Mud on the Campaign Trail: Enough! Vote Obama!

Those of you who are regular readers here know that I welcome conversation and debate on a wide variety of topics of interest in Anglican Blog Land. My interests on Preludium is to argue for "autonomy in communion," and against the hostile takeover of the Episcopal Church or its "replacement" by a purity code church claiming to be Anglican.

I mostly don't comment
on political campaign matters here but have been clear that I am supporting Senator Barack Obama for President. Having said that once I have left it to others, whose blogs are differently focused, to carry that torch. But I feel the need to speak out now on the matter of mud on the campaign trail.

For a whole variety of reasons I am voting for Obama but until recently I was not voting against McCain. That is, I was supporting the one, not opposing the other. Matters in the past several months however have made it necessary for me to speak more clearly: I am voting for Obama because I believe he is best equipped to provide clear and thoughtful leadership. But now I am voting against McCain because he is seriously flawed and takes the lead from mean spirited and hostile advisors.

His choice of Governor Palin was ill advised, or worse a matter of raw political expediency.

His attacks on Senator Barack Obama have continued to attempt to identify him with terriorist. Two days ago a new mailer went out with shameful inference: Terrorists don't care who they hurt + Obama doesn't care who they hurt + Obama not who you think he is = Obama is ....."
The slick and sick logic of this mai
ler is the last straw.

Now it is clear. McCain is running a campaign of smear and fear and I want nothing of it.
McCain has now forced me to be in opposition to his candidacy at its core. I had hoped to be for Obama without having to be against someone I thought a fine person. McCain is spreading fear and lies and sits with his hands in his lap while his Vice Presidential choice slings mud.
The lies and the mud slinging have gone over the edge. Enough.

Vote for Obama and against McCain. Or better, taking this from Mad Priest,


  1. Gladys Spurgeon24/10/08 7:59 AM

    Oh, and the Mad Priest's bumper sticker is NOT negative.

    Whether you accept it or not, Barack Obama's associations with William Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Fr. Flegler and many others is extremely troubling.

    How would the Democratic Party react if John McCain had met in the home even 20 years ago with a guy who bombed an abortion clinic?

    In your heart you know it would have been a HUGE issue. So you are being disingenuous at best, hypocritical at worst.

    You should see the ads against McCain here in Michigan. McCain is going to cut Medicare and Social Security, for one. Factcheck.org has said those ads are complete lies and yet Barack Obama approves those ads.

    You and most of the media are in the tank for Mr. Obama, fine. But don't use some phony baloney argument that you were once for McCain or respected him. You wouldn't have voted for McCain if he was the only name on the ballot.

    Joe Biden is the dumbest vice-presidential candidate we have ever had. His gaffes, almost daily now, are legendary. And yet, someone thinks he has a mind?

    So elect the most inexperienced person ever for President and I'll sit back and tell you, "I told you so," probably sooner than later.

    At least there will be one advantage of Barack being elected: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, et al, can go find real jobs, because we're not buying the "racist" country argument anymore.

    Gladys Spurgeon

  2. "Obama & Biden: Two minds are better than none."

    What a terrible thing to say about Biden.


  3. Factcheck.org has said those ads are complete lies

    Gladys, FactCheck.org does claim that the ads are misleading. However, FactCheck.org’s False Medicare Claim sheds some light on the fact that perhaps FactCheck does not always check their facts.

    Joe Biden is the dumbest vice-presidential candidate we have ever had

    Gladys, many folks think James Danforth "Dan" Quayle was that person, with Biden's opponent an easy second place. Along with being incredibly dishonest.

    A huge majority in the world hope & pray that you lot elect Obama/Biden next month. We all have a lot riding on that happening. We cannot take another four years like the last eight, and frankly, neither can you all.

  4. Quote from MSNBC:

    Palin resisted the suggestion that if Ayers was a "domestic terrorist" — a standard line in her campaign addresses — then so were conservative religious activists who bombed abortion clinics.

    "I don’t know if you’re going to use the word ‘terrorist’ there," she said.

    Okay, so a stupid rich kid in the 60s who blew things up incompetently (and always with a prior warning) is a terrorist, but a cynical clinic bomber killing cops and doctors is not.

    Got it.

    I think both Gladys and Baby Blue have been answered.


