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Monday, November 3, 2008

Closing Argument: Ten Reasons to Vote Obama

For 95% of you, this post doesn't matter. You've already voted. You're a straight-ticket voter. You made up your mind after the conventions, the debates, the Powell endorsement, the Joe the Plumber video. You asked, "Which way is Heidelberger voting?" read my final endorsements yesterday, and said, "Good—now I'm voting the opposite!"

But 5% of you still haven't decided among Obama, McCain, Barr, Nader, and whoever else may be on your radar and your Presidential ballot. Before you reach for that quarter... this post is for you. In no particular order, here are the top ten reasons I can give you this morning to get off the fence and choose Barack Obama as your President:

1. The Republicans don't deserve the White House. As Michael Kinsley has written: "It's important not to ratify failure, and the current Republican administration is a failure."

2. McCain is bad for South Dakota. The only concrete budget cuts McCain has talked about, in his rare moments of fiscal lucidity, are ethanol subsidies and earmarks for projects like the Lewis and Clark water pipeline and the Discovery Bridge. McCain would thus leave South Dakota farmers broke, Sioux Falls thirsty, and all of us unable to get across the river to Nebraska for jobs and water.

3. McCain has turned into Sibby, crying Socialism! at every turn. Obama doesn't sound half as radical as the Madville Times. On the SD Blogosphere spectrum of radical wingnuttery, Obama is the moderate, while McCain is Sibby. And nobody wants Sibby as President.

4. Obama is not a socialist... not that there's anything wrong with that.

5. Obama is not a Muslim... not that there's anything wrong with that. For those of you who groove to Jesus, Obama has more clearly and consistently articulated a vision of how his Christian faith motivates his practical social action.

6. Obama is not a radical left-wing ideologue... not that there's anything wrong with that. (If the Obama people sometimes exaggerate the similarities between John McCain and George Bush, the McCain people make it sound like they are running against true radical left-wing ideologue Dennis Kucinich... and I am acutely aware that Barack Obama is very far from being Dennis Kucinich).

7. Inspiration and leadership: Obama has been able to inspire lots of voters who had become disillusioned with politics, or who had never previously been involved with politics. Is some emotion involved? Sure. But true leadership includes that emotional component. The best leaders inspire enthusiasm among their followers, get them to believe in the mission in their heads and their hearts. Military man John McCain should know that. But McCain hasn't won hearts and minds. His followers don't feel the same excitement about McCain as Obama's do about the Democratic nominee. Many of them are voting for McCain just because he's not "that one." They'd vote for a sack of moldy potatoes if it were on the GOP ticket. McCain tried to inspire voters by choosing Palin to run with him. That choice won some hearts (a.k.a. "energizing the base") but lost many more minds as most voters thought, "He picked her? What kind of leadership is that?" When Republicans criticize the inspiration driving many of Obama's supporters, they're just envious.

8. Sarah Palin.

9. Bringing people together: McCain's people have tried to tout his ability to work on a bipartisan basis. But McCain's entire campaign has abandoned bipartisanship and focused on rousing/appeasing the hard conservative base. Barack Obama's understanding of bringin disparate groups together goes much deeper than the occasional political ploy to get votes in the Senate. He has spent his life reconciling the very different components of his own identity: black and white, Hawaii and Kansas, Ivy League and working class. Obama has had to live between worlds in a way John McCain, privileged child of a respected military family, never has. Cooperation and reconciliation is in Obama's blood.

10. Barack Hussein Obama is the man America and the world need. After eight years of thuggish foreign policy, after eight years of a Global War on Terror based on far too many racist, bigoted, xenophobic underpinnings, electing a man named Barack Hussein Obama can help restore our faith and the world's faith in the American ideals of equality and opportunity. Race is not a good reason to vote for or against a candidate... but on top of all the other good reasons I can think of to vote for Obama, electing a black man the leader of the free world will say something good about America to the rest of the world. And I relish the thought of the lingering racists in this country having to wake up every morning to see President Barack Obama speaking to them from the TV. Barack Hussein Obama will do this country good before he signs a single order, before he even lays his hand on that Bible on the Capitol steps and swears that oath, so help him God.

