Sunday, April 06, 2008

The things you think are precious, I can't understand



As I've been studying the candidate's platforms, I've been struck by the issues each lists as important.

Obama's list is in alphabetical order, but still seems pretty good to me:
Civil Rights
Disabilities
Economy
Education
Energy & Environment
Ethics
Faith
Family
Fiscal
Foreign Policy
Healthcare
Homeland Security
Immigration
Iraq
Poverty
Rural
Service
Seniors & Social Security
Technology
Veterans

Clinton's list is, I assume, in order of importance, and it's also pretty good:
Strengthening the Middle Class
Providing Affordable & Accessible Health Care
Ending the War in Iraq
Energy Independence & Global Warming
Improving Our Schools
Fulfilling Our Promises to Veterans
Supporting Parents and Caring for Children
Restoring America's Standing in the World
A Champion for Women
Comprehensive Government Reform
Strengthening Our Democracy
Reforming our Immigration System
An Innovation Agenda
Creating Opportunity in Rural America

What about John W. McCain's list? Well, it's illuminating, and largely delusional:
Economic Stimulus Plan
McCain Tax Cut Plan
Government Spending, Lower Taxes and Economic Prosperity
Straight Talk on Health System Reform
Strict Constructionist Philosophy
Human Dignity & the Sanctity of Life
Lobbying & Ethics Reform
Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Border Security & Immigration Reform
Commitment To America's Service Members: Past And Present
Education
National Security
Stewards of Our Nation's Rich Natural Heritage
Protecting Second Amendment Rights
America's Space Program

Right. Forget the Iraq Strategery, the Ethics Reform, the Commitment to not torturing POWs like he was tortured, in fact, forget the whole thing as boilerplate concoted by someone in his PR shop. He doesn't mean any of it.

And Space Program? WTF?

But what of other Republican candidates? (yes, I know they already dropped out, but they still are sucking up to try and win a VP nomination)

Let's revisit Mitt Romney's issues:
Keeping Americans Safe
Confronting Radical Jihad
Combating Nuclear Terrorism
Latin American Allies
Global Economic Competition
Ending Energy Dependence
Curbing Federal Spending
Ending Illegal Immigration
Reducing Healthcare Costs
American Culture & Values
Raising the Bar on Education

Nice. Clearly those are his political issues and not his personal ones. That said, the list is pretty scary, with a triple boogey-man lede: Keeping Americans Safe, Radical Jihad, and Nuclear Terrorism. While I'm flattered he cares so much about my safety, I'm pretty sure that even he would agree, after a few scotch & sodas, that it's total BS.

Mitt, buddy: Radical Jihad has killed less Americas that drunk drivers every year, yet it's still the tactic designed to appease the bed-wetters on the Right. And Nuclear Terrorism might be taken seriously if anyone on the Republican side of the aisle was even a tiny bit serious about searching incoming shipping containers. Not going to happen, because it will cause a few dollars expense to the shipping companies, and we can't disrupt business in anyway now, can we?

Seriously, the candidate's issues lists are less reality and more posturing, having been created by marketing teams to sell the candidate's brands to the public. Obama and Clinton have some credibility based on track records, but McCain, and even poor old multimillionaire Romney have exactly none.

Zero.

Nada.

Bastards.

(Note: Mostly I think Steely Dan sucks. The later albums like Aja & Gaucho were, to me, exercises in clinical music: all science, no soul. Reelin' in the Years was a pretty good song, fit into the aesthetic of the time, and had some great lyrics. But soon after, they descended into studio wankery. Of course, your mileage may vary.)