“Country First?”

| September 4, 2008 | 8 Replies

I was stunned this week to see that the McCain camp has adopted the slogan “Country First” as the organizing principle for its campaign. In what way has McCain put “country first” by nominating a staggeringly unqualified V.P. candidate? Palin’s only credential for being on the Republican ticket appears to be that she is a hard-core evangelical Christian who McCain obviously hopes will energize the same single-issue Bible-thumpers who voted in large numbers for George W. That’s not putting the country first, that’s McCain putting his campaign first.

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Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

Comments (8)

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  1. Electric Tambourine says:

    And Obama's qualifications by comparison are…?

    Or as Jessie Jackson aptly noted: "He ain't run nothing except his mouth."

    Speaking of "Hard Core" religion, I would offer that sitting in the pews of Jeremiah Wright's congregation for twenty years is about as "hard core" as it gets (God Damn America…The government created AIDS…etc.).

    In our bonus round category of "Country First", It seems John McCain regularly pissed off conservatives/republicans with his participation in such activities as "McCain-Feingold, the "Gang of Fourteen" with respect to judicial nominations, supporting Ted Kennedy's Immigration "Reform". Those are just the "isle crossing", bipartisian "Country First" things that come quickly to mind.

    And Obama's similar "reaching across the isle country first" examples are…? Oh yeah, As he mentioned at Saddleback a few weeks ago, when he reached out to John McCain on ethics reform. Except that only lasted a week, until he was bitch-slapped by the Democratic Senate leadership, and forced to send McCain a letter, telling him get lost.

    DangerousIntersection.org is rapidly becoming a great source of entertainment, written by folks whom my grandfather would say are "Too smart by half."

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Electric Tambourine has some legitimate points to make. Too bad he/she lacks the self-confidence to make those arguments without stirring in personal attacks and name-calling.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    It seems to me that Palin is the political equivalent of "arm candy".

    She was definitely chosen for political positioning. She has many non-leadership related qualities that can be played to endear her to the MTV crowd.

    1 She's young. While this would be called inexperience if she were a Democrat, this does not apply to Republicans.

    2 She is a she. If you vote against McCain you're sexist because you don't want a woman VP. Of course if you vote for because his running mate is a woman, that is also sexist, but it helps to win, so there.

    3 She is a babe. She is a LOT better looking than Dick Cheney, and there are a lot of lonely guys that would vote Republican just to see her on the evening news.

    3 She is pro-life, this appeals to the religious right. The fact that she has 5 kids, says to the lonely guys in point #3 that she "puts out", and the pregnant underage teenage daughter could score some points with the heterosexual pedophile voters.

    4 She is the Governor of Alaska (the least populous state in the nation). Before that, she was the mayor of the second largest city in her state (did I mention that Alaska is the least populous state in the US?), and before that she was head of the PTA. With her busy schedule she is still able to devote quality time to her 5 children. (including the one that is pregnant.)

    5 She is religious, which implies to the public that she must be honest.

    Please note that I am attempting to be sarcastic, even if I seem otherwise.

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Note to E.T. (Electric Tambourine) on the "Experience " issue.

    This campaign has euphemistically substituted the word "experience" in place of "age". They are not the same.

    Example. Two guys graduate from high school in the same class. The first guy goes to college, gets a degree then goes to work in a stable job as an accountant. 30 years later he is in the same job because he knows it and likes it.

    The second guy goes to a technical school and is trained as a medical technician. He then spends several years traveling in Europe, Africa, and Asia, seeing first hand the living conditions in many nations,briefly working as a male nurse in a field hospital just outside the Afghanistan border during the 1980, spending time in Ethiopia, and even climbing Mt Everest during those 30 years.

    You could argue that both guys have the same amount of experience, but the breadth of experience is totally different. If I were to ask both guys to describe the values of Afghan people, I would give more credence to the second guy because he has experience with Afghan people, where the first guy would only know what he had heard on the news.

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    E.T. asks, "And Obama’s qualifications by comparison are…?"

    How many qualifications do you want? Here's a start: stunning ability to inspire, conspicuous good judgment, unmatched ability to organize, far better grasp of the issues than any other candidate in either party, excellent role model….

    Oh, and let's not forget that McCain's primary qualification (at least judging by the emphasis it got at the Republican National Convention) is that he spent five years in a North Viet Nam POW camp FORTY YEARS years ago. Was that in the Middle East? No. Was that in a desert? No. Was that a war against religious extremists? No. Did John McCain command any troops in that war? No. Did America win that war? No. What value does McCain's experience in that war give to someone faced with commanding the occupations of Iraq or Afganistan? Hmmm…none?

    As regards the Jeremiah Wright video, you should check out some of the videos from Sarah Palin's church. Just google "palin church video" and you'll find all sorts of wierd stuff.

  6. grumpypilgrim says:

    BTW, did you notice that Republicans all steered well clear of any mention of the current state of the U.S. economy? No surprise, given that jobless claims are at 5-year high and mortgage problems are nearly 10%.

  7. Tim Hogan says:

    ET, phone home!

    McCain took John Hagee, Ron Parsley and "pray for rain on Obama" Dobson as his supporters.

    Hagee says; "America is damned!"

    Parsley is McCain's "spiritual adivisor" and says Muslims "worship the devil!"

    McCain has said he wouldn't vote for his own immigration bill now, nor would he sign it as President. So yappimng about bi-partisanship don't mean it's true!

    Republicans in the Illinois Senate praised Obama for reaching across the aisle when he could've just rammed through what he wanted in a Democratic controlled legisl;ature with a Democratic governor.

    How's about them apples, yapper!

  8. grumpypilgrim says:

    ET, here are two more things that distinguish Obama from McCain:

    1. Obama understand the concept of lost opportunity costs. That's a concept which recognizes that the resources which are being spent in Iraq can't be spent on other things that are more important. McCain sees Iraq in isolation and declares we must stay there until we "achieve victory," without bothering to consider how else those resources (both human and material) might be used.

    2. Obama understands the concept of sunk costs. That's a concept which recognizes that the resources already spent on a project are irrelevant to decisions about the future of that project. By contrast, McCain is constantly pointing to past expenditures in Iraq to try to justify further losses. To see the absurdity of McCain's thinking, consider this: imagine that Bush had not sent American troops into Iraq, but that some other country had, and that they now faced the mess in Iraq. Ask yourself: would it make sense for America to take over their mess? If you answer, "no," then the concept of sunk costs says that America should get out of Iraq.

    While you're thinking about those points, consider this one: McCain has said it doesn't matter if America stays in Iraq for another hundred years. With that mindset, America would still be fighting the Viet Nam war.

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