Thank you for your attention, dear Undecideds. Think it over, sleep it on it, then head to the polls tomorrow and do your best.


  1. Thank you - couldn't have said it better myself!! :)

  2. Vote for Obama if you want to bring back the Inheritance tax. For me, it's not big deal, but for the farmers in the area, it is. 50% would go to the government.

    Also, in his tax plan he also wants to tax your capital gain if you sell your house. 28% goes to the government. It's getting clearer and clearer to me how he is going to fund all of these wonderful programs.

  3. I hate misinformation. Both comments by Anan 9:16 on Obama's tax stance are wrong. Here's the truth on Barack and taxes from his web page: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/fightthesmears

    * Home Sales: The claim that Obama would impose a 28 percent tax on the profit from "all home sales" is false. Both Obama and McCain would continue to exempt the first $250,000 of gain from the sale of a primary residence ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) which results in zero tax on all but a very few home sales.

    * Estate Tax. The claim that Obama proposes to "restore the inheritance tax" is also false, as are the claims that McCain would impose zero tax and that Bush "repealed" it. McCain and Obama both would retain a reduced version of the estate tax, as it is correctly called, though McCain would reduce it by more.

    The tax now falls only on estates valued at more than $2 million (effectively $4 million for couples able to set up the required legal and financial arrangements). It reaches a maximum rate of 45 percent on amounts more than that. It was not repealed, but it is set to expire temporarily in 2010, then return in 2011, when it would apply to estates valued at more than $1 million ($2 million for couples), with the maximum rate rising to 55 percent.

    Obama has proposed to apply the tax only to estates valued at more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), holding the maximum rate at 45 percent. McCain would apply it to estates worth more than $5 million ($10 million for couples), with a maximum rate of 15 percent.

    John Hess

  4. I did get the information from a news site that was doing a side by side comparison of the tax plans and this is what they stated. Unfortunately I don't have that info available to me right now.

    Misinformation??? I think this WHOLE election is filled with misinformation!

  5. Great! But what about Obama do you KNOW he will do!?

    I don't know he will be a socialist, but there's proof that he could.

    Does a Uniter allow someone who questions his policies to be vetted and allow to those findigs to be published for the whole world to see? Joe the Plumber gave Obama a chance to sell his economic plan. And he got ran over the coals for it! That would be more like communism.

    No part of his past can you look at and say, "Obama would be a good president because of 'THIS'!"

    Republicans and George W. Bush screwed up a lot, but you can still find some kind of pattern, that you can depend on.

  6. If Obama is lying about his tax plan...why would you go to his website for an explaination!?!

    I think that would be the definition of gullible!

  7. This is just my opinion: Obama is telling people what they want to hear. He says it is "possible" to do any these things he says. Whereas McCain promises to keep his word on his viewpoints. Obama says he will immediately remove the troops from Iraq. We would all love to see that happen, but it would only create bigger problems here on the homefront. If we bring them home too soon, they'll be to the United States in no time. I've heard a lot of good things that our troops are doing over there. We need to finish our business there before we unwrongfully leave. One thing that really gets me about Obama is that he doesn't put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. If he truly is a Christian, why wouldn't he stand up for what he believes in? We need a Christian President who will stand up for us and our Christian viewpoints. I think that tomorrow morning when the polls open people will open their eyes and see the light as it should be seen. When it comes down to it, McCain truly is the best candidate for this presidental election. I hope that you all really think about the choice that you are making tomorrow. It will affect everything that is yet to come in the future. Thank you for your time.

  8. Well, assuming I granted any credence to the bigoted and unconstitutional idea that only a Christian is qualified to be President...

    I'm not sure where you see Obama the Christian not standing up for Christian principles, Anon. Fool yourself if you want, but stop trying to fool others: Obama is every bit as Christian as you or anyone else you see in church on Sunday (and I hear he goes to church more often than McCain). Care to argue a real difference between the candidates?

  9. That's really four reasons to vote against McCain and six reasons to vote for Obama. That's all the better you can do? :)

    I especially don't buy the first argument. Does either party particularly deserve the White House?

