What should the election be about?

I was watching some news this weekend and 2 stories got my attention enough to want to write about them.

  1. Romney fighting back against Obama attacks on whether he’d have give the “go” order to take out Bin Laden in Pakistan
  2. Whether women should be focused on the economy instead of “War on Women”?

Romney & Bin Laden (wait that heading is misleading)

In an age where everything you say, at almost any time, will be recorded in some way, you really need to both watch what you say, and have a good response in case you’re wrong.  Heck, even just during his primary run Romney didn’t figure this out.  His problem stems from statements he made during the 2008 Republican Primary Race when he said

    “I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,” Romney told reporters on the campaign trail.

Obama on Wednesday said if elected president in November 2008 he would be willing to launch military strikes against al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan with or without the approval of the Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf. (from Reuters)

The problem is that it turns out it wasn’t a hypothetical question.  This really is what happened, but instead of just saying, I was naïve then or I was wrong, he says, “Any president would have ordered that”. Really? But George Bush didn’t. When given the chance he outsourced it to Pakistan and Afghanistan which is part of why we couldn’t trust Pakistan. A fact that Romney should have known during the 2008 campaign (it was also in the 9/11 report). Obama evidentally knew it and that’s why Obama said he’d do it while running for President. Yet another campaign promise he kept.

As to the idea of politicizing Bin Laden’s death (which is the other argument Romney and surrogates have been using). I’d rather politicize the assassination of our enemy, than politicize the deaths of Americans (9/11 during the 2004 campaign, anyone?). But that’s not Romney and he doesn’t have to answer for the campaign of Bush/Cheney. Though I wish he’d tell the conservative media to take a good look at itself (yeah, that’ll happen). But he does have to answer for his own statements and stop taking the “I said one thing, but I also believe the other” stance that makes Republicans hate him so much.

But that’s also the problem with politics in this country. You can’t actually speak your mind, and God forbid you ever say something you believe that turns out to be wrong. So Romney said he’d wouldn’t do what Obama said he’d do (and actually did). Either you were wrong or in the intervening 4 years you changed your mind. You can’t have it both ways. For Obama this could have been like Jimmy Carter sending special forces on a failed mission. In an alternate universe (I Love Fringe) Obama’s intel was wrong (they weren’t certain Bin Laden was there) and it was a huge failure. Romney would be talking about how he was right during the campaign and how Obama should have worked with Pakistan to confirm the intel. Romney would be trotting out his debate video showing that he has what it takes to be a leader.

Unfortunately, we live in this universe and Obama took a risk and took out Enemy #1. He should brag about it, not a lot, but at least a little.  Guy runs with a football 5 yards for a touchdown celebrates like he defeated whole armies single handed.  Obama orders Enemy #1 taken out and he doesn’t even get to chest bump Biden?

What the election should be about.  Women listen closely.

Another thing that annoys me is Republicans wanting to make this all ONLY about the Economy. During 2008 they wanted to make it all about Gays, Guns, and God, because the Economy sucked and they knew they were mostly responsible (turns out an unchecked free market is like kids with candy on Halloween). They needed to distract from that.

Now the economy is still bad, but Republicans want you to focus on that, not social issues. Primarily because they’ve been making good headway on getting what they wanted on social issues and they’d love for you to look elsewhere.

I watched the segment of Meet the Press where Rachel Maddow gets into an argument about fair pay for women (with a guy no less). One of the female surrogates for the GOP tries to turn the attention back to the economy because this “war on women” is made up nonsense by the Democrats to distract from how bad Obama is doing.

Actually, no it’s not (or at least not entirely). Just because I may want someone other than the people currently in charge to fix the economy doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore what you’re doing on the side. The Transvaginal Ultrasound is a real thing. That’s not something Democrats made up to scare women, that’s something that’s currently A LAW THAT WAS PASSED BY A STATE! Asking anyone with brown skin to prove they’re an American citizen at all times is SOMETHING THAT WAS ACTUALLY PASSED BY REPUBLICANS! Likewise so is the desire to eliminate federal funding for Headstart, the Department of Education, Pell Grants, Medicare, Planned Parenthood, the list goes on. These are important issues and I will make my decisions based on everything not just the Economy (even if I am a man). The Republican argument is that they’re better suited to fixing the economy, and even if I granted them that, I still have to pay attention to what they’re going to do after they fix the economy. If my house is on fire I may want anyone to help me put it out, but if the cost of putting my fire out is that the person who helped me gets to keep my land, maybe I’ll keep trying to put the fire out myself. I’d rather have land and no house, than no land at all.

I guess what annoys me most is how they’re both right. Republicans do want to make this about the economy, because they can’t win on social issues right now. And Democrats want to make it about social issues, because they can’t win on the economy right now (it’s doing better, but not by lots). Just stop acting as if only the other side is “playing politics”. It gets me so angry when they try to feign ignorance about something they probably had meetings about and probably practice arguing on a regular basis. Quit it! Just be honest and try to convince me with rational arguments. But why would they? Most people just listen and regurgitate. They agree with their side and criticize the other. The true middle/moderates aren’t even paying attention now. They’re busy either working or looking for work. They’ve got more important things to do. They’ve got family to care for. Mouths to feed.

I’ve got a good job that’s fairly secure, I’m single with no kids, and lots of free time.  So I’m ranting on a blog.  Who knows if these issues will even matter to anyone come election time?  Perhaps if I continue to want honesty in debate I should look somewhere other than politics?  That’s probably the most sensible thing I wrote in this entire post.

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