29 August 2008 

The Final Piece of the Puzzle: Sarah Palin

All the pieces are in place for the general election to begin. Obama-Biden against McCain-Palin. 6 years ago this would have been a dream election. Today the two top choices seem much more polarizing, and even McCain is somewhat a better choice then Bush. That being said, onto the most recent addition to the front, Sarah Palin.

I agree with must pundits that Vice Presidential candidates don't really have much impact on who people vote for, they are there to bring their home state, make the front guy look good and attack the other guy. I do think however, that there is a small part of the voting populace that will be swayed by a candidate's VP pick. In the word's of Family Guy's Brian, "undecided voters are idiots." Not in the sense that they are actually stupid, but in the sense that they either don't know enough of what they think to be voting, or haven't looked into the candidate's enough (i.e. being politically lazy) to know what the candidates' platforms and voting records actually are. It's among this small group of voters that the addition of a stolid old liberal like Biden or a fresh young conservative woman like Palin will make an impact.

On the surface, I think everyone is going to like Palin, she seems affable, charming, concise and fresh, but I don't think she is a good pick for McCain's VP. The biggest job of the VP is to be ready to step in and do the job of the President should something happen. This is something no one questions of Biden, a 6 term senator, but Palin is a first term (20 month) governor of a state who's entire population is less then that of Washington DC.

This does give her a very enticing similarity to President Laura Roslin, but in real life, I'm not sure that counts for much.

On the other hand, its pretty clear why McCain picked her. She adds to his image of change, she's not from Washington, she's young and popular, she's a reformer. Mainly though, the McCain camp thinks she might attract unhappy Hillary supporters who are feeling dissatisfied with Obama as their candidate. Now, I believe there are some women out there who are so intent on having a female representative in the White House that they will go over and vote for McCain, but these are the same women who wouldn't have been involved in the democratic primary at all had Hillary not been running. I think to the majority of Clinton's supporters, the choice of Palin may be a bit of an insult.

I've never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton, but her supporters followed her for valid reasons. She spent her entire life involved with the law, wife to a governor and a president, she spent 8 years in the White house, and has become an experienced senator, she's authored a great many bills, debated at the senate level, and been involved in state and foreign affairs for 20 years now. Palin, in contrast, has been the governor of Alaska for all of 20 months, has no experience in Washington, no legislative experience, no foreign policy experience, has never debated on the senate floor, and for someone billed as a reformer of political corruption is already facing her own accusations of corruption less then two years into her office.

She is not qualified to be the vice-president, let alone president should some thing happen to the 72 year old cancer survivor who she's running with. For that reason, I'm not sure this is going to bear much fruit for McCain. She's not known enough to energize young voters, not experienced enough to sway female voters, and unless she's going to surprise everyone, she's not going to be near the attack dog on the campaign trail that Biden will be.

What's more, she makes it impossible for the McCain camp to use their two main arguments against Obama as she herself is young and inexperienced and has no foreign policy credentials. All in all this seems like a poor choice, then again, maybe the GOP is just grooming her for a launch into more national politics in 2012? Who knows, but I think after the initial glamour of this decision wears off, and she has to go toe to toe with Biden on the national campaign, her selection as VP is going to seem rather weak.


Guitar Praise: Solid Rock

Link Here.

A Christian version of Guitar Hero? The inevitability of this is so amazing I can't believe I never anticipated it. I suppose they may find a good market here in a very captive audience of kids who's parents wouldn't let them play the regular Guitar Hero because of the vile and evil influence of secular music. What remains to be seen is whether the Christian derivative can manage to not offend users with its production value. It's bad enough that Christian entertainment is such a knock off of the general culture's rather then being original, but products like this have a tendency to be extremely cheaply produced attempts at capturing the money of evangelicals, and since they sort of have the only product on the market, who cares if it isn't up to par with industry standards?

That said, if the quality is up to snuff, it's not a bad idea for a product. Christian music is popular, and there are even some songs on the track list that I rather like, and the main appeal of Guitar Hero is the song content of each version. For people who listen to and like Christian music, this game could be a win/win situation. I won't be buying it, but then again, I didn't buy the regular version either. Maybe I need wider musical tastes.

27 August 2008 

Welcoming September

Summer is over. And with that official announcement, let us all mourn it not and move into the fall. Fall is a great time of the year, the weather is superb, the morning air through open windows makes waking up very nearly enjoyable, and all the best foods come up for harvest. There's Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my birthday, not to mention apples, pumpkin carving, and the leaves changing. The air will soon be cool enough for jackets, crisp mornings and frosty breath, it should be sad, but it always fills me with the best feelings.

In my last post, way back in May, I wrote about how I felt that because my views, opinions, etc. were so in flux, I felt as though I had nothing to write which anyone would find to be compelling reading. In the intervening months I think I've come to reevaluate that position. I might not feel as confident in writing about something in a definitive or declarative way, but I can still offer my thoughts, my opinions, flawed and living as they may be, to offer them up for refining as it were. I'm grateful for all of you who are still reading, my continual promises to resume posting must be tiresome by now, but I think your faith may someday actually be rewarded.

In this post I won't have much to say, mainly as I'm writing over my afternoon break at work, but it is at times of transition that I often feel the most need to write and update this page. This for me has been the last week of summer, next week I start taking a Spanish class two nights a week at Parkland, and the week after that the small group that I lead will resume for the fall and winter months. This summer saw lots of changes; continued slow (so slow) weight loss, I got a bike and became a "cyclist," I got involved in a new Christian fellowship, went to Cedar Campus, received a promotion at work, got an iPhone (awesome phone, though I'm still embarrassed to be owning an Apple product), lost a roommate, gained a roommate, started identifying myself as a liberal politically, and started a relationship . All in all, life this fall will be much busier then the spring that preceded it, but I've become convinced that this is a good thing.

Not knowing the answer is fine, just as long as one doesn't stop seeking after it. It might even be more engaging to write about seeking after answers then finding them, who knows. I will try to be writing more, one of my goals is to make it a discipline over the coming months, hopefully we can all reap the fruits of that.

(I've just made plans to go biking or swimming with a very pretty girl this weekend, perhaps the summer is not dead yet after all...)