The Case Against John McCain

November 2, 2008 | 101 comments
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Here are a few reasons why you should not vote for John McCain:

John McCain is an adulterer.

John McCain married (the second time) under dubious circumstances and conducted his relationship in such a way that his wife was able to become a drug addict and thief without his knowledge.

John McCain supports a position on abortion rights that would deny women options that the Church believes that they should be permitted to exercise.

John McCain has conducted a dirty, negative campaign with willful, deliberate lies about his opponent.

John McCain believes that Sarah Palin is, with the single exception of himself, the most qualified person to be the leader of the United States. This is particularly troubling given his advanced age, questionable health, and refusal to fully release his medical records. If you are not concerned about this, I would encourage you to (re)watch the Couric or Gibson interview and ask yourself if this is the person you want to see interrupted while reading a picture book to first graders to respond when a foreign entity has attacked the United States . . . or you want to have sitting across a conference table from a hostile foreign power . . . or leading a conference of world leaders on economic policy.

John McCain has made statements about the economy, the structure of the SEC, the leader of Spain, the situations in Sudan and Somalia, and our relationship to Iran that raise questions about his competence, judgment, discretion, and leadership.

Why am I making the case against McCain when it seems unlikely that he will win? Because this is a prime opportunity for our Mormon/Utahn/people-with-two-or-more-children/people-who-attend-church-once-per-week/conservative/red state/Republican readers to really consider what they are doing with their votes. Your vote is not likely to change the outcome of this election, but a vote against McCain will make clear that the Republicans can’t do any fool thing and still automatically count on your demographic unthinkingly.

Four years from now, let’s be in a position where the pundits feel obligated to point out that the Republicans have to earn your vote. Care about pro-life causes? Then make clear to the GOP that they have to actually do something when in office and not just trot the rhetoric out every election cycle to demand the votes of pro-life voters. Care about fiscal conservatism? If a GOP candidate who isn’t one goes down in flames, maybe next time the GOP will run one that is. Care about family values? Then don’t vote for a candidate whose personal life is out of harmony with your convictions. Care about the future of our country? Then don’t vote for a ticket with a completely incompetent VP.

If they can’t count on you no matter what, then they might make an effort next time to be worthy of your vote.

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101 Responses to The Case Against John McCain

  1. Tim on November 2, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Remember, there are multiple individuals running–not just two. If you live in Utah, or Idaho, or California, or somewhere else where your vote for President really won’t make much of a difference, consider voting 3rd party.

  2. Utahn in CT on November 2, 2008 at 8:06 am

    The Mormon vote for Obama, at least the Utah Mormon vote, is shaping up to be a glass half-full, half empty sort of thing. It is likely that there is no other major geographic/social group in the country who will support him less. On the other hand, my impression is that more Mormons will vote Democratic (at least for President) than ever before, or at least since Utah achieved statehood.

  3. Left Field on November 2, 2008 at 8:58 am

    #2: Sounds like a huge win for Obama in Utah, considering that FDR carried Utah by nearly 40 points in 1936.

  4. Utahn in CT on November 2, 2008 at 9:05 am

    > considering that FDR carried Utah by nearly 40 points in 1936.

    Wow, I didn’t know this. Anyway, I hope you are right about the Utah 2008 election!

  5. Blain on November 2, 2008 at 9:09 am

    At least two of those standards apply at least as well to his opponent as they do to him. There have been abundant willful lies spread around about McCain, and some of Obama’s comments about foreign affairs bring just as much reason for concern. His position on abortion will be relevant when president’s establish national abortion policy unilaterally, or when he makes it clear that he will only make appointments of judges who agree with him on that issue (generally something done by Democrat presidents, rather than Republican presidents).

    There has been far too much attention and vitriol spent on presidential politics, which remains one of the least productive uses of political energy possible. You will never cast a vote that is more diluted than the vote for president. The president doesn’t shape or pass legislation, and his capacity for policy initiatives is limited, so policy positions presented during campaigns, to the degree they actually represent what the candidate believes, do not describe in any significant detail changes in law that the winner will be able to produce. Neither candidate will raise or lower your taxes, because they don’t pass tax laws. Neither will change spending because the president is required to spend every dollar appropriated by the Congress in the manner they order it.

    Meanwhile, the demonization of those who disagree has gotten completely out of hand. You’d think dogs and cats would be shacking up for all that people are busy trying to make the opposing candidates and their supporters look stupid, evil or dangerous. Can we possibly see that end before the whole matter becomes moot on Tuesday? Please?

  6. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 9:11 am

    #3: The probability that Obama will carry Utah in this election is slightly above non-existent. The most recent polls have him down by 25.

  7. Left Field on November 2, 2008 at 9:20 am

    FDR carried Utah by 20+ point margins in three out of four elections, as did Wilson in 1916. In 1932, Utah went for Roosevelt by only 15 points. Truman and LBJ carried Utah by about 10-point margins. Utah also went Blue in 1896.

  8. Naismith on November 2, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Very thoughtful, thanks.

    “Your vote is not likely to change the outcome of this election, but a vote against McCain will make clear that the Republicans can’t do any fool thing and still automatically count on your demographic unthinkingly.”

    This is exactly why I had to stop using a candidate’s stance on abortion as my litmus test. They could take me for granted, and bring along whatever baggage they wanted, and I would hold my nose and vote.

    I finally came to the conclusion that abortion should be only one consideration, because a child dead from lack of health insurance or a soldier dead in an ill-advised war is just as horrible as an aborted fetus.

    And I agree, the third party candidates would be an effective strategy for voting against McCain.

  9. Dan on November 2, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Latest poll out of Utah shows McCain getting 57% of the vote. Hey, at least he’s under 60%…

  10. Elizabeth Mansfield on November 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    So, which third party candidate would you all recommend?

  11. jjohnsen on November 2, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I think many Mormons are agreeing with your points Julie. An article in the Deseret News yesterday showed McCain as only getting 59% of the vote, one of the lowest numbers for a Republican Presidential candidate in 30 years. So even though there is no way Obama will win in Utah, it doesn’t seem like even if McCain wins he’ll have the huge support Bush has (?!!?).

  12. Neal Davis on November 2, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I’m going Libertarian (here in IL, so will make no difference), even though I don’t really agree with them all the way.

    Ron Paul, where are you?

  13. Eric Russell on November 2, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Wow Julie, caught the political bug? I would have expected a more thoughtful post from you. There are, of course, many good reasons why one might vote for either Obama or McCain and I daresay there are many that could find double or triple this list of reasons not to vote for Obama. Just because other people hold a different opinion doesn’t mean they are unthinking.

  14. Aluwid on November 2, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “John McCain has conducted a dirty, negative campaign with willful, deliberate lies about his opponent.”

    Uh…yeah… Actually, once the dust has settled two of the largest themes of this campaign will be:

    1. McCain kept his word about accepting public financing even though it put him at a dramatic disadvantage. Obama on the other hand broke his promise when he realized he could print money.

