Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Responses to Letter

We've gotten some responses to my husband's letter via e-mail that I'd like to share. Someone commented yesterday that they thought this site was about laying it out so they could make a choice and that they were disappointed that I shared my (our) choice... When I started this blog it was not my intention to use the blog as a platform for what I believe. I did want to present the different sides so that those of differing views could say what they believe and why rather than me saying what they believe and why. I always strive to understand other people and where they are coming from so that we can communicate on a deeper level that includes respect.

My comments, obviously, will be in red. Mr. Macchiato's response will be in blue. I will also be editing the e-mails so that they are anonymous.

Thanks for the message. Unfortunately, I am probably the wrong audience.

You argue good versus evil. This is not a decision between a good man and a crazed terrorist. This is a decision between two good men with different opinions on how to turn the country around. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are not evil. The Democratic party is not determined to create socialism, abort all children, take money from the rich and give it to the lazy, nor to open our borders to criminals.

I was not decided on this race until McCain chose Palin as a running mate. She is, by miles, the least qualified of the four to have any involvement in governing the US. I was disgusted by the choice, and nothing in her campaign has changed my opinion. McCain is a great man, but he has sold his credibility in his pursuit of the presidency.

I am a registered Republican. I would personally benefit more from McCain's tax plan that I would from Obama's. I have affordable healthcare. I don't care for abortion. I firmly believe that each individual is responsible for their choices and destiny. I worked my way through college - and don't necessarily agree that those opportunities should be handed to anyone. I own a gun. Still, I will vote for Barack Obama for several reasons:

· I am tired of the Republican good vs. evil argument (especially since the evil argument contains threads of racism)

· McCain and his advisors hands are ALL OVER the financial crisis. Many of his advisors worked with Fannie Mae, and he has been a strong proponent of deregulation. The financial crisis is a direct result of deregulation in the banking industry and the conflicting interest created by that deregulation.

· Barack Obama is more likely to inspire and build confidence - the most important aspect to a recovery

· I am scared to death that something would happen to McCain and Sara Palin would be President

· John McCain is enamored with military conflict and has a dated view of the American station in world affairs. It is not 1955, or even 1995. We don't need a meathead approach to foreign policy.

Your response is an intelligent one (mostly). I don't agree with the bit about good versus evil or with the bit about racism. You can’t play the religious zealot card or the race card every time you disagree with a conservative. I wish I shared your faith in the goodness of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party. I believe that there are well meaning Democrats, but by and large they are not in positions of leadership especially in Washington DC. I think that the Democrat Party benefits from dependency and that the more they can further dependency, the more they can secure their grip on power.

Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined. You may not like her views on things, but she has been a successful mayor and governor. She has a proven track record of reform and fiscal responsibility. She understands energy policy probably better than anyone else in the race.

I too am a registered Republican, but I am a conservative first. Neither tax plan will affect me personally, except that Obama’s plan will hurt the business that I work for. Our business is an S Corporation. Our majority shareholder is in a 35% federal tax bracket, plus 4.63% state income tax, plus Social Security and Medicare Taxes. How much is enough?? We too have health insurance, but our out of pocket expense are still high for the reasons I explained before. I’m glad that you don’t care for abortion. Abortion is a matter of right and wrong for me. It should not be tolerated. I too am a big believer in personal responsibility. I didn’t work my way through college. I was fortunate (my mom and dad paid). We do not own a gun. Still, I would never vote for Barack Obama.

I am tired of Democrats playing the race card every time someone questions Obama’s associations. He is associated with some very unsavory, very untrustworthy folks.

Democrats including Barney Frank and Chris Dodd pushed an amendment to the Community Revitalization Act during the Clinton Administration that for the first time allowed for the securitization of subprime mortgages. Millions of federal dollars were funneled to ACORN through this legislation. ACORN used this money in part to intimidate banks into making bad loans. The aforementioned Community Revitalization Act also created rules which caused banks to make bad loans, including rules which downgraded them if they did not make loans to certain disadvantaged borrowers or locate branches in bad neighborhoods. Banks which refused to follow these rules were not allowed to expand their businesses. Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, not John McCain, have all profited handsomely from the demise of Fannie Mae and Lehman Brothers. John McCain saw the looming crisis and tried to fix it in 2006. He was blocked by Democrats.

I would argue that Barack Obama is perceived by our enemies as being weak. Why else would they prefer him to be president?? I don’t think that Barack Obama knows what the heck he is doing in regards to the economy. Tax increases have NEVER led to prosperity. Even John Kennedy knew this and that is why he cut taxes.

Sarah Palin is arguably much better prepared than Barack Obama, and she would have McCain’s advisors to rely on. I won’t argue that she is more qualified than Joe Biden on foreign policy, since he is far more qualified than his running mate. That being said, Joe Biden has pretty much been on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue for the last 30 years.

