Perspective Of Yet Another Night Owl

The Issues & Candidates: 2008 Presidential Election
September 6, 2008, 1:38 pm
Filed under: Biden, Democrat, Hot Topics, McCain, Obama, Opinions, Palin, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

Here is the post I promised on politics.  In this post, I will touch on some of the issues that are on the table and I will give you my opinion.  I will also talk a bit about each of the candidates, both Presidential and Vice Presidential.  It is my plan to lay out where each person stands on the issues, hopefully without bias.  I will and do state my opinions.  If you didn’t already know, I am probably one of the most liberal republicans out there; very socially liberal, but I am fiscally conservative.

Click to read more about the Candidates and the Issues.  Your comments and opinions are welcome.  Lets try to keep it a fairly clean debate though. Thanks.


John McCain: McCain graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1958. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life.  McCain was shot down, badly injured, and captured as a prisoner of war by the NorthVietnamese. He was held from 1967 to 1973, subjected to torture and his war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations. McCain retired as a Navy captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986.  He won re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. McCain has gained a media reputation as a “maverick” for disagreeing with his party on several key issues, but generally maintains conservative principles. Campaign Finance Reform was one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002.  McCain lost his bid for the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. He ran again for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and McCain was formally nominated.  

“Our enemies have made clear the danger they pose to our security and to the very essence of our culture — liberty. Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war. Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. The sacrifices borne in our defense are not shared equally by all Americans. But all Americans must share a resolve to see this war through to a just end,” McCain stated at the GOP National Convention.

Sarah Palin:Prepared for battle, the newbie in the national spot light, Sarah Palin, rocked the GOP National Convention.  In Palin’s speech, the Alaska governor unleashed an attack on Democrat Barack Obama and vowed to assist her running mate, John McCain, in bringing real change to Washington.   She is the governor of Alaska and has served two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska city council from 1992 to 1996.  Palin then won two terms as mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002. After an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004 while also serving as Ethics Supervisor of the commission. In November 2006, Palin was elected the governor of Alaska, becoming the first woman and youngest person to hold the office. She defeated the incumbent Republican governor.  Palin is the second woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket and the first Republican woman to do so.

“Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges and the same joys,” Palin said.  “Here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country,” Palin said.  “The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of ‘personal discovery.’ This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn’t just need an organizer,” Palin said.
Barack Hussein Obama II: He is the first “African American” to be a major political party’s nominee for the office of President.  Obama is currently the junior United States Senator from Illinois.  A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obamaworked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.  Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote.  As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  After announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Obama emphasized promoting universal health care as a top national priority.

“I will cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class,” Obama said. Obama doesn’t mention it, but he has called for raising taxes on upper-income Americans to help pay for expanded health care and other domestic programs.

Joseph R. “Joe” Biden, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Delaware. He is both the Democratic vice presidential nominee for the November 2008 election and a candidate for re-election in the U.S. Senate. Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania for ten years prior to moving to Delaware, Biden trained as a lawyer and became a senator in 1973 at the Constitutional minimum age of 30, making him the fifth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008. In his sixth consecutive term in the Senate, Biden has served for the sixth-longest period among current senators.


Abortion:McCain does not support Roe v. Wade and voted to ban partial birthabortions.  He opposes public funding for abortions and voted in support of the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.  Palin is anti-abortion, supports parental notification, and supports the outlaw of late-term abortion.  Obama supports Roe v. Wade, opposed the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, and did not even vote on the issue of public funding for abortions.  Bidensupports Roe v. Wade, opposes public funding for abortions, voted against parental notification, voted to ban partial birth abortions.

My view: I will always believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I will never agree with partial birth abortions unless the mother’s life is in jeaopardy.  I do not believe that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned, and that is a good thing.  That said,  I do not believe that abortion should be used as a form of birth control, which unfortunately for many youngsters, it is used that way.  I believe in parental notification.  This is a surgery we are talking about and by no means should someone perform a surgery on my underage child without my knowledge.  I do believe abstinence is the best policy, but I also believe in sex education, including education about birth control.  Do I believe sex education should be taught in schools? Not beyond abstinence.  I believe that as a parent, I should teach my children about sex and birth control, and if necessary provide birth control for my children.  I would never agree to provide government funding for abortions either.  I have to give this one to the Republicans.

Death Penalty: All candidates support the Federal Death Penalty.  This then is a non-issue.  I also support the death penalty.

My View: Agreed with both sides.

Energy:  Palin favors drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), however McCain has said he is opposed to drilling the ANWR, but supports offshore drilling.  Obama has previously stated that he was against off-shore drilling, but has since changed his tune, however he remains skeptical. Biden is opposed to offshore drilling and to drilling in ANWR.  Bidenwould propose a 5 year $50 Billion research project to research alternative energy sources.   McCain supports a gas tax holiday and would pay for lost revenues with the general fund.  Obama opposes the gas tax holiday. McCain opposes windfall tax on oil companies, but Obama advocates for same.