  5. It looks like McCain sold his soul to far right wing rock and roll, and all in the name of expediency. I doubt he really believes any of the stuff he or his campaign are trumpeting these days. He's not a rapture-rightwinger, and those who are know it.

    This will be the second time I vote FOR Obama. I'm more than ready to turn the page on the last 8 years. Peace, Liberty, Equality, Justice, the Constitution, making the USA into a beacon to the world once again instead of just another imperial bully, restoring the American Republic for ALL of its citizens, that's what I'm voting FOR. "With Liberty and Justice for ALL," not just for those who can pay for it.

    I've voted for 25 years against the Republicans (and I used to BE one). I'll vote against them again. They're using all the fear and smear tactics because they have nothing else. They stand FOR nothing except resentment and spite.
    The record of the last 8 years (lies, corruption, neglect, incompetence, crime) speaks loudest against them.
    Eight years of Republican rule have left our country poorer, more divided, more isolated, and weaker than it has been since the 1930s.

    Enough is enough.

  6. Which part of McCain's mind is "none"?

    When he was a POW and voluntarily stayed behind to not be released ahead of others? When he broke ranks in the Senate a challenged his own party?

    Palin? Same sort of story, so SOMETHING is alight upstairs.

    Come on. Vote against them, yes. State your support for your ticket and talk them up.

    BUT...you don't have to lower McCain/Palin to do it. Cheap shot to say that these people have "no" mind.

    Same goes for YOU bb. After you have lost a spouse and raised your kids on your own like Biden, come back and talk.

    This kind of cheap shot makes the "toleration" and "inclusivity" of liberals/progressives very hard to find.

  7. McCain is a close associate of a man who was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in a criminal conspiracy to subvert the democratic process, which involved burglarizing political offices, sabotage, and illegal wiretaps.

    McCain is a close associate of a man who proposed firebombing a political think tank with which his disagreed.

    McCain is a close associate of a man who planned the murder of a journalist.

    McCain is a close associate of a man who endorsed the murder of federal agents, saying, "Kill the sons of bitches."

    McCain has accepted thousands of dollars in donations from this convicted terrorist who has wilfully attempted to subvert the United States Constitution.

    Indeed, McCain has said to this man, in a public radio broadcast, "I'm proud of you."

    So, let me get this straight, Gladys. Barack Obama serves on a committee with and receives a donation from a guy who committed small scale terrorist acts 30+ years ago and it's "extremely troubling."

    But John McCain's far closer association with a convicted terrorist - a terrorist whose extremist views and actions he has explicitly endorsed - is not troubling at all.

    One of the journalists McCain and Palin have quoted in their attacks on Obama is Steve Chapman. He does, indeed, fault Obama for overlooking Bill Ayers "indefensible past."

    Here's what he has to say about terrorist associate John McCain:

    "McCain has never had to explain his association with Liddy. If he can't defend it, he should admit as much. And if he thinks he can defend it, let him."


  8. I can't begin to imagine what BabyBlue means here; it reminds me of her pronouncement that "the Episcopal Church is not heirarchical, sir."

    As for guilt-by-association: McCain is good friends with Gordon Liddy; he visited the dictator Pinochet in Chile "without pre-conditions;" he was one of the Keating Five...and on and on.

    McCain is also a gambling addict, freqently bailed out of his debts by his wealthy wife. He is impetuous and impulsive, and does not have the temperament to be President. McCain scares the hell out of me. And that does not begin to address the irresponsibility of his VP candidate choice.

    And Obama is so calm - I envy him that a lot. He is intellectually gifted, he sees clearly and he really wants to bring us all together and I believe has the clarity of vision and the depth of humanity to bring it about - and we need so much healing in this country.

    I pray constantly that Obama, the finest person to run for high office in this country in many a year, will soon be our President.


  9. Ms Spurgeon:

    I do not know if you live in Chicago or not, and it really wouldn't matter. But, as someone who has worked with both Trinity UCC and St Sabina parish, please allow me to disabuse you of your obviously ill-informed notions concerning Rev. Wright and Fr. Pfleger. They are two of the most gospel-driven pastors you are likely to find, 30-second out of context soundbites notwithstanding. I admit they have become controversial figures, but this is due to opposition campaigns working in collusion with our disgraceful national media.

