Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why the guilt-by-association sideshows about Obama don't matter.

Ove the last few weeks, the guilt by association machine has been run on overdrive by the McCain campaign and their allies. Ayers, Wright, Rezko, Khalidi, etc. As we go into this election, we should all remember what's at stake, and what is really important.
I have served this country in two wars. I have traveled to more than sixty countries, been on every continent other than Antarctica, and worked with several foreign govts and companies on behalf of American interests. So, I will humbly suggest that I have learned a few things about the world.
I admit that I have voted Republican most of my life, but in this election, I agree with Colin Powell. Obama has the temperament, the vision, and the decisionmaking skills needed in this moment. McCain is too reflexively violent, blunt, and self righteous. He believes that war solves things. And it does, sometimes, but more often it does not.

All of these sideshow stories about who associates with whom really don't matter and I'll tell you why, especially for those of you who live in your partisan or ideological bubbles and don't understand the way the world works. When you want to get something done in the real world of space, time, and history, you saddle up to the people who can help you do it. Sometimes it means making associations with people who are not perfect, or even admirable, but a pragmatist has to deal with the world as it is, not as one might wish it were. Ayers, Wright, and the rest of these people were those who could get things in done in the political landscape of Chicago poltics that Obama was entering. That's simply what politicians do. But McCain's reflexive self righteousness leads him to deny this reality (even while he hypocritically does the same thing, such as chumming up to Falwell when everyone knows McCain despised him.)

This is why McCain's support of Bush's current stance toward Iran is a tell tale sign of his unsuitability for the Presidency. Especially now, with Iran on the verge of becoming a nuclear power while simultaneously exploiting the U.S. intervention in Iraq to exponentially increase their power and status in the region. Bush's (and McCain's) approach states that we won't even initiate diplomatic talks at any meaningful level until they capitulate to a long list of demands, half of which are completely impossible for Iran to do given the current state of their internal politics. This lack of understanding and subtlety just won't wash in these times. So, partisan bubble dwellers, have all the sideshows you want, but please stay home on election day and let the adults decide this one.

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