I would argue that John McCain understands the cost of war far better than anyone else in the race. John McCain has served heroically and has suffered greatly. He also has a son in the war, as does Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. As I stated before, whether you believe in the reasons for the war or not, we cannot afford to surrender now. The Iraqis who have helped us would be subject to genocide, and we would most likely be forced to return to clean up the mess we left. The prosecution of the war had been a disaster until the surge. Victory is now within in reach. I believe that while the Iraqis have suffered greatly and the cost to our country has been great in terms of bloodshed and dollars, Iraqis and others in the Middle East will reap the blessings of freedom for generations to come.

As for nations like Iran, it is na├»ve to think that they can be reasoned with. I believe we should exhaust every diplomatic effort before we take military action, but we cannot stand idly by while Iran destroys Israel. What every American must understand is that radical Islam hates everything that we stand for beginning with tolerance. Women have no rights in these countries. Gays are put to death. No dissent of any kind is allowed. Their beliefs call for our destruction, conservative and liberal alike, man and woman alike, gay and straight alike, white, black, Latino or Asian it doesn’t matter.

Please understand that I respect your right to believe differently than I do. I have several friends that are either Democrats or liberals. I just think that all of us are making a grave mistake if we elect Barack Obama. I do not think he is trustworthy, and I do not share your opinion that he is a good man. I think he is especially dangerous in light of the fact that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi control the congress. Many of the things that they would like to do will be extremely harmful to our nation.

In the event that Barack Obama does win, I sincerely hope that I am dead wrong.

You are certainly passionate and informed on the specifics, more so than I am.

The good vs. evil comment has little to do with religious belief. My point is more that, while there are practical reasons to oppose Barack Obama, I don't understand the fear that he is untrustworthy. It is highly unlikely that there are sinister motives behind his policies. If you want to make that argument, you could make a more powerful and similar argument against the Bush administration. I do not believe that Barack Obama, nor anyone in either party intends to hurt America. Politics are an ugly business. There is no way that you can make your arguments of the Democrats grip on power without including the more heinous eight years of Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their befuddled front man. The good vs. evil venom preys on basic human emotion and fear of change. It's ugly. As for racism, I was not referring to your argument specifically, rather the undertone of conservative speculations about his name, ties to muslims, etc.

Sarah Palin's experience as a small town mayor and Governor of Alaska does not in any way prepare her for national politics. She has zero experience navigating congressional politics and zero experience in foreign policy. She is also poorly educated relative to the alternatives. Your argument is that she can balance a budget. Many can. She has no business whatsoever on the National Political scene. None. There is no way to argue differently. It is naive to suggest that her advisors can walk her through foreign policy, congressional politics, and all other nuances of the job should McCain die. Why bother giving her the job if her advisors will have to do all the work? We can just pay the advisors and save the $400K salary.

I have not heard Barack Obama say that we are going to take the troops out of Iraq on January 17th. He has said that we need a timetable to transition policing (that's what we are doing) to the Iraqis. That makes sense. If not, the Iraqis can at least start footing the bill. You are worried about spending. How about $1 Billion a month on that war? The battle with Terrorists is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We cannot afford to continue the War on our own on two fronts. We need to transition the War in Iraq, or solicit help from nato countries. Barack Obama is more suited to those negotiations. (If you are worried about genocide, why aren't we in Darfur? President Bush does not care about genocide in non-oil producing countries. Just a snide side note.)

There is a fairly neutral article in the October GQ issue on John McCain and his involvement in Iraq. It paints a portrait of a patriotic man, but points out his enthusiasm for this war, and war in general. It also points out his loyalties to Bush. You should read it.

Foreign governments, particularly Muslim nations do not have the same values we do. Of course we cannot reason with them on the basis of philosophy. We can, however, wield a financial stick. That's all diplomacy ever is. We will withhold if you don't, we will give if you do. The world prefers Obama not because he seems weak, but because he seems reasonable. McCain is a throwback - dictating the world without recognition of a new economic parity.

I also disagree with your assessment of your placement of blame on the democratic party for the financial crisis. The securitization of mortgage and debt are not dragging the economy down. The securitization instruments themselves may in fact still prove useful in spreading risk. The insatiable demand for the assets based on AAA ratings are the root of the problem. The irresponsible rating of the assets (paid consulting fees by the companies who's assets they are rating - deregulation) and the unregulated derivatives and credit swaps are what will drag the economy down. The sub-prime mess itself was relatively small in dollar terms. The collapse or AIG and Lehman were do to the credit swaps - unregulated and irresponsible insurance of bad assets. This is a function of deregulation - a mantra of conservative Republicans.

