Experience Counts

Vote for John McNixon

I’m still hearing a lot of McCain supporters claiming that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president, because he lacks experience. As we all know, experience is such a reliable indicator of the quality of the presidency.

Speaking of Nixon, he was probably the first modern president to suck up to the current incarnation of the religious right. He did it for purely cynical reasons, of course. He was not an especially religious person. He saw the political value. As did the fundies.

Billy Graham and Richard Nixon

This isn’t symbiosis. It’s mutual parasitism. Which parasite will destroy its host first? James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et al only seem to be slightly weakened this election. The Republican party looks like it’s about to topple. What will the fundies do without a host organism?

19 Responses to “Experience Counts”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    Like in the movie Alien, the parasitic being sucks the life out of the host until it is strong enough to break out on its own. The GOP needed the support, and the fundies needed a way to get their agenda out. Too bad for the real conservatives…I think Colin Powell stated this shift in the GOP best when he was on Meet the Press a few weeks ago

    “I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that’s a choice the party makes…I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that’s what we’d be looking at in a McCain administration. I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?

    From my perspective, it seems that the intelligentsia of the “conservative” party are either abandoning or have serious reservations about the current status quo of the GOP. I think it is a long shot, but if the GOP doesn’t get their act together and try to disassociate themselves from the powerful looney fringe we could see the rise of either a third party or a huge growth in the number of registered independents.

  2. Thomas Says:

    First and foremost, the presidency is a unique job. Virtually any pretense of “experience” is pretty academic. While I’ll admit that your average plumber or doctor probably isn’t qualified, I also can’t come up with a list of qualifications for the job that has any grounding in reality.

    The people who might be able to make a real claim of experience, former white house chiefs of staff, world renowned political scientists, heads of major NGO’s etc., aren’t really the type that want the job.

    On a totally unrelated note, I had “Bay of Fundi Salmon” for lunch today. It was mighty delicious.

  3. Sarah Says:

    You know, I saw the greatest bumper sticker today. It was a picture of Lincoln and the phrase, “It’s my party and I can cry if I want to.”

    This kind of crap would have the Reps of ye yonder year rolling in their graves.

  4. Brian Says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, as it looks like the GOP is headed for an epic defeat. While its impossible to accurately predict what Republicans will do now or what they will stand for in the future, I think we can make some reasonable assumptions, nonetheless.

    First, let’s suppose that Obama’s first term is largely viewed as a success, especially in the first year or two. That would almost certainly keep the GOP from making any Congressional gains as they did in 1994. If Democrats are able to make one or two significant legislative achievements, I think the country would still be with them. Plus, Republicans will face the same problem in 2012 that they faced this year – no compelling, clear-cut leader of the party to challenge for the presidency. If they’re seriously floating Sarah Palin as their big gun for that campaign, they are well and truly fucked.

    If, however, Obama or the Democratic Congress stumbles, the GOP will have an opening. The best they can hope for is something approaching parity in both houses, which will make it easier for them to be obstructionists on anything they want. They’ll still be in the same bind in terms of keeping Obama from winning a second term. Its very hard to unseat an incumbent president, no matter how stupid he is (2004), and Obama is anything but stupid.

    So, if the first scenario comes to pass, Republicans will have some soul-searching to do. As I have said here before, they will have to sever their ties with the fundies that have, like any cancer, completely taken over even though it means the death of its host organism. Under these circumstances, I could see an actual, official split in the party, a reformation, if you will. On one side will be people calling themselves real Republicans who will most likely be appealing to Libertarians. On the other side, of course, is the terrifying Party of God, to whom the Constitution is a document from which only acceptable parts may be taken, and the rest ignored, just like the Bible. Civil liberties will be anathema to them. Anyone not “like” them is scum that must be expunged from the society.

    Whether this happens depends on where the mood of the country really is right now. Are we really a left-of-center country with a progressive bent, ready to ditch conservatism once and for all? Or are we simply fed up with Bush and are turning to the Democrats in nothing more than a stimulus response, ready to swing the pendulum back to the right once our collective memories become a bit foggier? This election won’t answer that question. We may not know until Obama is out of office. But if Republicans sense that the public is merely being fickle, they might decide to weather this particular storm, and emerge later as the de facto alternative people will inevitably turn to when they’re ready for another change.

    If we’re really a more progressive nation, which I’m very cautiously inclined to think, then we’ll see a dramatic realignment of the traditional two-party system within the next decade or two. The only thing constant is change, and even the political realities we’ve all grown up with must some day end.

  5. LadyRavana Says:

    Very thought-provoking, insightful comments there, Brian. I always enjoy your posts. :)

    I myself wonder what will become of the Republican party as I watch them collapse under their own weight. They’ve been decaying from the inside out, and it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen how disease-ridden they really are, since they’re all but falling apart at the seams. I mean, for God’s sakes, someone in McCain’s campaign said himself that Palin was a “whackjob.” I think that right there said a lot about how desperate things really are for McCain, and actually sparked a tiny bit of hope in me.

    The question is: will the Republican party survive or die out? Can they be redeemed? Only time will tell.

