time. There’s no question that Obama will — and should — choose primarily partisan Democrats for his staff and cabinet. I would expect nothing else. Further, I suspect that any Republicans he might choose would likely be Republicans In Name Only (RINO) like Lincoln Chafee.

    Still, even that would be something. I am certain that McCain would have chosen at least one Democrat to be on his staff or cabinet, and that Democrats would complain that Lieberman isn’t really a Democrat anyway, but it still would be something, a signal.

    Give the President-Elect a good 24 hours before you pronounce judgement. He may yet surprise us all.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Hell, I would have been complaining if McCain or Obama picked Lieberman. The man ought to be stuck in a corner of the Senate with a dunce cap on his head for the rest of eternity.

    I did hear an amusing story from a Democrat poll worker that Lieberman created his own party in Connecticut, and there’s apparently a guy who plans to run against him in the next primary in the Joe Lieberman Party, presumably on the basis that he can be a better Joe Lieberman than the original.

    Anyway, I’m sure Obama has lots of surprises in store for us. Some may even be pleasant. But the selection of Emanuel doesn’t inspire me with confidence.

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    Next up, the most narcissistic man in politics, Joe the Lieberman!

    ***
    #10: So, losing a general election by being someone you’re not is better somehow than losing a primary by being yourself?

    ‘To thine ownself be true’ is not outdated advice.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Lee (#16), obviously losing is losing, but McCain was projected to win in September, and he wouldn’t have made it nearly that far had he not done a little pandering.

    Had Obama not changed between 2004 and 2008, he wouldn’t be President-Elect today. I’ve previously written a bit about the pandering he’s done this election cycle. The open question is whether he’ll revert to form, which I think would be unfortunate but probable, or whether he’ll carry on in his new 2008 mode.

    “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst then be false to any man.”

    Nobody can win an election in modern politics while keeping that advice. Nobody.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Does the fact that the 2000 version of McCain apparently couldn’t have made it through the primary process imply that process is messed up?

  • Clavos

    ‘To thine ownself be true’ is not outdated advice.

    Hmm.

    This and other commonly quoted aphorisms came from the mouth of Polonius in Hamlet. Shakespeare, scholars note, created Polonius (and his speeches) to burlesque and satirize the pompous fools of his (Shakespeare’s) day. Thus, we see that Polonius’ utterances are, by intent, lampoons and mockeries of those who speak in cliches:

    Amidst this advice are phrases which have passed into common usage: “neither a borrower nor a lender be” and “to thine own self be true.” They’ve probably become so widespread because they’re easy to remember, well phrased and express simple ideas which many people agree with. And quoting Shakespeare always has a weight of authority behind it which is far more impressive than simply saying “I wouldn’t take out that loan if I was you.” Unfortunately, in quoting these phrases people aren’t quoting Shakespeare himself, they’re quoting one of his characters. And Polonius is not exactly an exemplary character. He’s dull, pedantic, wields no real power at court and manages to get himself killed by hiding in the Queen’s bedroom. Polonius is hardly a character one can admire, or even particularly respect in Hamlet. In this case, the homespun wisdom which people have borrowed from Shakespeare was actually being used by the playwright to mock old fools who ladle out homespun wisdom.

    McCain would hardly be considered to be a modern-day Polonius; not even by his worst detractors.

  • bliffle

    Good point on Polonius, Clavos.

  • Zedd

    That McCain, the real McCain, would never have made it through the primary process.

    So true. However I liked that guy.

  • Zedd

    Chris re:#18

    No. Just that the party is messed up.

  • Cindy D

    RE #19

    Great info Clav. I didn’t know that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Zedd (#22), I agree completely. The party *is* messed up.

    Reagan famously said, after switching from the Democratic to the Republican party, “I did not leave the Democratic party. The Democratic party left me.” That’s how I feel about the Republicans. In my opinion, they’ve gone from being the party of better ideas to the party of ignorance and reaction.

    The party that was founded to end slavery and fought for the Civil Rights Act is now the party fighting to keep brown people out of the country. They’ve used Roe v Wade as a fundraising plea while doing little to actually reduce abortion. They’ve overspent and run up the deficit, not even counting military spending.

    All of the things that drew me to the Republican party have been abandoned by that party. Unfortunately, I find no home with the Democrats, either.

    Sigh.

  • Clavos

    Phillip,

    Been there, doing that.

    Got the tee shirt, too…

  • http://www.thepolitikos.com Heloise

    Phillip Winn, you sure can pick em heh? Sorry, I don’t feel your pain. Because I not vote for losers!