  10. I give and I give and I give, and Steve just wants more. This gig definitely doesn't pay enough. ;-)

    "Deserve the White House" -- indeed, that phrasing smacks too much of an entitlement mentality. Perhaps saying that anyone "deserves" public office is the wrong way to say it. A better wording might be, "America deserves better than four more years of the same failed GOP policies and false principles in the White House."

  11. It kills me you democrats blame everything on Bush. Just what party has been the majority of both houses of congress the last 2 years? And what have they gotten done? Oh yeah that is probably Bush's fault too.

  12. All politicians say what their constituents want to hear and then if they get elected do exactly what they want to do.

  13. Firebird: It kills me you Republican apologists blame everything on the Democratic Congress. Just what party had been the majority of the House the 12 years before that and the Senate for 10 of those 12 years? And what party has held filibuster power in the Senate for the last two years? And what party has held the veto pen for the last eight? And what party has waged war without thinking it was important enough to raise taxes to pay for it? Oh yeah that is probably the Dems' fault too.

  14. Corey:
    Just where did I say I was a Republican?

    In the last election cycle your beloved Nancy Pelosi promised the nation that if Democrates were elected they would do something about gas prices, well I guess you did! Gas prices near $4.00 a gallon. This is Bush's fault, right?

    Republicans hold filibuster power in the Senate? OK when have they used it, enlighten me.

    A tax increase is just what the tazpayers need right now with the shape of the economy.

  15. firebird: "Republican apologist"—i.e., apologist for Republicans.

    Where did I say I loved Nancy Pelosi?

    Gas prices: Dems aren't the ones chanting "Drill Baby Drill" to sustain Big Oil's death grip on the transportation energy market.

    Republican use of filibuster power (or cloture, filibuster lite):

    --"...more cloture votes in this Congress than in any previous Congress..."

    --"Republicans are using threats of filibuster more than ever this term..."

    --"...modern-day record for blocking the most legislation during a congressional session..."

    Consider yourself enlightened. :-D

  16. Man, those references are obscure! I'm glad you got one from this year, eh?

    "Drill, Baby, Drill" is a way for Americans to free themselves from OPEC. And America having more USABLE energy, is the only way we are going to reduce the price of our goods and services without drastic measures.

    The alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuel sources are inefficient at BEST!

  17. Almost as many lies in this blog as there are in the Obama campaign. He is a socialist. He is as radical left wing as you can find. No. Wait. That's not quite right. He's not a socialist. He's a Marxist. He has professed admiration for the same Marxist as Hillary did.

  18. well, it's all over... you voted for him... now you have to deal with it. Although based on the extreme pseudo-intellectual content of most of the posts on this blog, you probably will be too blind to see your freedom being ripped away from you... good job left!!

  19. I don't care if Obama is purple, striped, green, or black. Nothing to do with it. It's his POLICIES of change that are going to wreck this country if implemented, and that's the reason people voted against him. His policies are socialist, no matter how you spin them. He lacks experience, repeat, lacks experience.

    I have an analogy here. Would you vote for Thune for president at this point in his career, politics aside in this question? I support Thune, but I wouldn't vote for him for President at this time, and he actually has more experience than Obama.

    We have been conned by a great orator who promises many things to many people, i.e. buying votes, even from people with a park bench for an address who probably don't even know who is running. But never mind that. He's the Messiah!

    Well, now we got him. And heaven help us (truly) if he gets his agenda through.

  20. oh ca, once again, you read someone else's work and repeated it here without doing any actual research. if you had bothered to actually DO some research you would see that although there have been a record number of filibusters in 2007, it has been in direct response to a RECORD attempt at taxation and spending proposed by the Dems (to the tune of $454 BILLION in spending and 98 billion in increased taxation, not to mention the "ten year plan" that leaves us with a 2.7 trillion dollar debt(that is unless they raise more taxes)). how dare you be so condescending in your response to firebird.
    If you want to "enlighten" someone, start with yourself.

  21. you want ONE REASON why you shouldn't have voted for Barry?
    even he doesn't believe the BS that he spews...
    see: Obama votes against OBAMA economic policies on Foxnews.com.

    How amusing,I thought he was just ignorant, but it turns out even he is smart enough to sniff out manure when it is shoved in his face.


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