    2. McCain refused to make an issue out of Obama’s controversial pastor Reverend Wright even though Obama himself considers it a legitimate campaign issue. The reason this decision has not been spelled out but I suspect it has to do with an unwillingness to defeat the first black presidential nominee through racial strife. McCain could have blanketed the air waves with Reverend Wright commercials until everyone could have quoted his tirades word by word and would keep wondering to themselves “What kind of a man would take his kids week after week to listen to this loon?” But, win or lose, McCain has refused to make this an issue.

  15. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

    What Eric Russell said.

  16. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 10:48 am

    What Aluwid said.

  17. Reed on November 2, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Julie M. Smith\’s post is a perfect illustration of \”deceiving the very elect.\” I think those who feel this way (ignoring Obama\’s shaded past) is the result of exclusively getting news from the \”Large and Spacious News Networks,\” CNN, CBS, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, NYT, etc.
    An editorial cartoon of this idea can be found at http://prestonidahodigitalnews.blogspot.com/
    Scroll down to the heading \”Thursday, October 23, 2008 P I Digital News 20 thru 26 October\”

  18. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Reed,

    Here’s an interesting article on media bias:

    http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/081017light.html

  19. gst on November 2, 2008 at 10:55 am

    “John McCain supports a position on abortion rights that would deny women options that the Church believes that they should be permitted to exercise.”

    That’s poor reasoning, bordering on fatuousness. It is more accurate to say (and worthless to your Mormons against McCain thesis) that McCain supports an abortion position that would deny women an option that the Church does not condemn them for exercising. I don’t think the Church cares a whit whether they have the option.

    Similarly, the Church doesn’t condemn its hard-up members for accepting state welfare. That doesn’t mean that Mormons shouldn’t vote for a candidate that would restrict welfare to able-bodied adults.

  20. Hellmut on November 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I agree with you about John McCain’s lack of judgment, Julie.

    Although it is true that John McCain treated his wife poorly thirty years ago, I am not sure if that is a reason to vote against him.

    Severe injury, torture, and five years prison of war by a totalitarian regime are a traumatic experience.

    My grandfather was in Soviet prison of war. He was beaten and starved but not systematically tortured like the American airmen in Hanoi. Everyone who returned from the Soviet labor camps had issues upon their release.

    Nobody can know how they might have acted if they had been in John McCain’s shoes.

    I just wish that McCain would be a little more generous about his opponents’ character.

  21. Bryce Haymond on November 2, 2008 at 11:20 am

  22. Hellmut on November 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    On a related note, Mormons need to send a message to Evangelicals about the bigotry during the primaries.

    Since Evangelicals do not like McCain, not voting for him would not do the trick. We need to look for some other opportunity to stand up for ourselves.

  23. Matt Evans on November 2, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Julie, this post contains too many distortions for someone complaining about McCain’s alleged distortions.

    McCain, like most pro-lifers, supports STATUTES that restrict abortion because there are JUDICIAL remedies that cover the exceptions. The pro-lifers who want legislation offering no exception for life of the mother, for example, know that women already have common law rights to self-defense and want that to be the standard for aborting a baby. They’d have an affirmative defense against prosecution. They don’t think women should die so that babies might life.

    You’re not an active pro-lifer and I don’t expect you to know these details, but you probably do know that the church has never drafted or supported specific pro-life policies, and of course they’ve never said how abortion policy should employ common law affirmative defenses.

    More importantly, it’s a distortion to say Mormons should oppose McCain because you think his abortion stance varies from the church’s when his main opponent vehemently opposes all legislation that resembles the church’s stance at all, and supports partial-birth abortion and even refused to support his state’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act that protects babies who survive botched abortions.

  24. Rob T. on November 2, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for the post, Julie.

    I think the last two reasons are the most compelling ones. Personally, I like Andrew Sullivan\’s Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote for Obama:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-top-ten-rea.html

  25. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Aluwid,

    Obama’s offer RE public financing was contingent on McCain reining in 527s, as Obama did (effectively shutting down MoveOn.org). McCain didn’t. No deal.

    And McCain’s gracious gesture to not discuss Rev. Wright was nothing short of farcical — since the Rev. Wright clips had already been trumpeted across YouTube and fully aired during the primaries. Promising not to discuss Rev. Wright was McCain’s way of prolonging the discussion of Rev. Wright.

    Eric Russell:
    You said ” Just because other people hold a different opinion doesn’t mean they are unthinking.” True, but the fact is that there are many, many people in the Church, and many here in Utah, that do not study candidates or issues because they assume Republicanism to be inherently in line with gospel values (and usually a pretty selective subset of those values). When a historic presidential election is taking place, and not a single second of advertising time is purchased in your state by either candidate, it’s because they can safely assume that a critical mass of voters are going to pull the lever based on the letter in the parentheses.

    Reed:
    Thank you for doing us the favor of interpreting end-days scripture for us. Please let us know when you’ve determined the date of the Second Coming.

    Jack:
    Orson Scott Card has become a Glenn Beck wannabe. His attempts at punditry are flimsy and full of logical holes. For example, he rails against the media for not holding dems’ feet to the fire on the economic crisis, when he himself fails to mention Phil Gramm or Gramm-Leach-Bliley even once (!), and he sloppily conflates the Community Reinvestment Act with (which is overseen by the government) with the insane mortgages and mortgage-backed securities that cause this crisis (which have nothing to do with CRA and have been steadily de-regulated — see previous comment RE Phil Gramm). Card lost me as a reader when he assumed I’d lap up his every word just because I liked “Ender’s Game.”

    gst:
    “I don’t think the Church cares a whit whether they have the option.” Huh. Pray tell, what other things have the Brethren said that they didn’t mean? I’d like to type these items up on a card to keep in my scriptures.

  26. Velska on November 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

    This week you’ll hear a deep sigh all over the world.

    The election is over.

    Now we can get back to worrying about salvation, paying our bills and is little Jimmy going to be able to read by the time he graduates high school.

  27. jan on November 2, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Correct on John McCain. Arizona got to watch all of his adulty and other devious things he found to do. So I will not be voting for him because he is untrustworthy. And I won\’t vote for Obama. So .. what to do on Tuesday. Don\’t know. Maybe do a write-in which doesn\’t do any good either. The electoral process in America has gone in the ditch.

  28. jan on November 2, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Correct on John McCain. Arizona got to watch all of his adulty and other devious things he found to do. So I will not be voting for him because he is untrustworthy. And I won\’t vote for Obama. So .. what to do on Tuesday. Don\’t know. Maybe do a write-in which doesn\’t do any good either. The electoral process in America has gone in the ditch.

  29. Colleen on November 2, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I chose to write in Mitt Romney. I know, I know, LDS candidate, too easy. I just figured it was the only way to make my Utah vote against McCain without voting for Obama.

  30. Colleen on November 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I chose to write in Mitt Romney. I know, I know, LDS candidate, too easy. I just figured it was the only way to make my Utah vote against McCain without voting for Obama.

