Monday, November 3, 2008

Barack Obama for President


Vote for Barack Obama.

But first, let's turn back the clock four years.

On September 8th, 2004 I wrote my wrap-up piece on the just concluded GOP Convention.

I said:

You’ve gotta love those fun-lovin' Greedy Old Partiers at the Republican National Circus in occupied New York. It was the best alternate-universe show on the tube, and poisoned politics at its best.

You have to admit that their supercilious festival in New York was a clear clash of cultures. You have those who actually work for a living and make little money, and those who don't and make a ton of it. Since the race is too close to call, and half the people in this country wake up every morning with the intent of screwing the other half out of everything they own, it's pretty easy to figure out the side the GOP represents. What they don't realize is how hard it is for the working stiffs to get ahead when the big contributors to the GOP keep cutting in line in front of us. Decision-makers are constantly exposed to the possibility of graft and corruption, since their work puts them in contact with influence peddlers, most of whom have more money than they do. In the real world it's called a payoff. In the GOP, it's called a political contribution.

George W. Bush's September 2004 in New York looks an awful like George Bush I's August 1992 in Houston. The polls may favor W, but with an economy riddled with debt and job losses, it's only a matter of time before he won't be able to hide behind his snake-oil rhetoric. Of course, the Greedy Old Party claims the rising oil prices that will cripple poor families this winter have absolutely nothing to do with the war Bush declared on Iraq. Those refinery bombings throughout Iraq that reduced the overall output of oil don't count in Bush's worldview. Instead, they sheepishly blame China and its increased energy dependence. I can't disagree with the GOP on that one, considering all the U.S. jobs Bush sent over there. Their middle class is growing as fast as ours is shrinking. What destroyed his father could very well destroy little W, too. It's spelled e-c-o-n-o-m-y. These days, you can't swing a dead elephant anywhere in Cleveland without hitting someone who's unemployed.

I added…

For the last four years, we've been ridden hard and put away wet. If we're stuck with four more years, we'll have to become feral to survive. A polarized country is also a manic-depressive country. When Bush says he's created more jobs, he's a few words shy of completing the sentence. He forgot to add, “in China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mexico and other low-wage, no-human-rights sweatshop countries.”

Not so surprisingly, there was no mention at the RNC of Alan “Mumbles” Greenspan's pre-convention natter to Congress. He haughtily stated that current and future generations shouldn't expect the same support level from Medicare and Social Security that their parents received. We get screwed because Bush squandered a boom economy and turned a budget surplus into the largest deficit in history.

What does all of this have to do with media? Everything. It's where we got our news and information on the GOP hoedown. The trick is mastering the art of seeing and reading between the lines. Watching this convention on TV was like observing pedigreed cats marking territory. I can't argue with White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who has covered every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, when she called Bush, “the worst president in all of American history.” He proved her right again last week.

On September 29, 2004 I wrote this follow-up.

In it, I made it clear that I wasn’t voting for Kerry as much as I was voting against four more years of George W. Bush.

I said:

Sure, (John) Kerry sees two or more sides of a one-sided issue, but unlike Bush's flip-floppers John McCain and Zell Miller, it goes beyond just wanting to be on the side that's winning. All McCain and Zellzy proved is that they can be bought by the highest bidder. I'll take Kerry changing his opinion on issues as more details are made available over Bush's obstinate refusal to believe that there's more than one side to an issue. Bush is a dangerous man who knows no discretion. Kerry won't undo the four-year damage done by Bush. We need him to keep our country from getting worse. De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum: Of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen.

Four more years means four more years of conservatives, cons for short, like Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove. Four more years means further control of what you see, hear and read. Four more years and we'll be convinced that crime does pay. Just ask Kenny Lay. Just ask anyone at Halliburton. The Greedy Old Party has a rich history of cozying up to liars, deceivers and professional white-collar criminals.

An administration must be judged on how it cares for its young, old and poor. Bush fails in all three. In four years, Bush turned our surplus into a record deficit. Four more years and we'll suffer added job losses with health-care costs out of reach for most Americans. Medicare? Social Security? Ha! Maybe that's Bush's way of thinning the herd. Feed the young poor to the war and let 'em die if they're old and sick. Four more years means a Supreme Court that could become a religious-right version of the Taliban. Their first decree? Your body's on loan from God.

Four more years means a United States without diplomacy. Since Bush invaded Iraq, worldwide terrorism has quadrupled. He handed Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations all the material they need to further their cause. We didn't find those WMDs but managed to bring Iraq to the brink of civil war. History will record the Iraq incursion as Bush's Pyrrhic victory. Four more years and we'll see the return of the draft and be one step closer to a world war when we invade Iran. That's when, not if. Four more years and our country will be weakened to the point where China will become the leading world economic power, well within our lifetime. Our only handle on trade is the U.S. dollar, which is already critically overvalued against China's currency, thanks to the Bush-whacked economy.

