Suddenly new names are swirling around the campaign to be President. Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weathermen, a radical group has emerged as someone Barack Obama has associated with. Sarah Palin observed from reading a New York Times article that they ‘palled’ around. She probably should have read the entire article as it observed that they barely knew each other and that Ayers’ activities took place when Obama was eight.
Charles Keating and John McCain’s involvement with the Keating Five is back in the news. This was an instance where John McCain reached across the aisle and found himself in hot water with four Democrats and their involvement with Charles Keating.
Sarah Palin has raised Jeremiah Wright. This will leave McCain open to having John Hagee raised; and Palin herself open to the YouTube video of her with a rather bizarre minister praying over her that she might not be overcome by witches or something or other.
Some will say that these issues are important. Sure. Pigs are going to fly next week as well. Some will remark about character; but character is never really defined by the people we have interacted with in life as much as how we conduct ourselves.
Sadly, this is a really bad turn in this campaign. A really bad turn. This is an angry left that will do whatever it needs to do to win; and an angry right that will do whatever it needs to do in order to win. And all will pretend that this is important.
It makes me wonder if these people who run campaigns are truly serious people and it makes me greatly question their patriotism.
Here are some basic issues.
The United States is at war in two countries. We have a large number of troops in Afghanistan who are undermanned and under-armed to do what they really need to be doing. We have a larger number of troops in Iraq who have sufficient numbers to do what they need to be doing; but a huge question hanging over them as to what happens when the American Army leaves? And, at some point, the American Army has to declare that it did its job and can now go home. The problem with victory in Iraq is that no one knows what it looks like.
But there are major trouble spots. Pakistan is a looming disaster. We have rogue nations such as North Korea, Syria, Iran, and yes, Saudi Arabia. We like to call Saudi Arabia our friends but if one observes where the 9/11 terrorists actually came from and where the funding actually came from, the answer is always the same.
We have major world security issues and our army is stretched out on two fronts and does not have the manpower to respond to another crisis in a meaningful way. This is a major issue.
The biggest issue, of course, is the economy. As more and more economists have stepped forward with what actually happened it seems to be this. Wall Street made some huge bets and lost. Big. Those big time losses have shaken the entire economy because those losses directly impacted banks which had loaned out vast sums of money and insurance companies that had insured vast sums of money----vast sums of money that, for the most part, was on paper and never really in existence. The debate has been raging for months and people were assured that we were not in a recession. Well, the elephant in the living room was that it might be worse than a recession and much of the fault lies at the feet of people who actually bet against this country’s companies.
We also have a major healthcare crisis. We do. We have great sick-care if people can afford it but we have dreadful preventive care and a system with little to no checks and balances. People can charge whatever they want and people can sue for whatever they want. Both parties are defending these contrary positions and helping to keep a crisis a crisis.
These are the issues I care about. Frankly, Charles Keating and Bill Ayers are ancient history. We have far bigger issues and far greater problems and I want to know who has the ideas on how to solve them.
And it might actually require answering the questions given as opposed to the ones we want to answer...