  31. Quincy on November 2, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    It sounds like Julie may have had a little too much of the Obama Kool-aid. She tries to say that your vote makes no difference and that this outcome is inevitable. That is not the case. Every vote counts. There are still enough undecided voters out there that could swing this thing either way. Why are they undecided–who knows, but it is their decision to make when, how, and why they want. Julie argues that voting for McCain is sending the GOP the wrong message. Well, what kind of message is it sending with a vote for Obama. There are logical, reasonable people who can arguably justify why voting for either candidate is right. It is an insult to your readers at T&S to insinuate anything else. Even though I completely believe it is your right to do so, I am disappointed in the tone of this post and the manner in which the ideas of it were presented.

  32. Aluwid on November 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Jeremy,

    “Obama’s offer RE public financing was contingent on McCain reining in 527s, as Obama did (effectively shutting down MoveOn.org). McCain didn’t. No deal.”

    Funny that Obama didn’t mention that until he needed an excuse to opt out of public financing.

    “And McCain’s gracious gesture to not discuss Rev. Wright was nothing short of farcical — since the Rev. Wright clips had already been trumpeted across YouTube and fully aired during the primaries. Promising not to discuss Rev. Wright was McCain’s way of prolonging the discussion of Rev. Wright.”

    There is no comparison of the level of impact between not discussing Reverent Wright and blanketing the airwaves with commercials showing the Rev. Wright videos over and over again. I think that Romney would have done this, and I would have fully supported him for it. Obama’s judgement and character should be called into question about this. But McCain chose to not take this road and he deserves credit for it. It would have been ugly.

  33. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Quincy:

    I find it odd that your comment contains both of these phrases:

    “There are logical reasonable people who can arguably justify why voting for either candidate is right… I am disappointed in the tone of this post…”

    and

    “It sounds like Julie may have had a little too much of the Obama Kool-aid.”

  34. gst on November 2, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Jeremy, has the Church ever taken the position that the legal right to abortion in the case of rape or incest should be protected? The Church doesn’t condemn people who exercise that option; that’s not the same as a preference that the option remain legal.

  35. Christopher on November 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Julie, thanks for the thoughtful post. I’ve presented similar arguments to the ones you put forth in the post to many Utah voters over the last few weeks. A few have told me that they are now casting a vote for a third party candidate because they don’t want their vote taken for granted any longer.

    It is a bit ironic to hear commenters wishing that McCain had played the Rev. Wright card, while at the same time easily dismissing McCain’s adulterous lifestyle as a thing of the past.

    There is no comparison of the level of impact between not discussing Reverent Wright and blanketing the airwaves with commercials showing the Rev. Wright videos over and over again. I think that Romney would have done this, and I would have fully supported him for it.

    The irony of Romney running attack ads against Obama for having a former minister that was racist and condemned the U.S. government would have been too rich in irony and would have broken the unintentional comedy scale.

  36. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Aluwid:

    You are mistaken. Obama floated the idea for a compromise in early 2007. After what the Swift Boaters did to Kerry in 2004, it would have been silly to not include 527s in the negotiations. Obama successfully muzzled MoveOn. McCain claimed he was helpless to assume similar leadership on his side.

    gst:
    I hope you limbered up before executing that feat of logical acrobatics.

    Christopher:
    You are absolutely right. If Romney had used Rev. Wright in ads, the unfortunate past opinions of some of our most beloved Church leaders would be looped endlessly in the media. Imagine the memes: If Obama had been raised Mormon he wouldn’t have been allowed to pass the sacrament. Mormons have manuals currently in use that still explicitly discourage interracial marriage.

    If Romney had taken that tack, it would have brought shame to the church and lost him the election.

  37. queuno on November 2, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Leave the presidential selection blank and vote for the local issues.

  38. Geoff J on November 2, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    gst (#34) — Huh? If it were illegal wouldn’t the church be forced to condemn it?

    Julie — I agree with you. It seems to me that the Mormons have become the pathetic lapdogs of the GOP and will heartily endorse whatever candidate they are handed. Utah is still the reddest state in the nation according to the polls I have seen. This despite the fact that the GOP is dominated by the hardcore Christian right who refuse to acknowledge that Mormons are even Christians. (And as an independent I could add to your list of other reasons Mormons should ease up in their devotion to the GOP but I’ll refrain for now.) This level of devotion is pretty sad I think. We are supposed to be the sheep of the Good Shepherd not the unwavering sheep of the Republican party.

  39. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Additional note:
    I just read that the Pennsylvania GOP just purchased airtime for ads focusing on Rev. Wright, to be run for the last 48 hours before the election.

    McCain traded his integrity for the presidency. Looks like he’ll wind up with neither.

  40. Martin Willey on November 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Here is another reason that dovetails perfectly with Julie’s argument: John McCain rewarded the religious right’s shameful bigotry toward Mitt Romney by selecting one of their own for Vice President.

  41. Huston on November 2, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Julie, is this supposed to be a tacit Mormon case FOR Obama? I’d like to see that explained, please. Preferably without assuming that the law of consecration is a green light for governments to seize as much property as they want and distribute it however they see fit.

  42. Dale on November 2, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    The straight talkers have crashed and burned
    and I don’t want Obama’s change
    the Constitutionalists are a little to radical
    Libertarians are too open range

    I don’t know who to vote for
    Maybe I’ll start my own party

  43. Dale on November 2, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    The straight talkers have crashed and burned
    and I don’t want Obama’s change
    the Constitutionalists are a little too radical
    Libertarians are too open range

    I don’t know who to vote for
    Maybe I’ll start my own party

  44. Hellmut on November 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    “There are still enough undecided voters out there that could swing this thing either way.”
    I am afraid that this is incorrect. Obama polls consistently above fifty percent in too many of the battle ground states. That means that McCain has to persuade Obama supporters to change their mind.

    I agree with you, though, that it isn’t over ’til it’s over.

    The data is at Real Clear Politics, Pollster, and 538.

  45. Bill on November 2, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Jeremy,

    FYI, Obama’s singing a different tune now.
    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/quietly_obama_campaign_flashes.php#more

    But regardless, one of the most remarkable things about this election is how little influence or attention 527′s have received, and I think both candidates deserve credit for that. Maybe we actually can move beyond the extreme partisanship of the Clinton/Bush years…

    Some more essential reading from the summer when Obama opted out of public financing. I think there’s little question what Obama’s motives were for breaking his pledge: $$$
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/13/AR2008051302868.html
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11220.html
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/06/obama-to-break.html

  46. Martin Willey on November 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Aluwid: I find it hard to believe that Mitt Romeny would have voluntarily opened up a dialogue with Obama over whose religious beliefs are more mainstream. He was not exactly courageous about it during the primaries. Remember his horror at his polygamous ancestors?

  47. Bill on November 2, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Hellmut (20) said, “I just wish that McCain would be a little more generous about his opponents’ character.”

    You might enjoy this clip. Sorry for its length, but skip ahead to the 8:00 minute mark.

  48. MikeInWeHo on November 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    What if the anti-Mormon bigotry of the Evangelicals hadn’t doomed Romney’s candidacy? Would he be running better against Obama right now? I was pondering this the other day, with a bit of liberal schadenfreude in my heart. (But I’m smart enough to hold my breath until Wednesday morning before I really indulge in that)

  49. queuno on November 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Those who participate in the parties (the “party faithful”) are a danger to America (it’s those people who pick the actual candidates). Maybe Mormons as a whole should become Independents and force both parties to cater to them.