All that said, I could be wrong. I greatly respect John McCain, and I have felt sorry for him during the campaign. I am repulsed by politics. It would not be the end of the world if McCain were elected. Whoever wins will have a brutal job ahead of them. For me, it boils down to hope in a new direction. That part may be naive, but the alternative is just depressing. In any event, it's been a good discussion and I appreciate your opinions.

Again, I am very interested in those whose views oppose mine (ours) and it is dialog such as the above that I've been looking for. We are, or should be, Americans first when it comes to politics and we each get our one vote. I fully respect each person's freedom to vote however they see fit. Yes, I have decided to vote for McCain, but that doesn't mean that I no longer am interested in what the other side has to say.

We also got the following comment via e-mail.

Too late. I've already voted.
You have obviously drunk the Koolaid.
It won't be nearly as bad as you think.
The four stages of loss are as follows:

1 - Denial
2 - Anger
3 - Bargaining
4 - Acceptance

Once the fairness doctrine is reinstated and the right wing hate mongers are forced to go hide on paid radio, folks will have to figure all this out for themselves and they just may come to some different conclusions.

Freedom means folks are free to do things you may not agree with.

You are going to be far better off with a Democratic Congress, filibuster-proof Senate and a Democratic president. We just have to make sure they don't keep it all for too long since power corrupts completely.

Having all the wealth concentrated in the top 1% of people isn't good for the economy. The only thing that creates jobs is demand. We hire employees to meet that demand. Where does demand come from? It comes from the people who spend their money (providing they have some) on something besides derivitives and other get richer faster schemes.

No Kool-Aid here, but I wonder what kind of magic potion the DNC is handing out to get you all to discount Obama's bad friends. Obama's questionable associations go way deeper than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright (as if they weren't bad enough).

I wonder if ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or NPR will observe the “fairness doctrine”. The liberals already have their voice in the media. Maybe you don’t recognize it because you have drank too much of the magic potion. Hate Mongers?? Are you talking about Jeremiah Wright, Father Pfleger, Louis Farrakhan or someone else? Just because somebody disagrees with your politics doesn’t make them hateful. I thought free speech was a right in this country.

People are free to do many things that I don’t agree with. Where I draw the line is when their rights infringe on the right of others.

If we’re going to start redistributing wealth, why don’t we start with Warren Buffett. He seems to be a good Democrat. I would not even agree with this. Taking money from people who have worked for it and giving it those who haven’t is just wrong. Taxes are necessary, but they should be fair to everybody. 35% when coupled with state taxes, sales taxes, Social Security and Medicare is more than enough. If you tax small businesses another 4.63% (and I know it is not all small businesses, but it is many, the ones that create jobs), you take away money that is typically spent on equipment purchases, new buildings, etc. How will this help the economy?? Tax increases have never led to more prosperity for anyone. The last time we raised taxes during a recession, it led to the Great Depression. I guess since Herbert Hoover was a Republican, the Democrats need to try it for themselves (brilliant).

CEO, CEO, CEO. There, I said it for you. Maybe Democrats should look at where CEO’s and corporations dole out their money starting with Franklin Raines and Exxon. It isn’t just ordinary people giving Obama all that money.

As I wrote above, if Obama wins, I sincerely hope that I am dead wrong about the intentions of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

We both know that small businesses are defined as less than 400 people. That includes the one I work for.

The tax Obama is talking about is personal income tax. Many small businesses are sole proprietorships and therefor their tax is personal income tax. Most "small businesses" are incorporated and he is proposing tax breaks for them to assist with modernization, re-tooling, etc.

The candidates keep it simple for the masses but you and I both know there is a lot more to it,
I agree with and share your hopes that he will surprise his critics and do the right things.

Most closely held corporations (like the one I work for) are in fact S Corporations. S Corporation shareholders pay taxes at personal income tax rates. Incentives and tax credits are nice but they generally result in more tax forms, and I’m pretty sure that Obama’s tax increase minus credits would still result in a net increase.


Two Dogs said...

When I receive these types of e-mails, I just have to try to figure out whether these folks are black racists or deadbeats and then I know how to try to reason with them, even though they have proven an utter lack of intellectual ability. Plus, given that they possess a complete ignorance of history, it becomes even more difficult, but still I trudge onward.

Your husband certainly sound like a smart dude, too. Even though he obviously has problems with ethics having worked for Satan in Jackson.

BLBeamer said...

Too late. I've already voted.
You have obviously drunk the Koolaid.
It won't be nearly as bad as you think....Once the fairness doctrine is reinstated and the right wing hate mongers are forced to go hide on paid radio, folks will have to figure all this out for themselves and they just may come to some different conclusions.