    The neighborhoods of Gresham (St Sabina) and Chatham (Trinity) are locations of equitable redevelopment and dareisay hope because of what these two leaders have accomplished and more importantly modeled in their lives and ministries. That Sen. Obama was forced to distance himself from their influence because of a handful of unfortunate remarks remains a dark spot on his otherwise brilliant and inspiring campaign.

    I know very little about Prof. Ayers, and certainly his acts as a "washed-up" terrorist are indefensible (and indeed have been roundly condemned by Sen. Obama), but comparing him with the terrorists who committed murder at abortion clinics during the 90's does seem to be a bit of a stretch.

    I do agree that some of the Obama campaign's adverts have been unnecessarily negative, but comparing these to what Rev. Harris rightly calls the mud being slung by Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin again seems like quite a reach.

    I certainly hope you follow your conscience and cast your vote for Sen. McCain, but please refrain from attacking good men like Wright and Pfleger without cause.


    Adam B from Chicago

  10. "So elect the most inexperienced person ever for President and I'll sit back and tell you, "I told you so," probably sooner than later."

    ... somebody like Abraham Lincoln maybe? (no formal education; went straight from the House to the Presidency).

    ... or maybe John F. Kennedy (one term in the Senate).

    So, how did they work out?

  11. Joe Biden is the dumbest vice-presidential candidate we have ever had.

    This has got to be a joke.

  12. Up until the Palin pick I was actually bending over looking for a way to vote for McCain. I respected him a lot more than I did Obama, and even though in the past few years he crawled to kiss the feet of the religious fundamentalist and, in his own words, voted in line with Bush 90% of the time, I liked him. And the Obamaniacs who treat their candidate with messianic deference worried me.

    Not only have I lost all respect for him, but I think that he is a desperate man. Sarah Palin, his inconsistent and self-contradictory rhetoric of the past several weeks, his flat out lies about his own positions and those of Obama - these are the hallmarks of desperation.

    I wouldn't vote for John McCain for any office whatsoever at this point. In fact, I think it's a good idea to keep him as far away from the halls of power as possible. Vote Obama!

  13. As for all these complaints about Obama's supporters casting him as a "messiah," I seem to remember not too long ago that there were a lot of people quite seriously declaring that George W. Bush was literally a gift from God.
    I remember a number of evangelical preachers proclaiming Dubya to be God's Choice for the Presidency, since the voter's didn't want him in 2000. I'm sure there were (and still are) a few bishops out there ready with the holy oil to anoint him as our first king.

  14. As for all these complaints about Obama's supporters casting him as a "messiah," I seem to remember not too long ago that there were a lot of people quite seriously declaring that George W. Bush was literally a gift from God.
    I remember a number of evangelical preachers proclaiming Dubya to be God's Choice for the Presidency, since the voter's didn't want him in 2000>

    I suppose the difference is that I expect no better from evangelical preachers.

  15. "His gaffes, almost daily now, are legendary." The incumbent hasn't made any?

  16. "I suppose the difference is that I expect no better from evangelical preachers."

    I'm afraid I just don't see the equivalence. I've never heard anyone claim that Obama has, or will have, some kind of divine mandate that overrides constitutional constraints and the popular will. Plenty of people made that claim for GW Bush from pulpits and in front of cameras and microphones, especially in his first term.
    I don't see how the fan club that has grown up around Obama is any different from the ones that followed Hillary Clinton, or Mike Huckabee, or currently follows Sarah Palin. It's a lot less than the cult that grew up around Ron Paul.

    I would agree that our system has devolved into a that of a constitutional strong man state, that depends too much on charismatic leaders. Perhaps some reforms in the direction of parliamentary government, where party is much more important, might be in order. Personally, I'd rather see a return to that partnership between the executive and the legislature that is spelled out in the constitution, with neither monopolizing policy initiative.

  17. Gladys Spurgeon25/10/08 8:23 PM

    And then there's this gem from Barack Obama, who no doubt is counting on those extra 7 states to win the election.

    Dan Quayle never said anything this stupid!


    Gladys Spurgeon

  18. I don't see how the fan club that has grown up around Obama is any different from the ones that followed Hillary Clinton, or Mike Huckabee.

    I have yet to hear anyone refer to Hillary Clinton as The One, or see any videos where people sway back and forth with soulful looks on their face while her name is chanted in the background, or stick up posters of her resembling those godawful Big Brother icons of BO.

    or currently follows Sarah Palin.

