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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe the Plumber and Sacrificing Women

Just home from a video-watching debate held at a local pub. I orderd ginger ale, ate olives and laughed and cheered along with a group of mostly 50-70 year old white progressives and a a few local drunks heckling on both sides. I was one of two people of color and among a handful under 50.

In what was by far the most exciting debate thus far, we saw Obama confront McCain on his offensive audience members, explain his healthcare program in some detail and explain fair trade to us. MCCain reminded us, as he and Palin are fond of doing these days, that Americans are angry. He also made it clear that he, John McCain was angry and introduced us to a mythical figure, John the plumber who he warns is becoming angry.

McCain appeared to be reading from a script and often avoided answering the questions and retreated to his talking points coming across at times as confused and incoherent. He really looked lost and frustrated half of the time. Obama was llke a rock who could not be moved.

McCain also let us know that he did not think women's health was important and that women should be forced to have babies even if their doctors said it would kill them to do so. What the*%&??????

McCain's high point was when he told Obama that if he wanted to run against Bush he would have had to run 4 years ago. Quite a zinger. Too bad that he failed at any time in the 90 minute debate to distinguish himself from Bush. Why can't he? This was his last chance.

Obama did a good job of pointing out the lies McCain told regarding Ayers, Acorn, his tax plan, and his so-called associates. He also explained his economic policies, health policies, and education policies in some detail. McCain only had one educational policy- vouchers. He parroted over and over his lie that Obama plans to raise taxes. I think McCain's campaign people should watch the fact-checking shows on TV. Their lies have been exposed ad nauseum. Why do they keep repeating them? Are they stupid? Are they appealling to the mentally challenged or to people who don't watch TV news? What are they thinking?

Obama cleverly pointed out that McCain's claims to be interested in helping special needs kids were insincere given his promise to freeze the entire federal budget.

McCain never responded to Obama on specific points giving the debate a one-sided feel to it. Obama responded directly to critiques made by McCain but McCain never responded to Obama's critiques which seemed odd.

The weirdest performance in the debate was that given by Joe the Plumber. Who is he and why am I supposed to identify with this white man? Androcentrism is played out. White men do not form the majority of this country and the majority of us do not make more than 250,000 dollars a year, regardless of occupation.

Joe the rich plumber does not represent me or you. My body is not a baby-breeding machine and I am not wiling to die for some man who thinks I am a second class citizen whose life and health is of peripheral importance.
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