My view: I believe we need off-shore drilling.  We need to rely on ourselves and not the middle east.  Why spend $50 Billion we don’t have to research alternative energy sources?  We know what sources are there.  Let’s save the $50 Billion and use what we already have and know.  As for the gas tax holiday, I think we all deserve that.  Another for the Republicans.

Same Sex Marriage:McCain believes marriage is between a man and a woman.  Obama concurs and opposes same sex marriage, but he also opposes a constitutional ban on same sex marriages.  Can we say oxymoron? Kinda like “jumbo shrimp”.  Palin and Biden also oppose same sex marriage.  Looks like all candidates are basically on the same page.

My view:I must concur, marriage is a union between a man and a woman.  If you want a civil union and the tax benefits of a married couple, be my guest.  But changing the definition of “marriage” is not acceptable.  I am not sure Obama knows which side he is on, as evidenced by opposing same-sex marriages, but also opposing a constitutional ban on same.  This one goes to the Republicans because Obama can’t make up his mind.

Cuba:McCain and Obamaare again close to the same page.  They both would keep the embargo in place and would consider lifting it if the Cuban regime released all political prisoners unconditionally and legalize political parties and freedom of media.  Obama says he would immediately allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island.  Bidenthinks we should consider open relations with Cuba and wants to close Guananimo Bay, and wants to try the charged detainees in federal court.  Biden voted to release all non-charged detainees (which is practically all of them.)

My view:I think it’s about time to end the embargo myself and concur with both sides here about working towards that.   As for closing GuantanimoBay?  Until the terrorism stops in this world, I think we need the damn prison.  I do agree with Obama in that US citizens should be allowed to travel to Cuba unconditionally.  After all, the US is supposed to be a free country and why is it they tell me I can’t go to Cuba?  I think I may have to give this one to the Dems, because I feel I should legally be able to travel to Cuba like my Canadian relatives.

Gun Control:Palin is a member of the NRA and fully supports the Second Amendment.  Biden voted for a ban on assault weapons and voted to close a gun-show loophole on background checks.  McCain supports the Second Amendment as well as instant background checks, including gun shows.  Obama also supports instant background checks.  Both Obama and McCain support the Childproof Safety Lock Amendment of 2005.  McCain voted to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers, but Obama voted to allow the lawsuits. 

My views: Seems to me, all candidates are in support of background checks and Childproof Safety Locks.  Sounds good to me.  Why though should manufacturers be held responsible for what some idiots do with the gun once they have purchased them?  Sounds pretty silly to me.  Are we going to allow lawsuits against car manufacturers because of drunk drivers?  Would we allow lawsuits against knife manufacturers because someone used a knife to stab someone?  Let’s get real people.  Americans are already “sue happy” and the last thing we need is Obama allowing manufaturers of items to be held responsible for the item’s end user.  This one goes to the Republicans.

Immigration:Biden supports a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes learning english and paying fines, as well as he would like to toughen penalties for employers who hire illegals.  McCain and Obama bothsupport improved border security and both voted for the 700 mile fence along the Mexico border. 

My view:Sounds like the parties are almost agreed here.  Let’s start building the damn fence!!!  As for the teaching immigrants english, maybe we should make english the national language first.  Kind of difficult to make people learn english when the US doesn’t even have a declared national language.  Also, if you are illegally here now, you need to go home and come back legally.  I am tired of watching Americans pay (by way of taxes) for healthcare, etc. for illegal immigrants who don’t pay taxes. I am giving this one to the Republicans because I don’t particularly agree with Biden in supporting legalization of illegals that are already here. Send them home first.

Health Care:Palin supports competition and access to better information.  She would consider incentives for employers who provide health insurance for employees.  McCain opposes national health coverage, stating competition will improve health care.  McCain also wants to foster competition in the drug market through safe re-importation of drugs and faster production of generics.  McCain would increase awareness and promote use of existing children’s health insurance programs and expand community health centers.  Biden wants to insure everyone under the age of 21 and allow families to buy into childrens health insurance programs.  He would like to create a pool of private plans similar to that of federal workers.  Obama wants national health coverage and proposes spending $10 Billion per year during the next five years to implement standards based electronic health information systems to include electronic health records.

My view:Competiton is necessary to get quality health care.  National health coverage will prohibit me from choosing my doctor and being seen by one when I need to see one.  I don’t need or want the government to choose my doctor for me.  I also don’t need or want the government to decide what is medically necessary for me.  Keeping health care private enables choice.  And spending $10 Billion per year for the next 5 years to implement electronic health records? Are you serious?  I can keep track of my health records for less than $2.00 US.  All I need is a spiral notebook.  I can tell my doctor my history all by myself and don’t need electronic records maintained by the government. This one goes to the GOP.