  6. OtherRob Says:

    By almost any “conservative cliche” you could name, I should be a Republican. But as has been pointed here already, the Republican party of Lincoln — or even Goldwater — is no more. Which is too bad, because I happen to agree with a lot of what they claim to believe in. Except, of course, they really don’t….

  7. Sue Blue Says:

    Fundies are like cockroaches, rats and fleas. They excel at exploiting whatever source of sustenance is available; they also breed incessantly. At best they may be forced back under their rocks or into their holes to hide, cannibalizing one another, living off of their stored delusions, until times get better for them. May that day never come.

  8. Brian Says:

    Sue Blue,

    So true, so true. One of the things we must continually remind ourselves is that fundies are in this – quite literally – for all eternity. For them, whatever insult to human intelligence or desecration of human dignity they’re committing is all well and good as its being done in the service of their god. When you’ve got the lord on your side, any inanity can be excused, and any malfeasance can be justified.

    Fundies are like roaches in that they carry and spread the virus of religion, infecting the minds of those whose mental defenses aren’t yet up to snuff, like children or people in the midst of a personal tragedy. Like a lion picking off the weakest member of the herd, religion seeks out and thrives within the weakest among us, ready to be passed along to the next victim by its new carrier. It cannot survive by itself in a “marketplace of ideas” because in two thousand years theology has not generated one new idea, and the ones it has have all been discredited and debunked.

    Education and reason are the cures to religion, and fundies know it. Why else would they fight so hard over what kids in schools are learning? Why else would the far right have developed such a disdain for intellectual achievement? How else can we explain the political success of the Republican party in recent years? Certainly they are also bereft of new ideas, and rely on the stupidity of the masses, motivated by fear, for their continued survival. All of which explains why in about 72 hours they’re going to be reamed like never before, and I’m going to thoroughly enjoy it.

  9. Lindsay Says:

    I second to enjoying Brian’s post…they are thought provoking. I wish I would put my thoughts into words as well as he can.

    How about the comparison of fundies to vermin taken in a literal sense – that frankly, stupid people tend to breed more than intelligent people. There has been considerable research in the link between the amount of time a woman spends being schooled and their fertility.

    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/completingfertility/RevisedCLELANDpaper.PDF

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-08-18-fertility_N.htm?csp=34

    http://discuss.prb.org/content/interview/detail/1172/

  10. Bacopa Says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure Obama will win. The shaky Rebublician coalition may just pull through. I think the hate may prevail.

    But if Obama does win, and I both caucused and early voted for him, there’s no way Palin will have a political future. She will be blamed for dragging the Republicans down and left to her fate in Alaska.

    I do expect widespread domestic terrorsim if Obama wins. This could be a good thing in a way if only a few lives are lost. It would be an excellent opportunity to thin the ranks of the most extreme fundies with multiple criminal prosecutions.

  11. S. Says:

    I truly worry about all of these homeschooled kids nowadays.Most parents are not trained educators,and as a nation, we are going to have a whole slew of undereducated,hyper-religious adults on our hands before too long.(What a sight that is going to be ! ) Children deserve the right to a decent education,and it doesn’t seem fair to me that they can be allowed to stay home and be taught by someone not trained to be an educator,when that same personeducating them would not be allowed to teach in a public school as such without any credentials of any kind.Kids deserve better than that.

  12. S. Says:

    I’ve heard plenty of excuses for Nixon’s actions…and none of them fly ! even such things as the media ruined him,and it was all their fault..um,no,he did that on his own.had there not been anything to uncover, there would have been nothing to report.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Brian – I am also cautiously optimistic that we are a center-left nation issue-by-issue, closer to our friends in Europe than the MSM would be willing to admit. My fear, however, is that this does not in any way negate the possibility of the Republicans being the “agents of change” from future public unrest due to policies that may or may not (more likely not) be a result of Democratic governance. Look at how Reagan swept in due to the chaos at the end of Carter’s administration. Look at how the Republicans stormed into the House in 1994. Was it because the public really really wanted to get their conservative trickle-down-money-flow on and punish those evil Cadillac driving welfare queens? No, it was because they were the de facto agents of change from whatever the public was unhappy about at that time in the current government.

    Despite this, I feel Obama’s campaign is more than just being in the right place at the right time. The way people seem so energized about him and his policies seems more than just being upset at the other guy. However, I’m a realist too. I think if (when!) Obama pulls off the victory tomorrow, it will largely be helped by the “I’m tired of Bush” voters. This is not to diminish anything Obama’s campaign has done. They have run a damn near perfect campaign. They also have ideas and policies that sell really well to most Americans. But if Bush hadn’t totally clusterfucked the country, McCain very likely would be VERY close.

    And that is the nature of presidential politics. There are 40% on either side that love their side. Then there’s this “independent” vote that the media fetishes over. What Obama has done better than anything is get new voters. He’s gotten the youth active and registered to the Democratic side. That’s powerful. That is going to stay with us for decades.

    So who knows? I hope the Republican Party splits. That will ensure a long enough liberal agenda that we might actually be able to fix this country well enough that the next time a smooth-talking Reagan or Bush comes along, we’ll survive it better than we did this time.