    However, with Bush’s record saying that aloud makes it an oxymoron!

    Clavos LOL.

    Well, you guys are like 3-time losers? I voted for Bush in the primaries back when because I was in Texas. Then I voted for him twice, but never had a bumper sticker to voice it. And that makes me 100% for voting for presidents who won!

    And I guess I’ve been voting since Carter, don’t recall if I voted for Nixon, may have been too young. But I did see and vote for Carter and he won. Carter was not a good president but he was president…hello.

    Heloise

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Heloise, I’m not sure I see what you’re getting at. Are you under the false impression that I’ve never voted for a winning candidate? Are you under the false impression that matters?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m with Clavos and Philip. We just need to start an “Original Values Republican Party” or something like that and quietly replace the current one. And let’s take a Bull Moose as the symbol.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave old boy,

    That’s been done before mate, hasn’t it … 1912, when the Republican vote was split between Taft and Theodore Roosevelt (“Progressive Party”). Which as you pointed out to me last weekend, opened the way for Wilson to sneak in with 42 per cent of the overall vote. (I agree BTW with your opinion of Wilson.)

    I can give you nother warning on that one drawing from lessons in this country.

    In the 1950s, the Australian Labor Party split. A faction of the Right of the party that was morally very conservative (largely Catholic) and vehemently anti-communist whilst being very vocally supportive of workers’ rights, trade unionism, etc, broke away and became the Democratic Labor Party.

    It ultimately caused all kinds of drams and it split the Labor vote for two decades.

    This is the danger in what you suggest.

    Best for cool heads to take charge in the Republican Party, take note of the desire among average Americans for genuine change – as is obvious from the vote – and act accordingly.

    Otherwise, unless Obama buggers things up really badly, they’ll be in the wilderness for some time to come looking at the count from Tuesday.

    Interesting times, though, you have to say. Loved the spectacle of it all unfolding live on TV Down Under – and the result :)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    That’s been done before mate, hasn’t it … 1912, when the Republican vote was split between Taft and Theodore Roosevelt (“Progressive Party”). Which as you pointed out to me last weekend, opened the way for Wilson to sneak in with 42 per cent of the overall vote. (I agree BTW with your opinion of Wilson.)

    Yes, but check the numbers on the 1912 election sometime. Taft almost wasn’t a factor at all. If Roosevelt had built a party structure and kept the effort going his party would have eventually eclipsed the Republican Party.

    The two party system in America has failed us too many times. It needs to change. More parties means more consensus building and compromise and more diversity in the political process. The two parties as they now exist just don’t represent the interests of enough of the people. that has to change.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave: “The two party system in America has failed us too many times. It needs to change. More parties means more consensus building and compromise and more diversity in the political process”.

    I agree with you. We are lucky here in that what are often called the “minor parties” will win seats in the Senate and the State upper houses, and thus hold the balance of power.

    Their power is growing: the Australian Democratys began the process, and now The Greens continue it under the current Labor government.

    It has fostered a “keep the bastards honest” kind of approach to politics in Australia, referring of course to the two major parties.

    I don’t know, however, whether under the US electoral process, which is slightly different to ours, that would work.

    It’s unlikely that the two major parties would want to relinquish any of their power by agreeing to legislation and a slight change of the rules that would allow such a thing to happen.

    I guess that’s the problem you’re up against.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Exactly. The role of those viable minor parties in taking a few seats here and there is to keep the system dynamic. If a major party ever slips up, the minor parties are there to expand into the power vacuum. That keeps everyone on their toes and working to fulfill their responsibilities. With the two party system we have in the US there’s none of that dynamic, just complacency and corruption.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Nobody says you have to belong to any party. Why let a ‘party’ do your thinking for you?

    Vote the issues and the quality of the candidates.

    If you’re a joiner, you can join both parties. They have their meetings on different nights of the week.

  • Zedd

    Biffle,

    Thank you!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle, if you want to have more of an influence than just your single vote it helps to work together with others of common interests. That’s where political parties come from. And joining a party that is antithetical to those interests just because it exists makes very little sense.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    That said, Dave, it’s difficult to imagine the confluence of events it would take to propel a new party into national prominence. Better by far would be a concerted effort by people to influence an existing party.

    So an effort to remind the Republican party of their roots, perhaps selectively, seems like the course with the most likely positive outcome, and even then it’s an uphill struggle.