    The only politics that really matter are local. School bonds, city council candidates.

  50. Blake on November 2, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Julie: It is rare that I see a simply stupid post from you. This one definitely was.

    First, Mormons forgive. Making McCain’s past adultery and re-marriage more than 30 years ago a political issue is not only un-mormon (we do believe in the in Miracle of Forgiveness after all), it is also beyond irony for someone who also claims he engages in unacceptable negative campaign tactics.

    No, I’ll vote for McCain while holding my nose because Obama has had — as the sum total of his political experience — a few months in the Illinois legislature and only 4 years in the Senate, two yers of which he spent running for President of the United States. I’ll vote for McCain while cursing because Obama rarely showed up to vote and when he did he voted “present” like a chicken sh__ who was more worried about appearing to actually be known for a political position than just running as politician. I’ll vote for McCain to defeat Obama’s massive wealth redistribution programs, massive tax hikes, behemoth health care, expensive “environmental program,” and his support of gay marriage even while pretending that he doesn’t support gay marriage. I’ll vote for McCain while heaving my guts out because Obama received so much in contributions from Freddie Mac (second of the list of recipients in just 4 years!) and he and his Democratic Party — each and every one of them each and every time — voted to stop legislation that would have tightened the cheap money loans, stopped the practices that led to the economic disaster that they now promote big (translate that Leviathan) government as the answer as it is to all problems for Obama. I’ll vote for McCain while wrenching in my gut because as an Independent I have no real choice but the choice between two evils of which McCain if very clearly the lesser evil. I’ll vote for McCain while weeping because Obama has failed to recognize his role and that of his party in the economic melt-down and they (and their media accomplices) play the blame game of attempting to pin it on the Republicans knowing their shameful voting history on this issue and refusing to be honest with the American people.

    Finally, I vote that your political partisanship be seen for the desperate attempt that it is to illegitimately use religion as a political wedge. Finally, to fight anti-Mormonism with anti-evangelicalism must be seen for hypocrisy that it is.

  51. Ben Pratt on November 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    For those of you disenchanted with “your” party but opposed to the “other” party’s candidate, consider something like VotePact.org or VoteBuddy.org.

    The idea that voting third-party is automatically “throwing your vote away” is outdated.

  52. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Blake:
    So, you allow no recognition of Obama’s work with Lugar, Coburn, or on the package of ethics bills he spearheaded?
    You call Obama a chicken_____ for voting present on 3% of his votes in Illinois?
    You criticize Obama’s missed votes when McCain missed more votes than Obama did every quarter (including 100% absence in Q3 of 2008) except one?
    You criticize Obama’s “massive wealth redistribution”? Raising the top bracket from 36% to 39%?
    You criticize Obama’s donations from Freddie Mac when one of McCain’s campaign directors was getting $15,000 of lobbying money from FM/FM every month up through August 2008?
    You lay all the blame for the economic crisis at the feet of the dems, and NONE of it to Gramm-Leach-Bliley, a bill authored by McCain’s main economic advisor?

    And you call Julie’s post “desperate,” using religion as a “political wedge,” after 8 years of a president that relied on the religious vote and gave them nothing in return?

  53. Blake on November 2, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Jeremy: Wow, another one.

    No — giving Obama credit for anything having to do with a single bill is a basic failure to recognize that he went along for the ride. Wow, one whole bill in 4 years! Is that a record for irrelevance or what? In fact, it just shows that my concern about his amazing lack of any relevant experience is really, really well taken when this bill, one that he co-sponsored after it had already been introduced before he was a Senator, is all that you can point to as relevant experience. That is really scary that you think that this one bill is somehow qualifying experience for the Presidency of the United States. All I can say is “wow, are you that desperate to find some relevant experience”?

    Yes, I criticize Obama for wanting to raise the top bracket from 36% to 39% because it hits small businesses that are hiring new employees hardest and raises taxes to support a massive spending program — and it is really a no brainer. Like all Democrats, I know you think that those who generate wealth are not paying enough even though they pay approximately 75% of the entire amount paid in taxes. I know that you think we in the United States just aren’t taxed enough. I believe we’re taxed way too much and that smaller government is generally better government.

    This crock about a campaign director as compared to a candidate is the kind of propaganda that a person of intelligence ought to see through. Are you excusing Obama for his role and that of his party for voting three times in unison essentially along party lines for the very position you would criticize a lobbyist for promoting while being paid by Freddie Mac? UNBELIEVABLE! You’re kidding, right. you think the story here is that a campaign worker while being paid promoted a position rather than an ENTIRE PARTY VOTING ALONG PARTY LINES JOINED BY OBAMA to defeat the legislation that would have corrected the problems at least fours years ago? You’re kidding, right? If not, I have a bridge in Arizona I’d like to sell you. And you believe that Grahm-Leech is the problem when every single Democratic senator and every single democratic representative compared to less than 5% of Republicans voted to stop the very bills that would have tightened money for loans people couldn’t afford to pay back? That is just a failure to see what is really happening in American politics. There is a party that is responsible for the economic melt-down, and it is the Democrats and not the Republicans. There is a candidate that promoted Freddie Mac and received record donations from Freddie Mac and it is Obama and not McCain. Are you so blind you cannot see that? Wake up!

    What does Bush’s reliance on a religious vote have to do with anything in this discussion? Have you been eating red herring?

  54. Clayton on November 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    What Blake said

    Jeremy:

    Working with Republican Senators on an ethics bill is not my definition of experience or bipartisainship.
    It is always easy to dismiss wealth redistribution when it is other people\’s money (not knowing, of course, whether you are in the upper tax bracket). Besides, he is not just going to raise income taxes. What about capital gains taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, etc?
    McCain\’s campaign director did not get any lobbying money from FM/FM since 2006.
    Both parties have plenty to do with the financial meltdown, of course. And the sooner that both sides realize that, and start fixing the problem rather than wanting to stay in power, the better.
    How is President Bush\’s support from the religious right the same things as using religion as a \”political wedge?\”

  55. Ronan on November 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    use religion as a political wedge

    It’s what Mormons tend to do, Blake. Julie’s just getting some shots in for the other side.

  56. Wilfried on November 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    The international perspective for the Church has not been discussed yet. In many foreign countries missionary work is closely tied to the image of the U.S. The past 8 years have been detrimental to that image and to missionary work. Many countries now make it difficult for American missionaries to obtain visa or for local Mormon churches to obtain building permits. We had to withdraw missionaries from Russia. Other countries restrict American missionary work.

    Former democratic U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, have spread goodwill and reached international agreements that also benefited the Church. Bill Clinton is said to have personally and successfully interceded in Moscow to enable Mormon missionaries to do their work. We lost that goodwill under Bush. See the results. How will McCain fare abroad if elected? What impact will it have on missionary work?

    There is worldwide hope that Obama can fundamentally change the way people look at America, restore relations with allies, reach out to others, and build goodwill. Hundreds of millions around the world are watching this closely. There is a feeling that we live historical times that will be remembered as a major shift for good. A page on harsh past issues – cultural, ideological, racial – can be turned.