Oh, that's rich! Using the government to force people with views you despise to shut up is "fair"?? Despite all the "hate-mongers" flooding the airwaves, this bozo manages to form different opinions. How in the world did they find the mental and intellectual strength?

Someone once said, "If you don't support free speech for those whose views you despise, you don't support free speech." This turkey doesn't support free speech for anyone else but those with whom they agree. That is un-American.

Just so you know: Yes, I am questioning this robot's patriotism. What could be more un-American than being opposed to the 1st Amendment? Unfortunately, it is necessary to offer the following disclaimer because I doubt this person can think logically: I am not a Republican nor do I listen to talk radio. I'm an MP3 guy.

Folks, I don't know if this person is a typical Obama supporter or not, but one of the reasons I am still undecided on who to vote for - despite McCain's big negatives - is because I hear a very disturbing number of Obama supporters gleefully anticipating being able to shut down those whose views they find abhorrent (or "evil", if you will). The supposed registered Republican who replied to Mr. Macchiato and said the GOP has been the only ones using the good vs. evil theme is not listening very carefully.

Roland Hulme said...

On the whole 'good' versus 'evil' stance, I think the Republicans are clearly the more evil.

At worst, the Democrats are selfish and corrupt. At best, they're misguided, but well intentioned.

I thought the Republican party hit a low point with the anti-McCain campaign in 2001 (accusing him of having a black baby with another woman and calling him a coward in the war) but it was difficult to top Cheney shooting his friend in the face.

Now that's EVIL.

Dems vs. Reps isn't good vs. evil.

It's 'I want to treat you like a toddler and control your life' vs. 'I couldn't give a damn about you, your only use to us in government is during an election. Have a tax cut and shut up.'

Roland Hulme said...

McCain was in 2000, not 2001. Ooops.

BLBeamer said...

At worst, the Democrats are selfish and corrupt. At best, they're misguided, but well intentioned.

I'd like to know what Roland believes the GOP's best and worst is, because from my view, there's not a lot of difference between best and worst of either the Dems or GOP. Perhaps, the GOP is slightly more inept and the Dems' slightly more ill-intentioned.

...but it was difficult to top Cheney shooting his friend in the face.

Now that's EVIL.

HA HA! Good line, Roland. It couldn't have been that evil, because the friend who got shot was a lawyer. (rim shot)

It's 'I want to treat you like a toddler and control your life' vs. 'I couldn't give a damn about you, your only use to us in government is during an election. Have a tax cut and shut up.'

Thank goodness those aren't our only two choices, but if they were I'd take being left alone with a tax cut over a scolding governess every single time.

AmusedMomma said...

Talk about drinking the koolaid!

Goodness, that last quoted email is talking about communism with "fairness" as the cute sounding name to alter the sinister meaning behind GOVERNMENT CONTROL! Someone doesn't understand the principle of free press and needs to learn their history in regards to that.

And this quote, "Having all the wealth concentrated in the top 1% of people isn't good for the economy. The only thing that creates jobs is demand."

Someone wasn't paying attention in economics and business classes. This is 101 stuff and is so completely convoluted it is hard to even respond. You cannot persuade someone whose understanding of the underlying issues is so off base.

Time for someone to go back to class and learn.

Your intent to be inclusive on this blog is laudible, but some folks participation is laughable.

Two Dogs said...

Thanks for backing me up, Amused Momma. See, I'm not the only crazy person that comments here.

Coffee Bean said...

So those of you who follow the comments know, I am adding Mr. Macchiato's response to the last e-mail in this post in the body of the text rather than here in the comments.

Coffee Bean said...

Now I'm adding the response to the response... OY!

Two Dogs said...

Is anyone paying attention to what Barry is even saying? He is going to "roll back the 'Bush' tax cuts." That means that ALL tax brackets are going to return to their prior point. When tax rates go up, TAX RATES GO UP!!!!!! There is no mathematical way to RAISE tax rates and reduce the the confiscation from your paycheck. Sorry, Barry may be MAGIC, but he cannot change math.

The fun part about this is that every single time that it has been done, REVENUES to the government have decreased. The reason is that people do not spend the money that they are allowed to keep, they hoard it. And the people that have the ability, HIDE that money and cut employment to keep the same level of profits.

Ammo up, folks. They are coming for your children in ways that have never been tried in our country before.

The Stark Raving Viking said...

I've only voted Republican and would have run as Republican as selectman in my former Connecticut town.

Radical Islam?

Anyone who wants Bush, Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice arrested and prosecuted for murder, can be accused of being sympathetic with Radical Islam. [video and post of what we are doing to prosecute Bush and his buddies]

I have friends and associates without, and with religion, including those who are committed to Islam.

We have a common enemy, the "Corporatists" out to war and ruin us all for their benefit.