    Hmm, I may contemplate this for a while and write an article on “My Republican Party.”

  • zingzing

    dave, at this point, which do you disagree with more? the dem’s fiscal platform or the republican social conservatism? you seem to be socially quite liberal.

    obviously, you despise the dem’s fiscal ideas so much that social conservatism is a necessary evil you can live with. but which, especially when we are facing this economic meltdown, do you think would be easier to change?

    and why does the fact that the national debt has skyrocketed under republican rule not bother you?

    the election results obviously show that social conservatism is not acceptable by a large amount of the (voting) public… but it also shows that the dem’s views on the economy (stupidly or not) ring more true with that same public.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Philip, I’m thinking in terms of reforming the GOP, but I don’t see how reforms can be implemented without overthrowing and possibly removing certain elements of the party as it now exists.

    dave, at this point, which do you disagree with more? the dem’s fiscal platform or the republican social conservatism? you seem to be socially quite liberal.

    I disagree with about 80% of each. The deciding factor is that the left has a social agenda too, and it includes some repressive measures which I find unacceptable.

    obviously, you despise the dem’s fiscal ideas so much that social conservatism is a necessary evil you can live with. but which, especially when we are facing this economic meltdown, do you think would be easier to change?

    Well obviously the fiscal excesses are harder to fight, because they’ve infested both political parties. They also have to be the paramount concern because they are doing more direct harm to more people.

    and why does the fact that the national debt has skyrocketed under republican rule not bother you?

    Of course it bothers me. When Republicans act like democrats it’s even worse than when democrats do.

    the election results obviously show that social conservatism is not acceptable by a large amount of the (voting) public… but it also shows that the dem’s views on the economy (stupidly or not) ring more true with that same public.

    Did you miss my recent article on this? This election was a victory for social conservatism, and Obama’s followers were part of that wave. You may not realize it yet, but socially liberal democrats are an endangered species within their own party.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Social conservative in the Democratic party are different than those folks in the Republican party.

    I do agree though that the social conservatives in the Democratic party probably out number the soc liberals (among people over 30). It’s the minority and immigrant factor perhaps. However, social issues were not addressed in this election. Bush and dumbness fatigue made everyone work together to get the Reps out.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I for one look forward to Barack fulfilling his campaign promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry and purposely cause electricity prices to “skyrocket.” Then the planet will start to heal.

    Change we can believe in!

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Poor Al, do you believe every rumour you hear, or just the ones you like?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Al also said that Indiana wouldn’t go Democrat, so he’s a little behind the times

  • Clavos

    Poor Al, do you believe every rumour you hear…

    If it’s a rumor, it started with this guy.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    NEW Coal plants….
    Let’s work on getting the ones we have to generate cleaner coal… how bout it.

  • bliffle

    Sorry. Clean coal doesn’t exist.

    “#44 — Lisa Solod Warren

    NEW Coal plants….
    Let’s work on getting the ones we have to generate cleaner coal… how bout it.”

    All coal is dirty, all that changes is how much money and other valuables you spend cleaning it up after burning.

    There is not one ‘clean coal’ pilot plant operating anyplace in the world.

    In Germany they are trying to build a pilot plant that consists of burning coal in a closed hyper-oxygen atmosphere then piping the resulting CO2 cross country and pumping it a mile or two below the surface to (hopefully) be sequestered underground. Hopefully. Because if it migrates to the surface it will asphixiate people. Oops.

    That’s why nobody is trying t in the USA: liability. Seems like some malcontents might take offense if, say, their children suffocate from leaking CO2.

    “Clean coal” seems to just be a slogan to deflect attention away from real clean energy projects. It’s a PR project. It works to that purpose because “Clean Coal” gets much more federal and state taxpayer subsidy than the other systems, even the ones that have working pilot plants and even working production plants.

    But don’t take my word for it. Why would you believe some stranger with a madeup name? You have the power of Google and the internet at your fingertips. You are liberated. You don’t have to take anyones word for it. You can research any topic to your hearts content.

    What wonderful liberation the internet is! twenty years ago I was researching a modest project to convert slash from forestry into fuel alcohol. I had to drive miles to various universities, get permissions for their libraries, track down sources, contact researchers who had documents checked out, talk to profs and researchers for leads, send out letters, etc. Slow and time-consuming. And frustrating.

  • Clavos

    All coal is dirty, all that changes is how much money and other valuables you spend cleaning it up after burning.

    Quoted for Truth.