    Whether it will be so under Obama is hypothetical. But from the grand international perspective, some arguments mentioned in preceding comments sound pretty parochial.

  57. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Blake,

    I didn’t mention one bill, as you claimed, I mentioned three bills, and just as examples. There are more. The bill with Lugar helped secure loos nukes to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. When Palin bragged about putting the federal check register online she was two years late because that’s exactly what Obama did with Coburn. And the ethics package included a number of individual bills; Obama received bipartisan praise for spearheading it. Disagreeing with Obama on policy is one thing; but claiming he did nothing is quite another kettle of fish. If you don’t even know the legislation Obama has sponsored, you’re not in much of a position to argue its merits. The talking point that Obama did nothing in the Senata is simply intellectually dishonest or uninformed.

    Clayton,
    You’re wrong about McCain’s FM/FM money. Rick Davis’s firm was getting $15,000 from 2005 to August 2008.

    What I mean by “political wedge” is this: how much does abortion, for example, figure into Republican political rhetoric? Now, what action did the Republicans take on that issue during the six years they had the White House, both houses of congress, and a majority on the Supreme Court?

  58. Aluwid on November 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Jeremy,

    “Now, what action did the Republicans take on that issue during the six years they had the White House, both houses of congress, and a majority on the Supreme Court?”

    They banned Partial Birth Abortions. They got Roberts and Alito onto the Supreme Court. Give us one more reliable conservative justice on the court and watch the fireworks begin.

  59. jks on November 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Since we are addressing individual states:

    Washington State voters: Please consider voting for Randy Dorn for Superindentent of schools. Our current Sup., Terry Bergeson has damaged math education considerably because she will not give up on the WASL.

  60. Aluwid on November 2, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Julie,

    “John McCain is an adulterer.”

    BTW, this was the most over the top of all your statements. Based on the same logic the following claims could have been made late in the life of these prophets:

    Alma the Younger is a blasphemer
    Paul is a murderer (or close enough)
    Joseph Smith is a money digger

    People change. You’re trying to treat a decades old mistake like it happened yesterday. Somehow I doubt you’d be as unforgiving to the politicians you favor.

  61. Geoff J on November 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Blake: I criticize Obama for wanting to raise the top bracket from 36% to 39% because it hits small businesses

    I keep hearing this from the hardcore GOP types and I remain skeptical. First, I thought Obama’s tax plan dealt with personal income tax and not corporate/business taxation rates. See a wiki on it here. It looks like the plan simply does away with tax cuts on the richest Americans personal income taxes.

    Also, where does this “it hits small businesses” claim come from? Even if he were to increase taxes on corporations claiming more than $250,000 in profits I am wondering if we would even call those businesses small. Most companies I know of easily find ways to write off and and expense away revenues when it comes to tax time. It seems to me that any business that was stuck with more that $250,000 taxable income is probable a multi-millions dollar per year entity to begin with… I must be missing something on that. (Sorry — I don’t mean to threadjack. I am genuinely curious to know if these “it hurts small business” claims are just partisan BS or if I am missing something here.)

  62. Zat on November 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I believe we should choose to vote for who we believe will be better for our nation now and beat back whoever we believe would do more harm. I don’t believe we have time to use our vote in an attempt to somehow manipulate a party into doing something we want in the future. We have to vote for what’s going to happen in our nation now. I believe the election will be closer than the media and polls have shown. Our vote counts NOW.

  63. Left Field on November 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    “…a few months in the Illinois legislature”

    “Few” in this case, being specifically 94 months.”

  64. Mondo Soria on November 2, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Three reasons you should vote Republican have to do with Moroni’s Title of Liberty.

    We read in the 46th chapter of Alma about a wicked Nephite dissident who was obsessed with gaining political power over the Nephites by whatever methods were necessary. When that effort failed the dissident used treachery, murder, and intrigue to become king of the Lamanites. The deceiver was none other than Amalickiah – a stunning metaphor for Obama (or Democratic Party).

    The LDS principles and GOP platform align themselves more closely to Moroni’s Title of Liberty’s emphatic points than does the Democratic Party. These points can be succinctly pared down to three: God, Country, and Family. It isn’t the GOP or it’s ideals that is marginalizing God, promoting practices that are anti-American, and redefining what the Family ought to be. The three emphatic points of the Title of Liberty have a direct correlation to the Abrahamic Covenant: God = promise of gospel and priesthood blessings; Country = promise of Land; Family = promise of posterity. On the other hand, we see in the Democratic Party an antithesis of the three. After all who is leading the charge to do away with God, “steal away” a Country, and to allow destruction of Posterity from the womb? If Obama takes the office, – and it seems a foregone conclusion – it will be a matter of time before the Country can be taken back by the populace at great sacrifice to have God’s Covenant blessings restored.

    A fourth more compelling reason has to do with the power of the president to elect Supreme Court Judges. We need more judges of the same sensible caliber as Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. This is probably the most crucial reason since these judges and their decisions (be it radical or not) outlive the president and have a lasting effect on “We the people … “.

    God help us.

  65. Geoff J on November 2, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    The deceiver was none other than Amalickiah – a stunning metaphor for Obama (or Democratic Party).

    Hehe. I assume you mean stunningly moronic right?

  66. djinn on November 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Yet another reason to vote for Obama, he’s run the most stunningly efficient campaign in recent history, and is also stunningly prepared to transition to president.

    “The best-kept secret in Washington is that Barack Obama has the largest and most disciplined presidential transition team anyone can recall. Headed by John Podesta, former chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s White House, it started work well before the financial meltdown hit in September but has been swamped by its implications ever since.

    Transition insiders, who are under strict orders from the Obama campaign not to talk to the media to avoid giving the impression Mr Obama thinks he has won already, contrast it particularly with Mr Clinton’s transition in 1992, which was based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and turned into an extended symposium on every subject under the sun.”

    From the Financial Times.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/997fbe08-a622-11dd-9d26-000077b07658,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F997fbe08-a622-11dd-9d26-000077b07658.html%3Fnclick_check%3D1&_i_referer=&nclick_check=1

  67. Mathew on November 2, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    First one to rend his coat and fasten it to the end of a pole gets my vote.

  68. Dave on November 2, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Wonderful post, Julie. I disagree on every point, but it’s nice to be in a church where political disagreement remains largely irrelevant.

    To take just one point, the vast majority of presidential and VP nominees are either senators or governors — a set of approximately 150 Americans out of about 150 million adults. They are literally one in a million and have gone though at least one (and often several) elections for high office. I’d submit that ANY governor or senator is, by definition, a qualified potential candidate for president. If Obama, a one-term senator, is a viable candidate, any member of that set of 150 is qualified. And how many of that 150 have an 80% approval rating in office?

    There are plenty of good reasons one might vote against McCain-Palin, but Palin’s supposed lack of qualifications or competence for the office of VP is not one of them. And as far as qualifications go, if we were to look at, for example, a candidate’s willingness to go against one’s own party or ability stand up to vested interests — surely a desired trait in a president who we expect to govern rather than simply serve party interests once in office — then Palin would score about 100 and Obama gets maybe a 5 (for deciding to run against Hilary, about his only courageous act as far as I can tell).

