Tag Archives: election

JFK to Rick Warren

I have few memories of JFK before those surrounding his death. The doings of presidents meant little to a twelve year old back in 1963. But I remember exactly where I was the moment I heard that he had been shot. And I bet that most of you do, too. That’s a connection we will always share.

From then on he became “our president”. Who knows if he would have had a successful administration. Maybe — maybe not. What we do know is that he became a symbol for a new generation. And that symbol was immortalized in the words “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

When did we turn our backs on that sentiment? When did we decide that we have to go on the offensive every time something doesn’t go our way? When did it become about me instead of about us? Or am I being naive and its always been that way?

I know that Rick Warren was a poor choice for the inaugeration. But let’s face it, Barrack Obama has repeatedly said that it is his belief that we can disagree about certain issues but still find some common ground to work together. We are not going to like all of his choices — and neither is anyone else. Wouldn’t it be better to give him a chance to at least get sworn in before we judge what kind of a president he is?

Besides, if you think about it for a minute, which religious leader could have been chosen for the invocation that would have met with eveyone’s approval? Ah…maybe that should be the focus of some of this dispute.  There shouldn’t be an invocation during the inaugeration. No matter who does it — no matter what they say — a large number of American citizens will be offended and feel as if their beliefs are not being honored. That’s the whole point of separation of church and state.

I think we’re a little scared. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe that it was our turn to take our equal place in society. We got bruised pretty badly in November. Now, we’re wondering if Obama said all the things we wanted to hear so that we would help get him elected.

Personally…..I’m still hopeful. I’m still excited about the inaugeration. If Rick Warren starts spouting religious hogwash, there’s always the volume control button on my remote.

This is going to be my president — I’ve waited a long eight years for him to get here.

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Good Bye, Sarah

There has been a lot of scary speculation about Sarah Palin running for president in four years. Even in a world as screwy as this one, I simply can not take that seriously. I don’t even think the folks in Alaska are going to be cutting her a paycheck for that long.

So, as we bid farewell to the former First Lady of Wasilla, we thought you might like one more look at a few of those special moments.

Are some just a wee bit tacky? You betcha!

Enjoy!

Margaret and Helen  (maybe my favorite blog)

Palin and the President of France

Hockey Mom for Obama

Palin’s Greatest Campaign Moments

Sarah Palin vs. Tina Fey

The Governor Had No Clothes?

There’s been lots of media coverage about the $150,000 clothing spending spree that the GOP sent Sarah Palin and her family on — a big chunk of it being at that favorite of working class Americans, Neiman Marcus. I, for one, think they probably got their money’s worth. She looks pretty good in that red leather jacket and those boots. But, hey, I’m way past making up my mind about her qualifications for office, so I can focus on details like that.

 

If there truly are still folks out there that are undecided, I would hope that they would look past the leather and those glasses everyone has made such a big deal about.  For instance, recently, when asked about her role as VP, she said that the Vice President is in charge of the Senate and that she was looking — excuse me, “lookin’” — forward to when she “can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes”.

 

I’m betting there were 100 senators, both sides of the aisle, whose ears perked up over that one!

 

But, I want to be fair. It’s been on my to-do list to try and get around to reading those hundreds and hundreds of signing statements that Bush has issued in the past eight years — you know, those waivers he uses to do whatever he wants. Not to mention the various precedents that Cheney has tried to put in place by ignoring subpoenas and disregarding requests and summons by the other two branches of our government.

 

So, who knows?

 

Maybe Sarah is right — maybe the Vice President is in charge of the Senate at this point….

 

Flip Side of the Race Card

There’s a question starting to make the rounds. It’s rearing its little head in blogs and forums, letters to editors in print publications — maybe even on the air. I wouldn’t know about the latter because I never listen to talk radio, and if it doesn’t make it into a plot line on The Ghost Whisperer or Bones, I’m unlikely to see it on TV.

It’s the flip side of the race card.

What is the difference, they ask, between not voting for someone because he is black or voting for him because he is black?

Actually, it’s a very good question. African Americans, in every state, are being registered by the thousands. Yes, as a demographic, they historically vote as Democrats. But no one doubts why an overwhelming percentage is expected to vote for Barack Obama.