    And true of ALL fossil (carbon based) fuels.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Well I would personally just as soon we switched to other energy sources myself… as soon as we can.

    I suspect you are right, Bliffle… Too tired to to do my own research right now, but I will.

    I am not anxious for anyone to lose their jobs, Clav; goodness know there are enough people out of work right now, including my husband. But we simply have to start generation new and cleaner sources of energy other than fossil fuels; it’s way past time. I am afraid now that gas prices are so low again people will get lazy once more, and that is not a good thing.

    I probabably spoke out of turn because I did read they were working on trying to generate clean coal firing plants, yes, Bliffle in Germany. But I don’t have a lot of information.

  • bliffle

    Pardon me if I beat up “clean coal” one more time by giving my take on the politics of all this.

    IMO the coal companies are using the phantom of Clean Coal to hold out false promise of having something in 10 years or so just to forestall progress in other technologies and to deprive them of favorable government support. It works. CC gets about ten times as much direct government financial support as, for example, solar power.

    Other technologies are, of course, a vital threat to coal.

    So the coal companies (and their representatives in congress) promote the idea of supporting “all” the alternate technologies, as if there should be a horse race to decide which is best. Sounds good, but it’s not. It hobbles coals competitors and defers the day of judgement. It results in coal robbing other fuels of attention and money.

    But why would you believe anything I say about coal? You know nothing about me. I might have some devilish interest in pursuading you, that you have no knowledge of.

    You have every opportunity to research and judge for yourself, what with the internet, and the Google.

    We have no excuse for accepting other peoples judgements. The world has been transformed. The opportunity of the internet has been transformed into a requirement of citizenship.

    To understand and evaluate the information requires a little formal education, certainly in reading and writing, but also at least a high school grasp of sciences, math, biology, physics, etc.

    These are now become requirements of good citizenship.

  • http://www.lincenergy.us/ eddisionklein

    Hi buddies,
    This is about politics.
    thanks,

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Whether there is ‘clean’ coal or not, there’s no excuse for not capitalizing on all the energy resources which can be made available. The need for energy outweighs the more unreasonable demands of the environmentalists and it also puts an imperative on additional development of alternative energy sources.

    The truth is that as we develop other sources of energy coal will need to continue to be used for a very long time to come. There’s no real choice right now. It’s not like Bliffle’s giant solar generator is going to magically appear in the desert and solve all our problems overnight.

    Dave

  • Ms. Know

    I pray that this country is fine under the left-wing illuminati leadership. I disagree with spreading the wealth, and I hope the elitist change their minds on that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Ms. Know, perhaps you’re a genuinely negative person who goes from expecting the worst of left-wing socialism from Democratic Presidents to expecting the worst of right-wing fascism from Republican Presidents. If so, I have a certain amount of respect for that consistency.

    That said, I’m intrigued by your statement “I disagree with spreading the wealth.” Surely you can’t mean that, since the spreading of wealth is the very basis of capitalism, the engine that drives our economy.

    Presumably by “spreading the wealth” you *mean* “the government spreading the wealth through confiscatory taxes on wealthier taxpayers and grants to lower-income taxpayers,” right? I have to be specific, because otherwise the definition fits so much of current policy.

    We spread the wealth by spending federal dollars without any consideration for which state they came from, so that wealth from states like Colorado, Wisconsin, and Texas is spread to areas like South Dakota, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia. Does this bother you?

    What about agricultural subsidies? There we’re taking tax dollars and giving them to a very specific subset of people, including some wealthy corporate farming companies as well as family farmers.

    How about alternative energy research subsidies? We’re spreading the wealth there just to certain companies engaged in certain activities.

    What about school financies? Most states use property taxes, and there’s “spreading the wealth” there, too.

    I doubt I’ll change the mind of anyone referring to the “illuminati,” but for any one, let’s wait and see what happens, m’kay? Look beyond the buzzwords and examine the results themselves!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Ms Know has proved herself incapable of saying anything at all without including the word ‘illuminati’ in it somewhere. Which is surprising, because she’s been quite imaginative when it comes to changing her screen name multiple times.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Which is why Ms. Know, who went around spreading herself all over Politics today, in a line or two using that word, doesn’t really “know” much at all…..

  • bliffle

    Ms. Don’t Know apparently doesn’t even know what ‘illuminati’ means. Many people might take it as a compliment.

  • Clavos

    “Ms” Know is actually a 250 Lb. beer truck driver with an Ivy League degree in Philosophy, who inhaled too much coke during his youth…