Sunday, September 21, 2008

Britain not so close an ally?

Great Britain may not be so close an ally if the McCain/Palin ticket wins in November. Just over a week ago Brown practically endorsed Barack Obama, but his staff pawned the error off on a junior Labour Party member saying Mr. Brown probably hadn't even read the contents of the article. Yesterday Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said Palin's politics are horrendous at a Labour Party conference. This is starting to look less like an accident and more like a party line.

While it should come as no shock that a socialist government would favour our socialist candidate, it is a surprise that a foreign nation, which has traditionally remained neutral on U.S. political campaigns to preserve post-election diplomatic ties, is publicly declaring a position on this race. It's also incredibly unseemly that any foreign government would seek to alter the outcome of our election. Further, one would think that a minister within a free country would respect the ideas of others, even if she happens to disagree with them. Even if the concept of free political discourse is now scorned by the U.S. media and an unfortunately large number of her people, one would think a politician would understand the value of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

Underscoring the importance of neutrality and agreeability would be the popularity of Palin herself. She recently drew a crowd of approximately 60,000 without the benefit of a popular music concert before or after her appearance. Mr. Obama is certainly popular, but tends to make sure his large crowds are drawn by a musical event. On May 20, 2008 the massive crowd in Portland, Oregon, estimated at about 75,000 people just might have been drawn by the free concert by the very popular
Decemberists that preceeded Mr. Obama's appearance. The massively attended Berlin appearance on July 24, 2008 was preceeded by a free concert by the amazingly popular Reggae artist Patrice and rock band Reamonn. So far as I can determine, Palin had no wildly popular opening act.

Those who understand politics rather like the idea of a president who doesn't agree with congress. When our legislative and executive branches see eye to eye, we tend to get massive overspending (this holds true whether the power monopoly is handed to Democrats or Republicans). The U.S. government seems to work best when checks and balances are actually exercised.

A correction for in their article: They said, as did Charlie Gibson on ABC: "[Palin]
has previously remarked that US soldiers in Iraq were being sent on a task from God" That's entirely inaccurate. What she said was:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

That's not stating our wars are divinely directed. That's asking people of faith to remember the military in their prayers and to ask for divine inspiration for our leaders. That's suggesting that people should pray to be sure we're doing the right thing. Palin's actual statement wasn't that of a haughty religious nutjob, but rather one of a faithful woman exhorting others to seek God's will. If you're a secular humanist, you may believe the prayer is pointless, but the intent is harmless and actually quite humble.

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