Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post Election Thoughts

I went back today and read my thoughts on the Presidental election four years ago. Obviously, I have a very different feel this time around.

As I pointed out a couple months ago, this was a historic election. 40 years after the turmoil of the 60's, we have an African American as our President. That's saying something about our country. I wish I thought this would lower the charges of racism that fly fast and furious around us, but I don't think it will. But it should be a long way toward it.

The problem I have with Barak Obama is his policies. If he sticks to his election promises (like withdrawing taxes or redistributing the wealth) I'm not going to be a happy camper. He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. I'd probably have the most conservative. Not to mention his view of sitting down with no rules with our enemies.

Which brings me to McCain. In my opinion, the only thing has done right in recent years is pick Sarah Palin as his running mate. His maverick standing actually bothered me way too much as he often seemed to be on the other side of issues from me. So my vote for him yesterday (and it only took me 25 minutes start to finish to vote. Still the longest time it's ever taken me) was more a vote against Obama. Yes, I really should have socked it to the Republican party and voted third party. But I was thinking of the overall percentages not just how California would fall.

So with the Presidency in the hands of the other political party and the House and Senate there, too, I will probably be ranting more about the state of things then I have in the past. I think the next few years will be interesting.

But, in all my rants, here is what I promise. I will never resort to cheap nicknames when describing the other side. I will argue based on facts. Yes, I will get emotional at times. But name calling and baseless accusations won't be part of my posts. I will remember that the people I disagree with are human. They are worthy of my respect as such even when I disagree.

And who knows. I thought I might rant more about things the last four years (or last few months) then I have. I might stick to my usual diary and Thursday Threesome posts. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

Most of the whole redistribution of wealth has to do with taxing the profits of oil companies. Nothing wrong with taxing ExxonMobil, which continues to report record profits -- even with the crash of oil.

FWIW, what Obama is proposing with this is not much different than what Alaska has with the Permanent Fund, in which EVERY citizen gets a check every year from the oil taxes. Palin (and just about every Alaskan) herself is a HUGE fan of the fund.

And, given the salaries at TMC, you stand to actually get more money in your pocket under Obama's plan than under McCain's plan. You certainly don't make that much money there.

The taxes will be raised from the wealthy and it is those tax dollars that will fill the gap of the cuts elsewhere and that will fund the new programs Obama starts.

Also, Obama plans to go through line-by-line of the budget and cut out what is not needed -- the government continues to fund projects for years after it is necessary. That will save money.

As for Palin, I think she was too much of a liability. Great appeal to Evangelicals, but in a year of record turnout courting the Christian right does not work. Furthermore, I can assure you that I wasn't the only Evangelical that voted for Obama.

Palin, IMHO, is merely being groomed for 2012. Not that she stands a chance, but I think she will be a player four years from now.

Also, aside from Palin, I think Bush was another liability. McCain, in 2000, distanced himself from Bush in the primary and set himself apart as a strong centrist/moderate choice. Even though I still think he politically is there, he ended up being a little too close to one of the most unpopular Presidents (though one of the most honest, because Bush did live up to his promises) ever.

Aside from Obama's abortion stance, which IMHO is moot (even South Dakota couldn't get a voter approved ban on abortion -- which is very telling, given that SD tends to be a socially conservative state), I think he has some positive ideas for change.

Anonymous said...

I should add "the sitting down with no rules with our enemies part" is nothing new. Reagan did that (with Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, an avowed enemy for many years leading up to the talks) with great success (the Soviet Union collapsed, as did the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, plus the wall came tumbling down), as did Nixon (which helped open China to the West).

Diplomacy has worked in the past (see above) and what I admire about Obama is he is ready to give it another shot. He already has commanded the respect of many world leaders, which is not a bad thing.

One of the reasons diplomacy has failed recently, is we have used envoys, rather than face-to-face talks that Reagan used.

Israel settled peace with Jordan and Egypt, not with direct envoys, but with direct face-to-face talks between leaders.

Anonymous said...

Points taken, Mark. As for me, I'm a little taken back that a two year senator has enough experience to be voted in as president. [Perhaps this is one of democracy's weaknesses.] If two years is a precedent, I would like to ask President Elect Obama if he might appoint me over NASA. I have two years experience as an engineer in aerospace. Paul.

Mark Baker said...


With our economy as it is, there is no way we should be raising taxes on anyone, no matter how much they make. I don't care that I will get more from Obama then McCain because in the long run (and the short run) Obama's plan is bad for our economy.

As for going through the budget, I'll believe it when I see it. This is a compaign promise. I seriously don't believe most of what comes from a politician's mouth but look at what he does in office.

Abortion - I have one phrase for you. Supreme Court. With Obama and the Dems in charge of the Senate, we will get some of the most liberal judges possible on the court this go around. And they will do damage to our country for years, including more things like Abortion. Watch for gay marriage to be legalized by the SC in the next 10 years.

I do agree that having the President sit down with other countries is a good thing. But Reagan didn't go into the meetings just to find out what they wanted. He went with his own demands. There is a huge difference.

Look, I know you support Obama. I don't. I'm not going to change your mind with my posts, and you won't change mine with long replies. I think we'll both have to wait and see what the next four years actually bring. The truth will probably be somewhere between what we both think. It always is with politicians.

Mark Baker said...


Great to see you here!

And I certainly agree. Not that there is really any "experience" requirement to be President, but it's something that has become expected.

And don't get me started (again) about Palin's "lack of experience" but Obama's "great experience." Double standard anyone?

Anonymous said...


The SC probably will legalize abortion MUCH sooner than that. Prop 8 likely will end up in the SC sooner, rather than later. They either rule A) States right and Prop 8 stays or B) Invoke the equal protection clause.

The abortion issue was pretty much destroyed when a conservative state like South Dakota votes against outlawing it, except in the most extreme cases (rape, incest, health of the mother).

FWIW, Congress might not belong to the Democrats for long if things do not work out. Clinton only had his Democratic Congress for two years, before the GOP crushed the Dems in 1994 (I remember this vividly, as we watched the returns on the computer on my dial-up connection in Waldock).

We'll wait and see on the economy thing. I think it will all work out in the end. Many said the same about Clinton (who took over after Bush I) and his time ended rather well in terms of the economy.


Others have went into the White House with limited experience, just not recently. IIRC, Lincoln was in the same boat.

Overall, I vote based on the whole package -- even if I may not agree with certain parts of the package (ie abortion). I put lots of weight on various areas and overall I just gave Obama higher marks.


Anonymous said...

I meant legalize gay marriage, not abortion.

...tom... said...


The idea that 'increased taxes on oil company profits' will somehow power all this change in the coming four years is an apt demonstration of how poorly vetted the President-Elect's ideas of 'change' are.

I hope we have a great next four years. Gawd knows we can not afford four years of discord, strife, and ongoing failures in the same and new areas.

Sheesh . . .wishing I could pull a 'Rip Van Winkle' snooze right now...