Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
October 6, 2004
What's your political compass?
Category: Meme … Serious

Greetings, readers, and welcome to a largely political Blog of Wes entry from work! But first, thanks to all who commented and e-mailed with birthday wishes. This one wasn't so great, but there's always next year... assuming the terrorists don't blow us all to Kingdom Come by then. Wonder Woman sure looks good in that bronze eagle armor, though. And now, on to our topics.

The Veep Debate

I was working during this one, but Mom recorded it for me and I had a chance to watch about half of the tape before I went to bed. From what I saw, it's tough to declare a winner -- this one was just vicious, with Edwards repeatedly alleging that the Bush/Cheney administration has been lying to the people and Cheney responding by calling the Kerry/Edwards platform inconsistent and repeatedly calling attention to Kerry's voting record regarding earlier issues. But here's the thing -- I don't know about you, but I wasn't around (or was very young and/or didn't care) when those issues were current/important, so Cheney's referencing them doesn't mean anything to me. I don't know what they were about, I don't understand the context of the times, and unless one is prepared to lay all of that out to the public and explain just how that's significant and indicative of anything (which is impossible to do in two minutes or less), it would be better to not mention them and focus on what your administration is going to do today. I'm not qualified to assess what was the right/wrong side of a national security issue that was contested before I was born and was running around pooping on things and playing with the hard little balls o' constipated stool (yes, I did that). You tell me nothing.

And then there were lots of numbers, with both sides alleging that the other side's facts were misleading and/or blatantly incorrect. We all don't have fact checkers on hand, we don't know who to trust, so again -- useless. I recommend going to somewhere like CNN's article about how both candidates twisted the facts to try to hash it all out.

And they'll still probably get my vote in November, but Edwards really disappointed me with his ticket's stance on the issue of same-sex marriage. I'm not sure how much they really buy it, but it seemed like Edwards and Kerry's apparent belief that marriage is between a man and a woman (while not explicitly opposing same-sex unions) is a move designed to avoid alienating voters (say, Christian Democrats) who agree with Kerry regarding other issues but would be tempted to vote for Bush based on this subject alone. Admittedly, of all of the various issues on the table at present, this is probably the one that concerns me most -- and the fact that Bush's position on the matter is so strong and resolute is the main thing keeping my vote from him (though I do think his administration has been extremely misleading regarding Iraq and The War on Terror). For Cheney's part, I think it's interesting that he disagrees with Bush on the matter, but kinda has to go along with it. If Cheney were running, he might get my vote.

Oh, and Cheney has, in fact, met Edwards before. There are photos of them standing next to each other. Tsk tsk, Cheney.

I don't know who to trust. I haven't seen the rest of the debate -- maybe tonight -- but at this point I'm calling it a draw and a waste. Lots of attacks, very little substance, and what substance there was/might have been was almost wholly obscured by the fact that both candidates alleged that the other was mistaken and both candidates consistently referred to prior issues that I don't know a thing about (and don't give a crap about, either). Not very helpful at all. Next segment.

What's your political compass?

The other day, Kitzi posted a link to The Political Compass, where viewers can take a quiz and, based on the results, find their "place" on the political compass. Hence the name of the site. My results are

Economic Left/Right: -6.88

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.21

which place me decidedly in the bottom left quadrant, making me a member of the libertarian left. Hurrah.

Bush consoles victims while Kerry gets his nails done?

So as I read those analyst commentaries of the last week's Presidential debate, I noticed that a number of the writers mentioned that earlier that day, while Bush spent a portion of his time consoling hurricane victims, Kerry spent the day in his hotel. To further accent the difference between these two "activities", one columnist, after writing of Bush's exploits, disdainfully wrote that Kerry, instead, "got a manicure." All of the writers who took the time to note this distinction did so to Bush's credit, saying that the candidates' doings on that day are representative of the people they are and the characters they possess.

But wait a minute. Certainly it's true that Bush deserves at least some praise for taking time out of his busy schedule to address the plight of those devastated Floridians (although it did, apparently, have beneficial results for his public image as well). As the President of the United States, one would expect no less from him. Floridians are Americans, and Bush should sympathize with their troubles -- and if he's in town, it makes perfect sense for him to stop by and do a bit of well-wishing.

Kerry, on the other hand, isn't presently the President. He's a senator, and a Massachusetts senator at that. Of course, he should care about Florida's hurricane victims, even if he weren't seeking to be their Commander in Chief. But he is. So for Kerry to show up in a place where he otherwise wouldn't belong -- as he is a MA senator -- would look a lot less like "showing support" and a lot more like "campaigning", and I have no doubt that the conservatives who bashed him for staying in his hotel room and "having a manicure" would similarly bash him for taking advantage of the situation and using the troubles of the devastated Floridians as a tool to bolster his image. Honestly, I'm pretty sure that even those among the victims would have viewed his appearance as an obvious campaign scheme -- and how do you think that would make them feel? Much like the presence of the reporters on the scene, sensationalizing their tragedy and transforming their very real hardship into a televised spectacle. So if Kerry thought about it from that angle, it's perfectly understandable that he would stay in and "have a manicure" as opposed to going out, shaking hands with the hurricane victims, and getting his face on TV.

Oh, and again, if you haven't done so already, check out Jessi Klein's VP debate blog. She's Kleintastic, I tell you.

Anyway, plenty of stuff to think about in this post! Ja for now. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 11:52 am | Comments (0)
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