    You are correct - Sarah Palin does make an excellent bad example of messianism in politics. Or pretty much anything else you need a bad example of.

    It's a lot less than the cult that grew up around Ron Paul.

    Well, you've got me there. Obamaniacs are less crazy than Paulians. Touché.

    Look, I'm already voting for the guy. Surely a conversion to the status of True Believer is unnecessary...

  19. On Election Night 2004 (when it was looking bad for Kerry, and after the passage of the execrable state ssm-ban, Measure 2), I was at a union hall in Lansing, Michigan.

    When it was flashed that (to no one's surprise) Barack Obama had been elected to the Senate, a woman turned to me and---obviously looking to find the Bright Side of the night---said "You know, he could well be Our Next President."

    I smiled back, and said "Not in 2008. Too soon."

    That was my attitude, going into 2007: I was by no means signed up for a "Messianic" Obama.

    But he slowly started convincing me he might be ready.

    Two small, but telling moments (both in the BeautyPageantDebates: 10 candidates?):

    1) When all the other candidates were offering to a "What is your biggest weakness?" faux weakness answers (e.g., "I just care TOO MUCH about the people!"), he was the ONLY Democrat to suggest an actual weakness (his messy desk: said JCF, looking at my messy desk now! *g*).

    2) To the question (IIRC) "What's the biggest issue you don't know how to handle?", when the other candidates were AGAIN giving faux replies ("What if I CARE TOO MUCH?" :-/), Obama kind of shuddered, and said "What if Global Warming is as bad as the experts say it is, or WORSE?" He was a man who clearly felt the weight, of a problem beyond his (current, and then some!) capacity.

    I was moved...

    ...to the point of a split-vote (fake vote) of "Undeclared" in Michigan (the non-Hillary vote, because I never thought she could win---and wasn't crazy about her anyway).

    This is all by way of saying, I am NOT some fawning fanatic! I am, for one, VERY concerned about where Obama intends to take us, further into Afghanistan (and Pakistan?)

    But in a choice against the CLEARLY "Past Pull Date" McCain? And the makes-Dubya-look-like-a-secular-humanist Palin???

    Puh-leez! This is not REMOTELY a difficult decision: Obama '08!

    One more thing:

    we're not buying the "racist" country argument anymore. Gladys Spurgeon"

    Funny that: racists never did.

  20. I had a similar experience to JCF. I was not originally an Obama fan. I supported John Edwards in the primaries. Like JCF, I was very impressed with Obama's speech to the Democratic convention, but did not take him very seriously as a presidential candidate for 2008. I was never any starry eyed fawning fan. After the Edwards campaign ended, and later self-destructed, I seriously considered Hillary, and was prepared to vote for her in the general election, even though I was unhappy with her stand on the war, and about the prospect of a Clinton dynasty.
    What changed my mind was Obama's speech on race in Philadelphia, probably the best and most thoughtful public speech on the subject ever by a presidential candidate. Not only was it thoughtful and generous, it was so refreshing to be addressed as an adult, especially after being addressed as a kindergarten student for the last 8 years.
    On top of that, I've been very impressed by the way he's run his campaign. That gives a possible clue to how he would run his presidency.

    "...because we're not buying the "racist" country argument anymore."

    Molly Ivins, shortly before her untimely death, told a story about a conversation she overheard in a diner in Weatherford, Texas:
    "Yep! Rush is right. Racism is over in this country. The N*****s are goin' to have to find somthin' else to complain about!"

  21. I have long since concluded one should believe everything McCain says about Obama and everything Obama says about McCain. Come on folks, you are all old enough to vote -- you should figure out they both will lie to you.

    The easy way to tell when a politician lies to you is to note that their lips are moving.

    Want to know what is really happening? Fr. Mark is a liberal, he is noticing McCain's lies. Allen is a conservative, he notices Obama's.

    We need to realize that the "two party system" is not a working system. Then, maybe, just maybe we can start fixing things.


  22. "We need to realize that the "two party system" is not a working system. Then, maybe, just maybe we can start fixing things."

    If I had my druthers, we'd have a parliamentary form of government that separated the head of state from the head of government. One of the benefits would be the death of the two party system.

    Of course, this would require a major overhaul of the Constitution, and I'm not sure who I'd trust to do that.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.