  14. S. Says:

    Parrot,(and any Dem here) to put it succinctly …do you think we’ll be better off when some of these older voters pass on? nothing against older ppl (truly,my parents are in their 70′s),but..no matter what party they’re registered with,I get the feeling that it was many of the older folks who voted republican,and helped get us into this mess to begin with.(a large part of them probably lured in by the abortion issue,just being old-fashioned in general,many probably have been repubs all their lives,etc.).I just see things as getting better,as time moves on,IF we will move in the democratic direction,and I suspect we’ll be able to do that better, once some of the older generations are no longer around.(again,noting against older folks;just from what I’ve seen,it’s the impresson I get).And I hope I’m not as closed-minded when I get older ! LOL.

  15. Brian Says:

    OK, lots to talk about today. First, I have officially voted for Obama. At my particular polling location 3 different precincts vote in the same building. Fortunately for me, I only had 4 people ahead of me. The other two lines were out the door. Whether this means anything remains to be seen, but I am very curious to see how my county ends up voting, not to mention Ohio itself.

    S., you raise a very important, if somewhat morbid, point. Generational changes do have massive impacts on things like politics and even religion. As we watch the numbers get crunched tonight, I won’t be surprised if seniors overwhelmingly went for McCain, since that’s what polling yesterday indicated. These are the people most resistant to change of any kind. Also, I’m sure our friends the evangelicals will come down in favor of McCain as well. If Obama wins (and he will) and has a successful presidency, I think modern conservatism as we’ve come to know and loathe it will die off along with its adherents. Yeah, that’s an impolite thing to say, but no one ever said the truth had to be politically correct.

    PL, I was asked a few months ago by someone I work with if I am voting for Obama or against McCain. Truthfully, I think its largely an even split of both, and the percentages vary depending on my mood. I will say that Barack Obama is the first candidate for president since I’ve been able to vote who I really, really wanted to win, which partially explains my ambivalence a few months ago about Hillary Clinton. My vote for John Kerry on ’04 was, I admit, a vote against George Bush. I’d have voted for William Hung if he was the Democratic Nominee then.

    Yes, I also voted against McCain, Palin, Bush, Cheney, and the entire goddamned Republican party today, and I don’t feel the least bit apologetic about it. I hope we are seeing the start of a true sea change in our politics and our collective positions on various issues. We shall see.

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I certainly voted against bush in ’04. I was mildly excited about Gore, but I was complacent back then because, well, things were good. If I had known how bad things would get, I would have been really really really really excited about Gore. Nowadays, the more I read about Gore, the more I love the man. I just didn’t know him well enough in 2000. (I still voted for him.)

    This year, I am incredibly voting FOR Obama. Sure, I’m also voting against McCain because I think he’s incredibly incompetent, but if my for/against ratio is 50/50, my passion about this race is 100x higher than in 2000 or 2004. So that makes my Obama 50% waaaaaaaaaaaaaay higher than my against-Bush vote in 2004.

    As for the older generation… I think that is where the majority of the PUMA style of racism is coming from (including the so-called Bradley Effect racism). It’s sad, but true. I’m reminded of Harriet, that lovely Hillary supporter who spoke of the “inadequate black male” and how we were “throwing it all away” after Hillary conceded…

  17. Andrew N.P. Says:

    I can understand your enthusiasm. After all, a President Obama will finally stand up to the recent assault on civil liberties, put Main Street before Wall Street, and keep our military out of unwinnable wars.

  18. Ron Britton Says:

    Andrew:

    Not one of your examples would even exist today, if it hadn’t been for eight years of Rethuglican rule. Obama is far from perfect. I would have preferred a liberal. But as I said before, we have to take these things incrementally.

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:

    The problem with government is that it is all about compromise. I agree with Ron about preferring a more liberal candidate, but you know what? Fuck you naysayers. I’m not coming down from my Obama High. I don’t have to agree 100% with somebody to know they are the best person for the job. In fact, I may want them to disagree with me.

    For example, I’m pretty much a pacifist. But maybe a Cindy Sheehan style of leaving Iraq in 34.2 seconds is not such a great idea. Maybe the way to actually have the least loss of life and produce the most stability is to phase it out over the course of, say, a year. These types of decisions are so incredibly complicated and difficult, it boggles the mind that anybody would want to actually have to make them. As for FISA, yes I would have preferred a “no” vote, but Obama fought hard to water that bill down a lot. It was a “bitter pill” as they say. It was OVER 9000 times better than the original republican bill. And the only way to prevent that vote from becoming a political disaster for Democrats was to compromise. It sucks, but guess what? Life isn’t always fair.

    Now that Dems have control, as long as the Repubs stop fillibustering every single damn bill that comes to the senate floor, we may actually be able to finally undo some of the damage Bush has done. We might even be able to undo some of the bad, but watered down, bills Dems helped support. And as we have primaries again in the House and Senate two years from now, maybe we can vote out some more of the Repubs and Bush Dog Democrats and finally restore this nation to greatness once more.

    And Obama is the best person to lead this effort.