  69. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Jeremy,

    I think you’re missing the point of OSC’s article. The fact is that if McCain had received any (ANY) amount of cash or counsel from anyone (ANYONE) involved with those hungry wolves–as did Obama–the media would have filleted him with their sharpest knives. I don’t think OSC is out of line for calling the general news media the “public relations machine of the Democratic party.”

  70. Blake on November 2, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Geoff: Re: 61: You can remain skeptical, and I don’t want cold hard facts to get in the way of the vote you’ve already cast for political disaster, but here are a few. The vast majority of small businesses hire only when they begin to show some profit around the $250,000. With the tax increase, that critical capital will get sucked out of jobs and put into funding Obama’s Leviathan government programs.

    My own business, on which I am the world’s authority is a good case study. We will be hiring only if Obama is defeated because our cost accounting shows that we won’t have sufficient disposable capital if the tax increase occurs. So not only is what I say true — it hits home with me in a demonstrable way. Ignore facts if you choose — you can join the Republicans and Democrats in burying your head in the ground and our economy in tax increases and more government — yet more and more — government spending. There will be fewer and fewer in the private sector to fund the 1 out of 3 government employees in the US. What a disaster we are heading for. I just won’t be complicit by voting for the chief problem — Obama and his economic philosophy.

  71. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    First, I thought Obama’s tax plan dealt with personal income tax and not corporate/business taxation rates.

    All business income is subject to personal income and/or capital gains taxes before it ends up in anyone’s pocket. From the perspective of an owner or principal in a small business, it doesn’t matter whether the tax is taken out on the “business” side or on the “personal” side, it is still money out of their pocket.

    Starting or expanding a small business is a risky enterprise. Raising the rate of taxation changes the risk / reward tradeoff in a way that discourages small business owners from putting their money at risk in the first place. Hence fewer small businesses, and a smaller number of jobs.

    I might add that the worst part of Obama’s tax plan is the proposal to eliminate the limit on the FICA tax, either completely or after a certain point. Eliminating the limit amounts to a 15.3% tax increase on some small business owners, on top of any other income tax increases they may have. An 18% net tax increase on some individuals is much more serious, economically speaking, than a 3% increase.

    It also destroys the pretends that FICA taxes fund some sort of government pension plan. If the limit is to be done away with, we might as well dispense with the distinction between FICA and federal income taxes. We can then quit pretending that the worst tax rate people face is 36% when in reality it is 51% federal + perhaps 10% state on top of that. Plus property and sales taxes.

  72. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    “the pretense” that is.

  73. Timer on November 2, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    “There are plenty of good reasons one might vote against McCain-Palin, but Palin’s supposed lack of qualifications or competence for the office of VP is not one of them.”

    Excellent point. After all, do you really want a vice president who knows more than you do about law, economics, finance, health care, and foreign affairs? Do you really want a vice president who thinks more deeply about these subjects than the average newspaper reader?

    Millions of Americans — down on their luck, struggling with their relationships, lonely, bored, unhealthy, and depressed — have little left but hope and a smug sense of intellectual superiority to their chief executives. The former is bound to be fragile — under any administration — but Palin and her ticket would at least leave the latter firmly intact for another four years.

  74. S.P. Bailey on November 2, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t live in a battleground state. My vote won’t affect the outcome on Tuesday. But I want to be able to look back and feel good about how I voted. Yet both parties trouble me, and both parties’ candidates trouble me.

    The charm of Barack Obama is undeniable. He is young and well-spoken. His handlers have successfully tapped into something pure and childlike by eschewing substance and appealing to peoples’ desire to hope. His story is compelling: people want to see a black man become president because they hope it will heal wounds or at least assuage racial guilt. Obama might improve our reputation abroad or at least gratify Europeans who can only look down their noses at people like Sarah Palin (and, presumably by extension, a majority of American Mormons).

    Yet Obama has no experience or achievements that I find compelling. On the contrary, as a law professor who did not publish and a legislator who has not really legislated, he seems to have carefully avoided such things. The Economist endorsement of Obama made me chuckle: the main achievement that usually sober rag cited was his campaign. Really? Bush has been a slow-motion train wreck, the Republican party is in disarray, the economy is in serious trouble, most media outlets have absolutely slobbered over themselves with Obama-love, and Obama has been absolutely flush with cash. Under these circumstances, shouldn’t Obama be ahead by more than a few percentage points!?

    What little we do know about Obama’s background seems to indicate poor judgment and/or cowardice: his creepy preacher, his association with a domestic terrorist, his association with a voting-fraud mill, his go-along-to-get-along approach to famously-corrupt Chicago machine politics, and so on.

    Finally, and most importantly, the combination of an Obama presidency and potentially filibuster-proof majorities in Congress could be tragic for America. Both parties have done their share to run up trade and budget deficits, devalue the dollar, fail to act on unsustainable entitlement programs, and contribute to a general economic meltdown. Yet neither candidate has said ANYTHING to inspire hope for sound economic policy or fiscal responsibility in the future. Obama’s performance in the last debate was particularly troubling. He seems to genuinely think that raising already rather high corporate tax rates would be a good thing. And, generally speaking, he seems to really, really want to raise taxes and spend money on our already bloated, uncontrollable, and frequently incompetent federal bureaucracy.

    McCain also has his strong points. He is a true American hero and a successful legislator. He does not slavishly follow his party. His bipartisan track record is legit. He has fought many good fights, including his opposition to the corrupt patronage-spending system that runs Congress. I also admired John McCain for being a voice of reason in the Republican party regarding the insidious influence of southern evangelical bigots. That is until he started kissing up to them for obvious campaign-related reasons.

    Yet I am concerned about McCain’s temperament. McCain is apparently an instinctive, emotional, even explosive guy. Also, McCain sometimes seems inconsistent and disloyal. Long before this election cycle, I heard friends who worked on Capitol Hill talk about his famous blow-ups. And too often, he seems to be simply flying by the seat of his pants. Him suspending his campaign while he didn’t actually do anything to fix the economy was an unfortunate bit of unintentional comedy. Add in his old age, and I’m not sure I want McCain’s hand on all of the big levers and triggers in the oval office.

    Sarah Palin also troubles me. I genuinely like a lot of things about her. Her personality and background (big, brash, beautiful, successful, optimistic) are distinctively American. Not only that, but they are distinctively Western. She reminds me of people I know and love. And yet, I don’t think she is even close to ready. Her resume is as thin as Obama’s. While she has given some good speeches, her performance in some interviews exposed alarming superficiality. Her selection looked like rank identity politics (attempting to trump race with gender and pick up disaffected Hillary supporters) from the beginning. John McCain displayed poor judgment in choosing her.

    McCain also obtained the Republican nomination through the bigotry Huckabee stirred up in the primaries. McCain didn’t seem troubled by this; on the contrary, he seemed quite pleased. Certain images of McCain’s campaign are hard for me to shake: McCain barely containing his contempt for Mitt Romney in some of the early debates. And McCain standing by and laughing at a campaign rally while his own mom took cheapshots at Mormons. (This is probably unremarkable: I expect that Obama and his surrogates also would have taken plenty of cheapshots at Mormons if Romney had won the nomination …)

    Finally, as discussed, neither candidate has said ANYTHING to inspire hope for sound economic policy or fiscal responsibility in the future. It is not clear to me that McCain has done much to even understand the economy in all his years in Congress.