Was I right?

Both The New Deal era and the Reagan Revolution followed failed the failed administrations of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Now, add George W. Bush to that list.

Yes, we need change. Not radical change – just thorough change.

And in this election we have a real choice.

Vote for Barack Obama.

And enjoy this little sing-a-long, too.
----

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

John, they should have listened to you four years ago.

Anonymous said...

Love the sing a long.

Seriously, I am glad you took a stand. Your earlier comment on Joe Biden and the RIAA which was very fair still made me wonder. Barack Obama will be good for the radio industry. Those in it but not necessarily for those like Clear Channel and CBS that made it miserable for those that worked for them.

I hope Barack chooses a forward thinking FCC Chairman and banishes Kevin Martin from the Commission.

Anonymous said...

As I write this it's around 8:45 AM election day morning but I cast my vote for Barack Obama a couple of weeks ago via mail-in ballot.

Until sometime in 2002 I considered myself a loyal Republican. I don't think my thinking had changed all that much but the neocon nonsense that vigorously bubbled to the surface with the commencement of the current administration caused me to see the GOP in a much different light. It had finally become obvious the Republican Party resembled nothing like I the illusion formed in my mind over so many years.

We'll see who wins today's election, hopefully sooner rather than later. For everyone's sake, let's trust this turns out to be an orderly, fair election, whatever the outcome.

To the GOP, for whatever it may be worth from a Clevelander and, yes, REAL AMERICAN, Palin rhetoric notwithstanding, tomorrow would be a great time to remake yourself -- whoever wins this contest.

Strongly encourage the likes of Rove and Norquist to go low profile and find new careers away from the political arena. Make it worth their while monetarily if necessary. Get back to the idea of sensible and reasonable regulation where it's needed and keeping government out of peoples personal and religious lives.

And above all else, once and for all, knock it off with the tactic of encouraging divisiveness either directly or through surrogates.

One of the most important things a US President can do is set the tone and direction for the country. Barack Obama has the greatest potential of anyone in a long while to bring a positive and uplifting mood back to the US, Republican campaign scare tactics notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting Barack Obama.

You have been radio's conscience for the past few years. Obviously your brand of radio with developing air talent, chosing music by merit and being local has been at odds with everyone from Peter Smythe to Jeff Smyulan to Dan Mason to John Hogan.

Times are changing and we look forward to seeing you actively involved in radio again and serving as a mentor and providing guidance for the next generation.

Radio as you say will be different and different will be better.

Anonymous said...

I hope Michael Copps is the new Chairman of the FCC. I know he is hated by all of the major chains and you have to ask yourself why. I have seen Copps speak on a number of occasions. I will be the first to say I don't agree with him on everything and in fact I am opposite of his opinions in a couple of matters. The last two FCC Chairman did all harm and no good to the radio industry even if some of the CEOs at the chains think otherwise. We need someone as chairman who understands the purpose radio should serve in the 21st century and where it is headed as we move toward convergence. John I am with you on Obama.

Anonymous said...

Thank you John. Your support with the radio industry is greatly appreciated.

hermit@irishhermit.com said...

I'm a fifty-eight year old white guy who grew up in South Boston, Massachusetts. Today I voted for Barack Obama.

This country needs a young President who can see the future and who is open to new ideas. Baby-boomers and older need not apply.

We need a President who is not hindered by religious fundamentalism. We don't need a someone who wants to ban library books and teach creationism in schools one heart beat away from the presidency.

Yes, today I voted for Barack Obama.

Anonymous said...

Obama will inherit over eight years (remember Clinton was coasting and playing Reaganomics in drag during his last term) of neglegence. This country has been scorched by greed and scandal. I think today is one of the most important days in American history. Thank you, John for reminding everyone that we did see this coming four years ago. Never again will we be complacent.

A fan said...

I second the motion of you being radio's conscience and I do hope Obama is our next President and that you are vindicated. It is time for the kind of radio you love to do to makes a comeback. You are the only PD/OM/SM I know who credits your staff and not yourself. We need you and your people back in action.

Anonymous said...

