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John Dean: Republican Rule is Dangerous November 2, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in U.S. Election 2008.
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truthdig.com, Nov. 2, 2008

Nixon’s former counsel has written a scathing review of conservative Republican politics and says the McCain-Palin ticket, which “scares the hell out of me,” fits the mold. How’s this for an endorsement?: “If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves.”

 

 

John Dean at FindLaw.com:

Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.

Republicans’ authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which is to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.

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Another Prominent Republican Dumps McCain October 31, 2008

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October 31, 2008
Posted: 01:35 PM ET
From

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

(CNN) — Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official – Colin Powell – in his decision.

“Well let’s put it this way – I think Colin Powell’s decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama.”

Powell served as national security advisor to Reagan during Duberstein’s tenure as chief of staff.

Duberstein spoke with Zakaria about his final days in the Reagan White House. The Reagan official, along with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also discussed the transition process to a new administration.

Watch the full discussion on the next administration this Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fareed Zakaria GPS.

And Yet Another Republican October 29, 2008

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McConnell Fundraising E-Mail: Vote for Me to Fight Obama Presidency


Sam Stein, Huffington Post, October 29, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has sent out a new fundraising email that, at its crux, plays off the assumption of a Barack Obama victory in the presidential election.


Citing media reports that show “an Obama win [as] a real possibility,” the Kentucky Republican positions himself as the one man capable of standing up to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine” that “will steamroll a host of new taxes and left-wing social policy across the Senate Floor.”


It is not uncommon for politicians to use presidents or presidential candidates as a boogeyman to curry votes. But McConnell’s fundraising appeal seems to go a step beyond, painting, at times, Obama’s election as a fait accompli that voters in Kentucky must consider.


“[L]ocal and national newspapers are already saying that if my opponent were to win this race, he would be a reliable vote for Obama and Chuck Schumer,” he writes of Democratic challenger, Bruce Lunsford.


Hinting at the possibility of complete Democratic control of government – again a statement predicated on an Obama win — McConnell writes: “national liberals want this Senate seat so badly” because “they are making this race a power play for domination of the public debate. They have made no secret that they are fighting for total unfettered domination of the government and its agenda.”


This is the second time in as many days that a Republican official has sent out a fundraising letter for the Kentucky Senate race that forecasts a future Obama White House. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney blasted out an email on McConnell’s behalf, warning that Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford “was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that’s the last thing we need.”


The Kentucky Senate race has become ground zero of sorts for Democratic efforts to secure 60 seats in the Senate. And as the election has approached, McConnell’s once strong standing has diminished.


Good government groups, who have long viewed the Minority Leader as a thorn in the side of their agenda, are also seeing a real possibility of flipping the seat. On Wednesday, Campaign Money Watch, a national nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog organization, announced that it will spend another $800,000 on a television ad in Kentucky accusing McConnell of being a puppet of special interests.



There Goes Another Republican October 29, 2008

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Shays concedes McCain defeat

Staff Reporter, Yale Daily News
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The first ballot has yet to be tallied, but some Republicans are already hammering nails into the McCain-Palin campaign’s coffin.

Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut’s 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.

“I just don’t see how [McCain] can win,” Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain’s campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain’s race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

“He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign,” Shays said.

But Shays — who is famous for never running a negative campaign ad, even when behind — said the negativity in the presidential race has nevertheless been flowing both ways. He said that though they have been diluted by positive ads, Sen. Obama’s campaign has empirically run a greater number of negative ones.

“Obama has four times the amount of money McCain has, so for every negative ad he runs he can balance it with an upbeat one,” Shays said. “McCain, on the other hand, has been nearly 100 percent negative.”

Shays laid much of the blame on the far right, which, he said, has “hijacked” the Republican Party, threatening to walk out if its demand are not met — despite being in the minority.

He said this situation is a cautionary tale for the Democratic Party, whose Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and MoveOn.org have imposed their often-radical ideas on the rest of the party.

But Shays also said he was skeptical of Sen. Obama’s promise to rule from the political center.

“It’s what all presidents should do, but [Obama] has never been there,” he said, referring to Obama’s left-of-center congressional record.

McCain’s other Connecticut co-chair, Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67, has not publicly commented on McCain’s chances on Election Day, but he has continued to campaign for him, most recently in Florida on Monday.

Jeff Grappone, New England communications director for the McCain campaign, did not return several requests for comment Monday.

Why a Staunch Conservative Like Me Endorsed Obama October 26, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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Ken Adelman, Huffington Post, October 24, 2008

Who cares?

That’s what I wondered when George Packer (ace of the New Yorker) asked whether he could post my intention to vote for Obama on his blog.

So I duly ignored him. Only when he bugged me two days later did I say okay, and responded in quick, instinctive emails back.

Little did I know the splash this would make. Not until a day later, when my wife and I were up in Philadelphia to teach leadership via scenes from Shakespeare’s Henry V for the Wharton Business School. When friends joined us for dinner at UPenn, they said their taxi driver had talked about my “endorsement of Obama,” having read it online during a break.

What’s most fun about unexpectedly “breaking through” on an issue is not feeling powerful, that you’re molding minds out there. People make up their own minds, based on lots more information than my personal inclinations.

Okay, this type announcement can give (maybe a few) conservatives some cover — not publicly to use with others, but privately to assure themselves that it’s actually okay to break away. To break with the most conservative, or Republican, candidate and vote (in my case, the first time ever) for “the other guy.”