    Anyway. I am perplexed. I don’t think my vote, no matter which way I cast it, will be an effective referendum on anything. Not on Bush’s incompetence. Not on the power of bigots in the Republican party. Not on the state of the economy. I’m not certain what I will do, and I didn’t find this post either persuasive or helpful.

  75. queuno on November 2, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    A fourth more compelling reason has to do with the power of the president to elect Supreme Court Judges. We need more judges of the same sensible caliber as Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. This is probably the most crucial reason since these judges and their decisions (be it radical or not) outlive the president and have a lasting effect on “We the people … “.

    The only difference between an activist judge or a sensible judge is whether or not you agree with the decision, nothing more.

  76. queuno on November 2, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    A fourth more compelling reason has to do with the power of the president to elect Supreme Court Judges. We need more judges of the same sensible caliber as Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. This is probably the most crucial reason since these judges and their decisions (be it radical or not) outlive the president and have a lasting effect on “We the people … “.

    The only difference between an activist judge or a sensible judge is whether or not you agree with the decision, nothing more.

    (sorry, botched my formatting)

  77. Utahn in CT on November 2, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Re: 70 and 71

    Considering the US economy in a broader perspective, I’m not sure I trust #70 and #71 more than I would the respected conservative periodical _The Economist_. It is not 100% thrilled with him, but overall still prefers him to McCain:

    In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait.

    And yes, I do know that this is a British, not American publication.

  78. Justin on November 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    This post is not a case against John McCain as much as it is a slash-and-burn polemic. I don’t understand the point.

  79. keva on November 2, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    If folks really want Romney to have another chance in 2012, you should vote Obama on Tuesday. Otherwise, McCain/Palin may try for two terms (if he really wins, which I doubt)…….

  80. Timer on November 2, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    “This post is not a case against John McCain as much as it is a slash-and-burn polemic. I don’t understand the point.”

    My understanding is that the point is to give anxious Mormon political junkies a place to vent a little, pre-election, since we can’t sleep anyway. (All this last minute political trash talk is surprisingly therapeutic for some of us…)

    But perhaps Julie can let us know if she had something else in mind. :)

    Something beside the stated purpose of the post, I mean (which, if I recall, was to expand, however slightly, the minority of Utahns voting for Obama).

  81. queuno on November 2, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Timer, given that Julie never mentioned the word “Utah” and that she lives in Texas, I doubt she’s as concerned with Utah voting patterns as she is with Mormon voting patterns in general…

  82. Julie M. Smith on November 2, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Let me expand a little on the purpose of this post: in an election where we are faced with the radically different approaches of a 36.5 percent marginal tax rate on the richest Americans versus a 39 percent rate . . .

    and the night-and-day alternative of a candidate advocating an eventual 66% reduction of Co2 emissions through cap-and-trade versus the 80% reduction of Co2 emissions through cap-and-trade . . .

    not to mention the stark contrast of the government paying for your health care versus the government crediting your taxes to pay for your health care . . .

    and one candidate who reluctantly supported a 700B bailout versus a candidate who reluctantly supported a 700B bailout . . .

    . . . I think character and judgment can fairly be considered a little more than they would be if, say, LBJ were running against Reagan in this election.

    (Not to mention the fact that with the last Democratic president “ending welfare as we know it” and the last Republican president creating the largest entitlement program in my lifetime, I’m not sure what happened to ideology in this country, but if you find it in your attic, you should let someone know. I think liberals have much less to fear from McCain and conservatives have much less to fear from Obama than they think: a 5K tax credit? Warren Buffet for treasury secretary? Did they get their debate notes switched in the green room?)

    At any rate, I think personal moral character is important. I seem to remember some of you conservatives thought this during the Clinton years. I agreed with you then. I haven’t changed my mind. I also think judgment is important, and given that the single most important decision McCain has made up to this point has been Palin, well . . . plenty of you have had ill to say to me, but only Dave has risen to Palin’s defense.

    So, Dave, here’s how I see it: she seems to have been a perfectly adequate gov of Alaska–no better or worse than most govs. However, her interviews have clearly shown that she is uneducated about bread and butter political issues. (Did you see her defending the right to privacy and completely not realizing that it had anything to do with Roe v. Wade, even when prompted? To enter Pakistan without permission? Not knowing the name of the general in Afghanistan? Not able to name a second Supreme Court case she disagreed with? Not able to name an example of McCain supporting regulation–during the same time that he was trumpeting his desire to lockdown Freddie?)

    She will probably be a very compelling conservative candidate in 8-12 years (someone should give her a subscription to The Economist for Christmas), and I could actually see myself voting for a Palin-who-was-up-to-speed-on-current events (even though I wouldn’t agree with her about everything). But the thought that she could (1) competently counsel McCain or (2) take his place if he is incapacitated is insane. And it doesn’t have to do with number of months spent in office–it has to do with basic competence and awareness of issues.

    Further note to all: I didn’t say boo about Obama in this post. I’m pretty shrugful about him: I think him no better or worse than most other candidates from either party. The goal of this post was to hopefully unlock some jerking knees that vote for the GOP even if the candidate clubs baby seals in prime time because well, gosh darn it, we’re Mormons!

  83. Geoff B on November 2, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Julie, there are hundreds of reasons to vote against McCain. I could have given you several dozen that are actually relevant to this election. The fact that you have chosen none of them and chosen a mean-spirited attack on his character shows that your decision-making ability is, well, pretty faulty, to be generous. I really expect a lot better from you.

  84. Arlin Fehr on November 2, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Just as a refreshing thing to do, do you think you could find it in your heart to find a case against obama too? I’m not saying this to undermine anything you’ve said here, its just, if you support someone, anyone at all, its in your best interest to do it with eye’s open. One can belittle the beliefs or make arguments against people as much as they want, but until they understand what the other side sees, we will make no progress in coming together. Just a thought.

    Also, if you do, it’ll show your support of the Fairness Doctrine, even if it doesn’t apply to blogs, yet.

  85. Jeremy on November 2, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Mondo Soria,

    Wow. Just, wow. Murder? Treachery? Intrigue? And Obama?

    Are you by chance a columnist for Newsmax? Your over-the-top rhetoric does a disservice to your opinions.

  86. Geoff J on November 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Blake (#70): The vast majority of small businesses hire only when they begin to show some profit around the $250,000.

    Do you have any evidence to back this claim up? I have hired people over the years with my small business and it has never made $250k in gross revenues let alone in _profits_. As I mentioned, with the number of things that can be written off on taxes, a business would need to be making millions per year (and/or have a terrible tax accountant) to be saddled with more that $250k in profits at the end of the year.

    Ignore facts if you choose

    Gee, thanks for giving me that option — and of course thanks for strongly implying I am an idiot for not agreeing with you. Be an online douchebag if you choose. I’ll still like you.

    Mark: All business income is subject to personal income and/or capital gains taxes

    Interesting. Thanks for clarifying.

