No More Moose-Stepping
Currently, as always in campaign season, the press is drawing allegations of unfairness to the candidates. But the allegiance of the news media lies not primarily with fairness but with truth and justice. If only we adhere to that amongst the calculated maelstrom of accusations of bias from the Right and pussyfooting from the Left, if we could stand on moral high ground and respond to charges of unfairness with "But it's true, so shove off", rather than, "Oh, no, sorry; we didn't mean to upset you; we'll fix it", we can allow the flaming arrows of criticism to rain upon us without concern. The media's job is not be liked after all. If we're nice to everyone -- or indiscriminately derisive -- then we fail.
This is not rec-league soccer where everyone plays the same amount regardless of the benefit to the team. We are here to lay bare the machinations of government and advocate for the best for the American people and the world. Sometimes one side deserves more rebuke than another.
Let's take this page from what Gov. Palin spat at us at the GOP convention: "I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country." We do not exist to please our readership. Nor are we part of anyone's PR machine. We defer to no one but blind Justice and bright-eyed Truth.
Of course this is idealism. Those in the business of news also have other concerns and agendas -- legitimate and il- -- that compromise their work. So, those of us who serve no corporate master now can bear the realistic burden of truth telling.
So, with that, Open Veins officially endorses Barack Obama and Joe Biden of the Democratic Party. (As if that weren't obvious.) These are, of course, not perfect politicians. We hold certain concerns with them and will continue to make those known and look for others. To keep them honest as we can. We will attempt to maintain H.L. Mencken's perspective of politicians, looking at them only down.
But the Democratic is without hesitation the better ticket for America and our global co-habitants. Better by miles than a once-principled politician who, running on his integrity and authenticity, has now sold many of those principles and flipped positions on many issues in his heat for the Oval Office. And the provincial boss who despite her cries of revolution brings with her more of the fanatical, proud-to-know-nothing bullying that has blundered through the White House, the country and the world for the past eight years.
Sen. McCain touts himself as an agent of change, yet he has served in politics for nearly 30 years after more than 20 years in the military, which surely must be counted as part of the much-derided Institution. John S. McCain III is both son and grandson of Navy admirals. He is hardly new blood. His campaign has proven himself just another GOP cutout. Even on the topic of rebellion, first he criticized Sen. Obama as not having spent enough time in Washington; now he criticizes him as being a Washington insider. ABCNews nicely lays out some of the basic contradictions in the Republican campaign here.
One of the foremost concerns recently has been McCain's multiplicity of positions about the economy, which even after the collapse of Bear Stearns he said was still strong. After a career of pushing for de-regulation in financial markets and then his almost unbelievable lack of awareness of the already-underway financial catastrophe, McCain suddenly became Mr. Regulation only after disaster struck (the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG), to the point that claimed he would fire the head of the SEC, a power the President does not have. A President must surely have greater foresight than that -- and a greater sense of reality. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek goes further in depth on this here.
Both the ABC and Newsweek pieces lead us to another great concern about McCain. He has gone from a true straight-talker to just another shifty politician who hides from public inquiry. ABC says that the formerly constantly available candidate has given way to one who hasn't held a press conference since Aug. 13, has diligently avoided the reporters covering his campaign and rarely speaks in public without a script. Who else has been famous for this? Presidents George W. Bush and Richard M. Nixon. Haven't we learned enough from those two men to shun the promise of an opaque White House?
In addition to its failings on policy, despite its incredulous rhetoric about hope and strength and change, this Republican ticket and its campaign -- often disingenuous; playing traditional, self-serving party politics; not sticking to its guns as promised; playing to our fears and delusions and hatreds; thinking that Americans will buy an anti-feminist as VP just because she has the correct private parts -- is mired in cynicism, and that's no way to lead America.