Finally, after what has seemed like forever, we are into the primary season in the United States where each party chooses their candidate to run for the presidency (and maybe even a wild-card third-- or even fourth-- party run). This particular season seemed to start right after Bush won in 2004 because many were eager to see him out of office. Regardless of who wins in November, he will be out, but will what he has begun continue or will the United States choose a new direction?
It's hard for me to make fair comments on the Republican primaries given I don't like any of them. There appear to be a lot of 'me-too' candidates who are committed to continuing Bush's policies. So for the 30%, who still think Bush has been a good president, there are many options.
I wrote about my reasons for supporting Obama awhile back. I haven't changed my mind. I know it could be considered a roll of the dice because he's new to Washington politics, but he does have a record in Illinois. I like what I know of his temperament which his record shows. He has been pragmatic, knows about the issues that plague many of us on a daily level, and has learned to work well in groups.
Edwards is accusing him of being soft on corporations. Well-- and here is where I lose many liberals-- I don't consider all corporations to be the bad guys (they aren't all good either). Yes, they have had CEO salaries too high, not routinely treated workers well; but they are where jobs are created. They pay out most of the worker benefits. They make products. There need to be some adjustments but seeing corporations as the villains won't do it.
Frankly if you want to look for economic bad guys, look for those who make money off no product. Look at Hedge Fund managers, junk bond dealers, investors who have encouraged corporations to cannibalize themselves to make the stocks go up... and one other group.
Yes, civil lawsuit lawyers can protect the little people from abuse; but their profits on those big lawsuits are almost obscene for the amount of work they put into the cases.
And this is a lot of why I don't prefer John Edwards as it's part of how he made his fortune. Those lawsuits paid for his huge mansion and those $400 haircuts. In fact most likely it's why he decided he, the man of the people, needed those haircuts because his victories have often been more about perception than reality.
Edward's specialty was blaming doctors and hospitals for cerebral palsy based on difficult deliveries-- Junk Science makes Edwards a fortune. (yes, I know it's a right wing site from 2004, but is it true?) So on the one hand, he's speaking out for health insurance for everyone, but on the other hand he has profited mightily from holding doctors and hospitals responsible for something that is tragic but likely wasn't their fault.
Similarly some lawyers made much regarding mercury in vaccine causing autism. Mercury is gone and autism is still up. Does that kind of lawyer want to connect the dots? No and much as I hate to ever agree with Republicans, these kind of sympathy for the victim lawsuits are part of why medical care costs are where they are today.
I don't hold all defense lawyers to be bad guys-- but the ambulance chasing ones (this phrase does not mean literally chasing ambulances but simply going for the cases where somebody with deep pockets can be sued) have sure not done us any favors (think recently with Geragos representing zoo victims in San Francisco), and they are not on any positive list of mine.
If you see corporations and hospitals as the bad guy-- and some could make that case like in Sicko-- Edwards' criticism of Obama for working with the insurance companies might make sense. You might also see this as irrelevant in this election unless you decide maybe Edwards didn't care about facts then and he won based on oratory-- which is what he could be doing today and might do if he won the presidency.
Hillary I have talked about before. She's part of the Clinton machine and if there weren't two strong candidates opposing her, Edwards and Obama, her 30% (notice it's what Bush has) would not give her the nomination, let alone the election.
So maybe Obama is an unknown in comparison to the other two. Those who support him do so based on a belief that he has the character to stand up for the changes that need to be made in this country. They believe he has a temperament that will make him good at working with others and that his judgment has been good. Imagine what it could mean for us as a nation if he is who a lot of us believe he is! Yes, it's a hope but I feel none of that with any of the others-- just more of the same. With his temperament and political positions, Obama is looking like the one real agent of positive change; and change has been what I have wanted since Bush entered office!
It's going to be hard over the next months to stay focused on issues. I believe we need to look at for what these people stand, what is their personal character, and vote based on that, not on simply whether they can win. Hillary is not out of the game regardless of New Hampshire because if the party loyalists want her, in other states it's less easy for independents to vote.
(I will be writing about Republicans but hope that when I do, those who actually like one of them will comment as I don't like any well enough to support or vote for them; but I do have an opinion which I will share.)
Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.
Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).
Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.