  87. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Any attempt to apply the Fairness Doctrine to weblogs is going to get thrown out on First Amendment grounds. The justification for its previous application to radio and television stations is based on the idea that it was a condition of a license to use the “scarce” public airwaves.

    There is no such scarcity on the Internet. If the Supreme Court upheld a legislative re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine on public over-the-air broadcasts, the likely effect would be to promote the creation of Internet and by-subscription “radio” “broadcasts” that would not be so restricted.

  88. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Geoff J (#86), The ‘before it ends up in anyone’s pocket” is important. With most corporations there can be a considerable delay between profit and declared dividend, and rather more so between profit and personal capital gain.

    The primary justification for corporate income taxes is that shareholders in large corporations can delay capital gains taxes for decades, through a buy and hold strategy. Profits in most small businesses are taxed as personal income on the owners tax returns every year – no corporate taxes.

    Short of adopting mark-to-market taxation rules, where people would have to pay taxes on unrealized gains (e.g. on the increased value of a 401K the year before the market crashes), we probably need some sort of healthy balance between immediate corporate taxes and delayed capital gains taxes.

    Capital gains taxes are lower than ordinary income taxes because it is recognized that the income attributable to given investment has already been taxed at the corporate level. We currently have ~35% corporate income tax rates and 15% long term capital gains rates. That means that income attributable to a typical 401K investment is ultimately taxed at a 50% rate, which is pretty high in my book. The real tax rate is considerably higher after you adjust for inflation.

  89. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Julie,

    C’mon. What’s his bucket wouldn’t let Palin give a conditional response to the question about entering Pakistan “without permission” (to pull one example from your list). She kept trying to frame her response in a context that would better reflect the complexities that such a question would need to take into consideration. But, no, he wouldn’t have it. He was only fishing for something that could be answered in the most general terms–something he could use to “prove” that she endorsed the “Bush Doctrine” without reservation. It was reporting of the most adolescent kind.

    And while we’re on the subject of character–I’d say that Palin has held up quite well in spite of the horrific assassination attempts on the part of the media.

  90. Julie M. Smith on November 2, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Jack,

    You kinda proved my point there: any politician worth her salt would have refused to give an unconditional response no matter how many times the question was re-phrased–Palin’s too naive to stick to her guns. Do you think Condi would have caved for Gibson? No way! I would have thought that if anyone could take the heat of incessantly repeated annoying and inappropriate requests, it would be a mother of five. Did she learn _nothing_ from her toddlers?

    At the same time, I completely agree with ‘It was reporting of the most adolescent kind.’ I may be the only person in this country who thinks that Palin is an idiot AND that the media has been too harsh on her, but both are true. Her answer about seeing Russia from Alaska was stupid; the editing of the interview made her look even dumber. But if you read the complete Gibson and Couric transcripts, she still comes off unqualified, ill-prepared, and incapable of a stringing together a complete, coherent sentence.

  91. Geoff J on November 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Mark,

    I know a lot of small business owners and I can assure you that they pay next to nothing in taxes compared to their W2 employee counterparts. The deck is very stacked in their favor if they run an S-Corp or an LLC. They hire a decent tax account and have their business pay for many of the things W2 employees must pay for with after tax money. So things like vehicles (including gas and maintenance), health expenses, some dining and travel, etc are paid for before taxes and then get written off as expenses on top of that. Why do you think the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” phenomenon is so popular? In the book the “rich dad” was the guy who started a corporation to shield himself from taxes and the “poor dad” is the schmuck who works the man and pays all the taxes. There are massive tax benefits to running a money-making business instead of being a w2 employee. I know from experience.

    For those reasons I think Blake’s arguments are just wrong.

  92. herb gleason on November 2, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    so you would prefer, Julie, an avowed Socialist who would spread the wealth around, who consorted with his pastor of 20 years who would g—d america in many of his vitrolic tirades and who would invite into his living room a marxist Bill Ayers, a godless itinerant, and would you want a “Neville Chamberlain” approach to dealing with the likes of Iran, Syria, Russia…just be nice to em, sit down and talk one on one.. with international gangsters? That is what you get when you vote for Obama, 143 days of do nothing in the Senate, who consorted with known thugs of Chicago. well, if he gets in on Tues, I hope he calls someone like you to be in his cabinet..You deserve each other…Leave the Church out of it too, sister..I’ve been a member 75 years and I wonder where you fit in with your analysis of current events…. Sorry..I don’t feel nice!!

  93. herb gleason on November 2, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    so you would prefer, Julie, an avowed Socialist who would spread the wealth around, who consorted with his pastor of 20 years who would g—d america in many of his vitrolic tirades and who would invite into his living room a marxist Bill Ayers, a godless itinerant, and would you want a “Neville Chamberlain” approach to dealing with the likes of Iran, Syria, Russia…just be nice to em, sit down and talk one on one.. with international gangsters? That is what you get when you vote for Obama, 143 days of do nothing in the Senate, who consorted with known thugs of Chicago. well, if he gets in on Tues, I hope he calls someone like you to be in his cabinet..You deserve each other…Leave the Church out of it too, sister..I’ve been a member 75 years and I wonder where you fit in with your analysis of current events…. Sorry..I don’t feel nice!!

  94. Mephibosheth on November 2, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    John McCain believes that Sarah Palin is, with the single exception of himself, the most qualified person to be the leader of the United States.

    So does this mean that Barack Obama believes that Joe Biden is, with the single exception of himself, the most qualified person to be the leader of the United States? I hope not, since that wouldn’t bode well for Obama’s judgement. Biden’s got a mouth that should be in the circus, let alone next in line to the presidency. If Palin ever said anything half as crazy as the things Biden did the press would have destroyed her (asking a wheelchair-bound man to stand up, saying FDR went on TV before it was invented, saying France kicked Hezbullah out of Syria, saying the VP is not part of the Senate –the list doesn’t end).

    What candidates look for in a VP pick is someone that complements their weaknesses. Biden’s experience was to make up for Obama’s lack of it. Palin was picked to balance the boring white-guy factor on the Republican ticket.

  95. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    You’re free to believe that Palin is an idiot. but I must say that conservatives can’t win for losin’. If you’re a “great communicator” like Reagan then you’re a fake–an “actor.” If you’re not a great communicator like Palin (though I think she does fine) then you’re an idiot.

    Ah, but then comes Obama who says “nothing” exactly as the media would have him say it–and he’s praised as the one who has run the perfect (albeit vacuous) campaign.

  96. Mark B. on November 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Two words:

    JEFF FLAKE!

  97. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Geoff J.,

    You’re still being forced to spend money one way or the other.

  98. Mark D. on November 2, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    This is nice: Spread the wealth around!

    Geoff J (#91),

    Any owner of a profitable small business that isn’t paying taxes comparable to a similarly paid employee is cheating. Business deductions are reserved for business expenses, not personal expenses. FICA taxes can be reduced up to a point, but that is it.

  99. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Write him in, Mark!

  100. Jack on November 2, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Mark B., that is.

  101. Julie M. Smith on November 2, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Well. That gets us to 100 comments, so I’m closing it down.

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