Would it not be the same for our community? If we had a gay candidate in the race for the presidency, would we really care about their foreign policy experience? Or whether they could pronounce the names of all the generals running the various wars we have going? Of course not. We would vote for one of our own.

So, why is that okay but it not be okay for someone to vote against someone that they don’t feel is one of their own? Why is one condemned as racist if not the other?

I’m just asking. Somehow, I don’t think the answer to this one can be found on this particular playing field. Besides, I was ruined for these kinds of questions years ago. Back in my first year of college when I had to read a book titled Situation Ethics by Joseph Fletcher. I’ve not been able to think in terms of absolutes since.

But, maybe an answer is something most of us believe but oftentimes lose sight of — focusing on those things that we are for rather than those we are against. Voting for a candidate instead of against one. Looking for the common ground where we can agree and work to build a future that benefits us all — not, as will happen the day after this election, mobilize to undermine whatever the “other side” supports.

In my dreams? Yeah, I know.

I do try not to be cynical but with the state of politics and government….it’s hard. But Barack Obama makes me almost believe that he can make a difference. This time it’s more than simply the choice of the lesser of evils. Something about him makes me believe almost enough that, even if he was running against one of “us”, I just might still vote for him….

Unless, of course, it was Ellen. Or Lily. Or Nathan! Nathan Lane, President of the United States of America — what a world that would be!

Cats, vegetables and yellow Volkswagons

This morning I woke up to my elderly cat screaming at me to get up and dish out the cat food for her and the two other less vocal ones. Uh oh! I was supposed to buy cat food yesterday. What to do? I rummaged through the pantry and found a can of dog food. Since it was from Halo, the company that Ellen DeGeneres is promoting, I figured it couldn’t be all that bad.

They seemed to love it, so I left them to it and puttered off to do something else. When I returned, they had each cleaned their plates — of everything but the vegetables. How interesting. It would have been much easier to have eaten it all, but they were obviously interested in only what they liked.

Reminded me of yellow Volkswagons. You know, how you never see them until, for some reason, they are brought to your attention, and then you see them everywhere? Not only that, but pretty soon, they are all you see?

And that reminded me of the Biden/Palin debate. Or, rather the aftermath. It was so clear to everyone who had won. To the Democrats, it was clear that Joe Biden had won. And to the Republicans, it was obvious that Sarah Palin had won. Everyone heard exactly what they wanted to hear and turned a deaf ear to the rest.

Have we always done that? If not, when did we stop listening to each other? When did “we” start watching CNN and “they” tune in only Fox? How did pundit become a career? 

If we only listen to those we expect to parrot our own thoughts and beliefs, what is the point of any dialogue?

We may as well just talk to ourselves.

One More Time?

“…surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.”

 

I know I didn’t dream hearing the democratic nominee for President of the United States say those words. I know that because I’ve never allowed myself that dream. But a little over thirty minutes into his acceptance speech, in front of 75,000 people packed into Denver’s Invesco Field and broadcast to the world, that is exactly what Barack Obama said.

 

Do we believe him? We squandered a lot of trust on Bill Clinton. We believed in his “place called hope” only to be turned aside at the door. We were sure that the American people would not let Karl Rove and his gang of thugs use us the same way Hitler used the Jews. Wrong again.

 

I want to believe in the young senator from my home state — but why do I keep having a vision of Charlie Brown running toward that football?

 

Am I truly that cynical?

 

Sometimes, I am. Hallmark, for instance, has seriously annoyed me with their new line of gay wedding cards. As have those in California who are discovering the financial benefits of recognizing same-sex marriage. I don’t want to be given equal rights (that “to be given” business is a whole other rant for another day) because it’s economically feasible — I want it because it’s the right thing to do.

 

And, I think, that’s what makes me a bit skittish about Barack Obama. You see, I don’t think he made that statement because it was politically expedient — although our clout is certainly being recognized and taken into account. In that place in my heart that hasn’t been completely closed by the disappointments of our history, I believe he means what he says — that he believes it is the right thing to do.

 

I don’t mind telling you, that scares me. But the alternative is so much worse.

 

Okay, Senator, you’ve got the ball. Let’s see how well you hold on to it.