And it’s not most fun dealing with longtime friends, fellow conservatives. Most are polite and say they understand, and they’ll get over it. Yet a few do get heated, show their disappointment, and say they can’t understand my taking a public stance (even if I privately stray).

I don’t enjoy those discussions, since I’ve long prided myself in being a staunch conservative.

Not a neo-con, since I was never liberal along the way (having campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964, when at that hotbed of lefty politics, Grinnell College). I’m really a con-con.

And not a staunch Republican, as I’ve never been to a Republican rally or convention (I came closest in 1980, after writing Don Rumsfeld’s speech and after we drove there; but I left Detroit before the convention opened).

So I’ve considered myself less of a partisan than an ideologue. I cared about conservative principles, and still do, instead of caring about the GOP.

Granted, McCain’s views are closer to mine than Obama’s. But I’ve learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.

McCain’s temperament — leading him to bizarre behavior during the week the economic crisis broke — and his judgment — leading him to Wasilla — depressed me into thinking that “our guy” would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that.

I’d rather a competent moderate president. Even at a risk, since Obama lacks lots of executive experience displaying competence (though his presidential campaign has been spot-on). And since his Senate voting record is not moderate, but depressingly liberal. Looming in the background, Pelosi and Reid really scare me.

Nonetheless, I concluded that McCain would not — could not — be a good president. Obama just might be.

That’s become good enough for me — however much of a triumph (as Dr. Johnson said about second marriages) of hope over experience.

Now what’s most fun about the media breakthrough is hearing from gobs of people from previous lives. Many long forgotten, reminding me of long forgotten times together. People emerging suddenly, from the dark matter of time, into the recesses of the brain.

These folks were important at various stages of my life — grammar school playmates, Grinnell classmates, Indianapolis cousins, Dan Quayle, Dick Allen, colleagues from the Reagan arms control agency (chuckling over my quip to Packer that I wouldn’t have hired Sarah Palin to a mid-level job there).

A veritable stroll down memory lane, to see a line of people who have touched my life at various times, in its varied stages, reconnecting in a most unexpected (even bizarre) manner.

Now that’s fun.

Alaskas Largest Newspaper Endorses Barack Obama October 26, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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Of course they’re endorsing Obama.  They’ve lived with Palin.  They know her.  They realize McCain’s huge mistake.

October 26, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.

The newspaper said Sunday the Democrat “brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand.”

The Daily News said since the economic crisis has emerged, Republican presidential candidate John McCain has “stumbled and fumbled badly” in dealing with it.

“Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown’s root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it,” the paper said.

The Daily News said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has shown the country why she is a success as governor. But the paper said few would argue that Palin is truly ready to step into the job of being president despite her passion, charisma and strong work ethic.

“Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation,” the paper said.

“Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time,” the paper concluded.

Yet Another Republican Jumps Ship October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
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What Motivates Me to Support Barack Obama

While my crystal ball may be no clearer than anyone else’s, I am sure that we need to choose a President who exemplifies the 21st Century and is not just an echo of the Cold War mentality.  I personally admire John McCain, but I simply cannot see him inspiring the nation and our world economic partners to work together and solve our very daunting problems.  My Obama support-decision matrix includes the characteristics of Judgment, Temperament, Charisma, Intellect, Adaptability, Virtue, Vision, Traditional Republican Values, and dedication to “Main Street.”  Barack Obama is without question the superior choice for me based on my analysis below.  

Temperament:  Inside and out of the next administration, the next president needs a personality and disposition that does not inflame problems, but intelligently resolves them.

Charisma:  Is there any question?

Intellect:  Obama finished at the top of his class at Harvard while McCain finished very close to the bottom of his class at Annapolis; if there is doubt, listen to each of them respond to a complex question.

Adaptability:  I measure this characteristic by a person’s ability and willingness to compromise to achieve a solution to a problem

Virtue:  Obama’s choice to serve his Chicago community and forego lucrative options to apply his acknowledged skills, speaks volumes about his character.

Vision:  I see Obama’s view of the world as deep and nuanced to reflect reality as opposed to ideology.  I am particularly enthusiastic about his plans for converting to clean energy, improving our environment, and encouraging national service.

Judgment:  Obama sees the world in wide angle and Technicolor, as suggested by his views on Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, etc.  Even the Bush administration is beginning to use some of the diplomatic tools Obama has long been discussing.

Traditional Republican Values:  Republican Presidents from Lincoln through Ford were strong advocates for equal rights, balancing labor and business, consumer protection, protecting the environment,  a humble but vigorous foreign policy, promoting peace through strength,  fiscal integrity, and unafraid of great challenges.  A traditional Republican would never condone torture or cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners regardless of circumstances.  Dwight D. Eisenhower probably embodied these traits as well as any Republican President; I see Barack Obama in the same vein, although arguably even more inspirational.

Main Street Values:  America is comprised mostly of folks from “main street” who earn their wages, work in their communities, raise their families, and aspire to create a better world for their children.  Barack Obama has worn the shoes of main street.  His values and success are derived, not from privilege or position, but through real life experience, hard work, and commitment to his ideals and family. 

The opportunity to elect such a leader does not come around often; I hope that America does not squander this opportunity!

Joel Haugen is the Republican Party’s candidate in Oregon’s 1st Congressional district.  
http://www.joelhaugenforcongress.com/

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