Obama's Tax Plan on people who make over $250,000

Federal Tax Rate 41.00%
Medicare Tax 2.90%
Social Security Surtax 4.00%
Ohio State Tax 6.55%
City of Columbus 2.00%

Total 56.45%

=======================

Federal Tax Rate 35.00%
Medicare Tax 2.90%
Social Security Surtax 0.00%
Ohio State Tax 6.55%
City of Columbus 2.00%

Total 46.45%

=======================

Anybody who thinks a 47% marginal tax rate under Bush is a "gimme" to the rich is smoking crack. Anybody who thinks it's proper to take 57% of something that belongs to someone else is a leech. The real crime is we are $11 Trillion in debt under Bush and Obama plans to add $3.8 Trillion to that with more promises and more debt ... until 2019 when the social security bill starts coming due. The crime is they promise freebies and nobody holds them to account for this.

If you think the foundations of our economy were rocked by the banking crisis, just wait until the $52 trillion dollars in welfare due the baby boomers starts coming due in 2019.

This country is basically General Motors and both Republicans and Democrats are responsible.

Anonymous said...

REPOSTING TO ADD A KEY POINT:

Obama's Tax Plan on people who make over $250,000

Federal Tax Rate 41.00%
Medicare Tax 2.90%
Social Security Surtax 4.00%
Ohio State Tax 6.55%
City of Columbus 2.00%

Total 56.45%

=======================

Current tax rates under Bush on people who make over $250,000

Federal Tax Rate 35.00%
Medicare Tax 2.90%
Social Security Surtax 0.00%
Ohio State Tax 6.55%
City of Columbus 2.00%

Total 46.45%

=======================

Anybody who thinks a 47% marginal tax rate under Bush is a "gimme" to the rich is smoking crack. Anybody who thinks it's proper to take 57% of something that belongs to someone else is a leech. The real crime is we are $11 Trillion in debt under Bush and Obama plans to add $3.8 Trillion to that with more promises and more debt ... until 2019 when the social security bill starts coming due. The crime is they promise freebies and nobody holds them to account for this.

If you think the foundations of our economy were rocked by the banking crisis, just wait until the $52 trillion dollars in welfare due the baby boomers starts coming due in 2019.

This country is basically General Motors and both Republicans and Democrats are responsible.

Anonymous said...

And above all else, once and for all, knock it off with the tactic of encouraging divisiveness either directly or through surrogates.
Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don't worry so much about being divisive, do they?

Anonymous said...

On November 5, 2008 at 12:52 AM Anonymous said...

>>>>>> "And above all else, once and for all, knock it off with the tactic of encouraging divisiveness either directly or through surrogates."

Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don't worry so much about being divisive, do they? <<<<<<

As the guy who wrote the material inside the quotes, my reply:

That comment regarding divisiveness was from one who had been a loyal Republican for almost three decades. I was likely being ignorant but I thought my Party could stand on its own merits, without intentionally driving a wedge into the country to win its point.

The predominant Republican strategy for at least the last eight years has hinged on doing just that, as it now appears to me. Your observation regarding Pelosi, et al, may have merit to some degree, but in my opinion, they don't come close in divisiveness to the concerted effort by the GOP to use wedge issues as their basic strategy.

Divisiveness as a strategy doesn't do any political party justice, though its probably too easy and effective a tactic to be totally abandoned, but now would seem a good time for everyone in politics to review its use.

I feel I've earned the right to call out in particular the GOP, to which I had been so loyal, on the issue.

By the way, I failed to mention in my earlier post how eerily prescient John had been in his posts of four years ago. It sounds as though he's been around the block a time or two.

And, because this a blog relating too media, one last parting shot to you conservative talk radio shills:

I can tell you first hand you all have done a great job in helping to strain family relationships. Many of your listeners get their world view mainly from you folks and would rather not seek out other information sources.

From the outcome of this just concluded general election, though, it would seem your influence may be on the wane. Maybe you guys could do some soul searching and see if there might be a more honorable way to earn a living.

Anonymous said...

"I hope Barack chooses a forward thinking FCC Chairman and banishes Kevin Martin from the Commission."

I agree - I hope that Barack is not all talk, and replaces the criminal FCC commissioners. The authorization of HD/IBOC was criminal:

"FCC Commissioners Adopt IBOC Digital Radio"

"Short and to the point, Ferree set up the charade by brandishing a logbook of some of the first radio licenses the FCC ever issued... 'A few questions remain to be settled, including how the IBOC system will function in the real world; what is the potential for and extent of interference that IBOC could cause to existing services; and the technical feasibility of nighttime AM IBOC transmissions'... 'I understand that questions remain to be settled on interference and technical feasibility on nighttime AM IBOC, but I'm confident that the procedures and processes that you have put in place will allow us to accomodate those efficiently and productively.'"

http://www.diymedia.net/audio/mp3fcciboc.htm