We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Many Republicans are outraged that the major media has not delved into Barack Obama’s track-record of ties to radicals and crooks and of baldly denying his own priorwords and actions, or ignoring Joe Biden’s gaffes, especially while devoting major resources and space to – often exaggerating – any deemed peccadillo by John McCain and Sarah Palin.
While this is entirely legitimate ire, it is also so that almost all who are concerned about the deceptive self-presentation by Obama and Biden are aware of it.What is lacking is the major media imprimatur on their duplicity that provides it with greater impact upon the choice for president.
However, as the election nears, the possibility has risen of Barack Obama being electedwhich stimulates some in the major media to reflect more on his background and programs.This increased attention, while likely being far from what is needed, will still reduce his margin.
But, what is far more pressing on most voters’ minds is naturally the economy.It will do McCain little additional good to harp on Obama’s associates.Surrogates can handle that.
The economy should be stressed.It provides little reassurance to honestly say we’re in uncharted territory.Most of the public expects government action.More reflection or restraint is not accepted, because of expectations developed by decades of government promises and interventions, no matter how hollow or unproductive, and by validation from both political parties that government still has ready remedies that will avoid pain.
The initial wave of such remedies came in the form of relieving improvident financial houses and home buyers of their risky debts.Very few react to the intangible huge numbers added to the federal debt or worry about how it is to be paid off.Although most of the public is unhappy this is a bail-out of gamblers, we’ve had generations of growing prudence-numbing federal debt that hasn’t yet exploded in individuals’ face, so the reaction is muted.The experts reassure us this is necessary, and are optimistic it will work, with caveats of eventually or maybe by the more honest.
The latest wave is promises to relieve individuals of some of the impacts of the depressed stock market and of the recession’s impact on income. McCain offers salve to savers and taxpayers, while Obama offers huge increased federal spending on favored constituencies funded by redistribution from those (still) affluent – that even if confiscatory wouldn’t be enough -- to everybody else.
While McCain’s promises are more likely to encourage quicker confidence among those who actually prime the pump of consumer spending and investments in jobs and growth, Obama’s promises are more attractive, especially to the almost 50% who don’t pay income taxes anyway.
Again, the role of the major media is seen, as panicked front-page stories overwhelm careful economic analysis.But, there is still enough more careful analysis available in the business pages and other sources of financial information to provide more balance than evident in reporting about Obama-Biden’s duplicitous presentations of their records. There is, also, more direct involvement in personal economics by individuals than there is in foreign policy or machine politics.
…there are no signs that the crisis has eroded people’s fundamental confidence in either their own personal financial outlook or the nation’s. As in July, a solid majority of Americans (54%) says the economy is in a recession, and the percentage saying the nation is in depression has not grown significantly (22%). Compared with this summer, more Americans think that economic conditions will improve next year (46% vs. 30%)….
As Americans’ fundamental optimism remains unabated by the financial crisis, basic views about the role of government have shown only modest changes. The public continues to be divided about the efficacy of government regulation of business. Currently, 50% believe such regulation is necessary to protect the public interest, while 38% think government regulation of business does more harm than good. The balance of opinion is largely unchanged since December 2004 (49% vs. 41%)….
Overall views of government are more negative they have been since the late 1990s. Nearly six-in-ten (57%) say that “government is almost always inefficient and wasteful” – up 10 points since December 2004. And somewhat fewer Americans say “the government should do more to help needy Americans even if it means going deeper into debt” than did so in 2004 (51% now, 57% then).
However, this realism is not reflected in the respondents’ view of the candidates.
Voters continue to express more confidence in Obama than in McCain to handle the financial crisis; 47% say Obama could best address the current problems while 33% choose McCain. Voters are especially critical of McCain’s performance in explaining how he would handle the crisis. Just 29% say he has done an excellent or good job in his approach to the crisis while 67% say he has done only a fair or poor job. Obama’s ratings for explaining how he would handle the crisis are much better than McCain’s. Still, fewer than half (48%) say Obama has done an excellent or good job in this regard, while about as many (47%) say he has done only fair or poor.
The seeming simplicity of Obama’s miracle of the loaves, someone else’s chicken in everyone’s pot promises are more easily swallowed than the details of McCain’s more considered and effective programs.
It was not until the success of the surge in Iraq seeped into the front-pages that popular credence was given to McCain’s simple statement that his approach worked and Obama’s retreat would not have and been disastrous.But that was the last crisis.
The economy is now.McCain’s decline in the polls is mostly due to the fears furthering appeals – regardless of how vapid – for “change.”Only his ability to as simply state the stark difference in his and Obama’s approach to the economy and its effects will break through to those semi-knowledgeable and responsive to facts.
Not to be a conspiracy nut or anything, but I sure would like to know about George Soros' market activity over the past few months. For openers, the degree to which Mr MoveOn.org was "short" and in which securities. This would include other left connected/left sympathizing/left connected entities including hedge funds, foreign banks and left leaning, anti-American foreign governments.
Will we eventually learn that this was a well coordinated "bear raid" mounted on the U S financial system? For example, who or what combination of market operators gave the well concealed final push which sank Bear Stearns? Merrill Lynch? Lehman Brothers? Fannie/Freddie?
The snowballing financial crisis at just the critical time in this election is almost too good to be true for Democrats, and when things sound too good to be true, I begin to wonder: "Is anyone that lucky?"