Social Security:Biden opposes private savings accounts.  He also supports lifting the ceiling on Social Security payroll taxes, currently $102,000 per year.  Obama strongly opposes privatization and also supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by SS.  McCain advocates supplementing SS with private individual investments.  McCain believes we need a bi-partisan plan to ensure a fix for the future without raising American taxes.

My view: I have to agree with the republicans here.  Why should I rely on the government to support me when I am a senior?  I shouldn’t.  I have always had to support myself and I see no reason why that should change as I age.  Private investments to supplement my SS income is the answer. (Don’t think I have a huge retirement account either.  I just don’t expect people to pay my way in life.)

Taxes: McCain voted to extend Bush tax cuts until 2010 and opposes the repeal of income taxes and the abolishment of IRS “Fair Tax”.  Biden only wants to repeal Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of earners, but extend them for middle class.  Biden voted against the alternative minimum tax repeal.  Obama opposed extending Bush tax cut laws until 2010 and proposes eliminating income taxes for some, but not all.  Obama also supports a tax decrease for middle class and an increase for top earners.

My view: Ok, this issue really bugs me.  I shouldn’t have to pick up the slack for those that don’t earn as much as I do.  My family is absolutely middle class and could always use a break on taxes, but I do not expect someone who earns more than I do to be penalized because they make more money.  My feelings are if you earn it, you deserve it.  Also, eliminating taxes for some, but not all is not fair on any level.  We all have the ability to use public programs that are paid for by taxes, therefore we all should pay taxes. GOP wins my vote again.

Stem Cell Research:McCain supports funding for embryonic stem cell research on embryos that would otherwise be discarded.  Obamaagrees with McCain on this issue.  Both men are opposed to human cloning and related experimentation.  McCain opposes the creation of embryos for research. 

My view: Looks like the parties are on the same page here once again.  I will never agree with creating embryos for research, only using those that are going to be discarded already.  This one is a tie.


So, there you have the issues and a little blurb about each of the candidates.  Where do I stand on all of this?  When you look at the issues that I have mentioned above and my views, I tend to agree with the Republicans more than I do the Democrats.  I have stated 11 issues, I agree with the republicans on 10 and the Democrats on 3. (Obviously, the overlap is because the parties are some the same side on 2 of the issues.)  I am voting republican.  I also happen to think Sarah Palin is going to be great for this country.

I welcome your comments and your views.  Have at it.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Excellent analysis. Thanks!

Sarah Palin: Sincere but misinformed

I like Sarah Palin. She is sincere and full of energy. But she is woefully misinformed.

No sex education! Whoops! Teenager has a baby! Shouldn’t that be a clue?
Brother-in-law is harassing her sister. Palin pulls strings to get him fired. Is that going too far?
Doesn’t like some of the books in the local library. She asks the librarian if she would mind removing certain books. The librarian indicates she will not tolerate censorship. Palin gets her fired.

The common thread here is the self-appointed assumption that what I (Palin) decide is better for you than what you decide. Ohh, that smacks of totalitarianism! Too bad it hasn’t worked, doesn’t work, and won’t work in the future. Most amazing of all (and tragic) is that some people don’t like to think for themselves. They are mentally lazy, and oh-so willing to let others make these crucial decisions for them. You could see hoards of these mindless drones waving flags and cheering her at the Republican Convention.

Reminds of the Stockholm syndrome. The captives after a while begin to idolize their kidnappers. “I’m going to restrict what you can say and do, but trust me, this will be good for you!” Yeah! Pit-bull with lipstick!
(And the crowd goes wild!)

Comment by christianliberal

Obama is actually of Arab heritage not “African American”…his mother was white from the US, his father an Arab Muslim from Kenya – slight distinction but it should be noted…hence the Arab/Muslim name Barack Hussein Obama

Also, are you sure he was a civil rights attorney? How many cases did he try? Win/lose?

Comment by creeping


Obama never actually took part in a trial while working as a Civil Rights Lawyer with Miner Barnhill & Galland, a Chicago civil rights firm. There he represented community organizers, discrimination victims and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries. He spent most of his nine-year career working as part of a team, drawing up contracts, briefs and other legal papers. Obama had his choice of law firms when he graduated Harvard. He chose Miners because the firm offered another advantage to Obama. It was close to the political action. Obama’s legal work quickly stopped in 1997 after his election to the Illinois Senate.

The information I have on Obama came from Wikipedia (I know not always the best source) and some from this article:

Comment by Krysti

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.GilbertKeithChestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton

Comment by North American Union

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