Ok, this post has nothing to do with baseball obviously but since I can't watch the post season without being sick to my stomach indulge me for a bit while I go in a different direction for a post or two.
Let me start with full disclosure, it is no secret my absolute disdain for the current republican administration. While it isn't fair to blame Bush and his buddys for all of the current problems that we face, they certainly have had a heavy hand in destroying our economy, our reputation, our environment...etc..etc. You would be hard pressed to do a worse job than this administration even if you tried to screw things up.
That said, even though I am a registered democrat, I do not think that it is right to only vote along party lines. To truly make an intelligent decision about who is right to lead the country it is CRITICAL that people understand the issues that are important to not only them, but to the rest of the country. At the end of the day though intellectual curiosity and sound judgement are two key attributes that a candidate must posses.
So what about McCain? While I certainly appreciate his military service and feel that he is intelligent, I do not agree with most of his policies. But what really kills it for me is that clearly he is lacking in judgment. Let me break down the deal breakers for me with McCain:
Taxes and Health care - Last night at the debate McCain trumpeted that no one should be saddled with higher taxes. This is irresponsible. We have seen the effects of fighting two wars while cutting taxes, not to mention $700 billion that we sent to lower Manhattan, and then there were the economic stimulus checks to nowhere. These all have to be paid for. Somehow, someway McCain knows he is going to have to raise taxes, but how will he do it? Part of how McCain plans to pay for making Bush's tax cuts permanent is by taxing employee health care programs in exchange for a $5,000 tax credit. This is a thinly veiled tax on workers who will have to pay for the increased health care out of their salary, or will elect to just drop coverage all together because it is too expensive. In that scenario we all know that $5,000 isn't going to amount to a hill of beans if someone gets sick. Do the top 5% of America really need that second villa in Tuscany at the expense of "Joe Six Pack" not being able to see a doctor? How can Mr. Six Pack fulfil what McCain last night called his responsibility to health care if he has to decide between surgery and spaghetti?
People who can't afford insurance amd people with pre existing conditions that make them uninsurable are basically screwed under McCain's plan just as they have been for decades. Under the current system insurance companies can drop you even if you didn't know about a pre-existing condition, chrons disease for example. A close friend of mine can't get health insurance now because he has Chrons disease, again, a condition that he didn't know he had when he was first insured. Now if he needs to go to the doctor he has to decide between just toughing it out or going thousands of dollars in debt for hospital stays. Unfortunately neither candidate is calling for socialized medicine which I believe should be a right. We can essentially socialize wall street but we can't do the same for the uninsured? Health care shouldn't be a for profit business.
The Economy - I am not an economist, and I certainly would never pretend to be better versed on the financial markets than I truly am. However McCain isn't an expert either and has said as much. His comments that the economy is fundamentally secure as wall street crumbled around him only send up even more red flags. As we all saw during the failure of the first bailout package McCain had little to say and mostly got in the way. Now I do not feel that Obama has given us a terribly straight answer on what he proposes to do to fix the situation we are in. However, given McCain's history of deregulation I don't feel he has a grasp on the realities of greed on wall street and fear that once the markets stabilize he would eventually revert back to a lack of oversight.
Sarah Palin - Palin is perhaps the best example of McCain's poor judgment. I hate what she stands for, a political ploy to capture female voters. That combined with her positions on everything from gun control to abortion to teaching creationism in school is the polar opposite of what I believe. She is dangerously naive with regards to foreign policy and didn't even have a passport until the last few years. Whats more, I get the impression that she thinks that this is all some sort of game and that once (if) she ascends to the oval office it will be just like running Alaska. That scares me tremendously given we are now witnessing the results of someone who has no business being president running the country for 8 years. Further, in Alaska I don't think too much of the whole troopergate investigation...did she abuse her powers, probably, but every politician does at some point. What worries me is her blatant nepotism and crony-ism placing unqualified people in positions of government power in Alaska just as Bush has in DC. All that and the fact that a person who is running for vice president can not even answer a question about the Bush doctrine or how being able to see Russia gives her foreign policy experience. If you were Joe six pack then fine, who cares if you don't know what the bush doctrine is, but if you are a heartbeat away from the nuclear codes you better damn well know. Much has been written about McCain's health and ability to serve out his first term, as such putting a woman with Palin's experience so close to the Oval office is nothing short of reckless and irresponsible.