I am a fan of politics. I follow the day to day chaos of our governing like most people follow sports or movie stars. It is what I am most passionate about. Politics is something that everybody should pay attention to, but honestly, not everyone has the time. You would love to know what is going on but things are busy. You know how you feel about the world but not which candidate would be the best choice for you. No fear, my friends, for I have whipped together my take on the Primary campaign for the presidency. I will post facts and my two cents on the various candidates so you have a good briefing on who is running about what. So the only question remaining is . . .
Why should you trust me? Well let me give you a disclaimer about my biases. I am a progressive Democrat. I think the War in Iraq, was not illegal but a horrendous mistake. I think Bush has lied to us about Iraq, No Child Left Behind, Wiretapping our phones, and loads of other stuff. I think that for the most part, the Democrats have been cowardly in confronting him, and surrender to easily. I believe in protecting the Earth and all its citizens regardless of nationality. Also, I believe Dick Cheney was the third shooter at Dallas in 1963.
The last one was a joke but you get the idea. On to the candidates (in no particular order):
Leader in the national polls. Two term senator from New York. Former first lady. Most likely to cause your crazy conservative grandparents to foam at the mouth.
- A reduction of troops in Iraq, but no full withdrawal.
- A modest universal health care package that would expand government plans so everybody has Medical insurance.
- In the senate, she introduced a bill to tie Congressional pay raises to the minimum wage so when they get a raise, we get a raise.
- Believes we should work with the energy companies (coal, oil, etc) to help co-ordinate global warming efforts.
- Extremely supportive of women’s reproductive rights
- Believes in removing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Pros: Extremely Competent. This woman would put together an effective government. No way would her administration bungle Katrina. For the campaign, she has been facing the right-wing smear machine for decades and knows how to fight back. Finally, Bill Clinton, back in the White House, with less responsibilities, come on, guys. That would be hilarious!
Cons: She is a corporate democrat. Her top political guru used to work for Wal-Mart and the corrupt mercenary group, Blackwater. She frequently makes bargains with corporations to get her work done. She never really apologized for voting for the Iraq War and has voted to continue funding it and renewing the Patriot Act. She would be a Clinton after Bush-Clinton-Bush so there is the dynasty issue. Also, alot of people really don’t like her. I think she could win but she would hurt the other candidates running. Every senate race in the south would have ads like, “Would you vote for (my opponent) and HILLARY CLINTON?!” It would be ugly.
Pulling in third in the polls. One term senator from North Carolina, Vice Presidential Nominee from 2004, former trial Lawyer. Scraping populist. Ridiculously man pretty.
- His biggest campaign issue is to eliminate poverty by 2036 by increasing minimum wage, focus on rural job opportunities and strengthening worker protection laws.
- A safe, complete withdrawal from Iraq over nine-ten months after taking office. Leaving behind a small battalion to protect American aid workers. Complete autonomy from Iraqi politics.
- Absolute universal healthcare. The government pays the bills for whichever health care provider you choose. Paid for by closing tax loopholes on the top 1% of citizens and raising the Estate tax (which doesn’t apply to you, because you, loyal reader, do not own an estate)
- Create new jobs by fulling investing in our renewable energy infrastructure (think building power-poles, solar plants and hydroelectric plants).
- New College initiative: Would provide one year of tuition if you volunteered part time at a non-profit and stayed out of trouble.
- Pro Civil-Unions but not marriage on the basis that “Marriage” is a religious term. Civil Unions would have all the legal benefits of hetero ones.
Pros: Very much a populist, Edwards is fierce in sticking it to Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Business and just Big things in general. He is new-ish to D.C. so not terribly corrupted yet. His wife is a strong voice for being a progressive democrat. He has apologized for voting for the War and ran a great deal of ads trying to pressure congress into ending the war. He has raised most of his money from small independent contributions ($50 or less). Also, my favorite.
Cons: Once spent $300 on a haircut out of Campaign funds. Gets shut out of alot of tv apperances by media companies because, well, he criticizes media companies. He accepted federal matching funds which means he can’t spend as much as his Republican opponent in the general election which would be tough. Finally, he’s a trial lawyer and people don’t seem to like lawyers very much.
Second in national polls and first in the media’s heart. First term senator from Illinois. Before that, community activist. Suspiciously young looking. Very eloquent. Stresses rising above partisan struggle.
- Opposed the war before most other did. Believes in the Iraq Study group plan of moving troops out of the country but keeping them in the area should they need to “fight insurgents”. Also includes troop withdrawals with provisions for rest and body armor.
- Make it so everybody has access to the same health care program congress uses, through subsidizing their insurance payments.
- Actually fund No Child Left Behind while increasing teacher pay.
- Limit corporate donations to politicians through vigorous oversight.
- Signing Kyoto Treaty.
- Immediate action to stop the Genocide in Darfur.
- Pro Civil Unions, against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
- For complete and accurate sexual education
Pros: Damn can this man talk. He is charismatic and eloquent. Has a real appeal to moderates and people who don’t usually vote. Crushes the opposition in the general election match ups. New, relatively few skeletons in the closet.
Cons: Not alot of experience so is active very tentatively. Voted against the Iraq war funding but did not lead a filibuster and waited till the last minute to vote. Tends to be overly cautious when responding to republican smear attempts.
There are other candidates but that is for another post. The Caucuses in Washington are February 5th. See you there.