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Bush League Politics

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Actuary meets pollster: I don’t project the same hopes that McCain campaign handlers are said to dream as lurking in the tightest of the polls to come out in the past day or so from Pennsylvania, a so-called “statistical tie” which puts Obama at 47%, McCain “only” 4 points behind at 43%, with supposedly more than enough slack for catching up among the 9% undecideds. Let’s let the wider margins of other polls suggest that we can lock up Obama’s 47% in this one, then give McCain the benefit of the doubt by granting him his 43% here despite other polls showing him lagging further. Then let’s call the missing 1% rounding and another 1% out of the 9% votes likely to swing over to Barr or Nader. If only 2 out of the remaining 8 remain undecided to the bitter end, declining to vote at all, then McCain need to get 5 to Obama’s 1 out of the leftover 6 just to gain a tie. 5 to 1?!? That’s supposed to look like a sunny prospect?

Some TV commentators hint that voters who remain undecided so long into this election after the deluge of media from the Obama campaign must indicate sufficient residual doubt to push the majority of those undecided votes into McCain’s column. That I find very highly dubious. I’ve seen and heard from way too many Republicans who have gone through much the same process that first turned me into a hesitant McCain supporter, then into one who planned to simply abstain from voting altogether, then finally into deciding to cast a vote against the abject void of leadership and outright dirt being displayed by the GOP this year. So yes, many of those undecideds may have strong doubts about Obama, doubts that McCain and Palin’s smear tactics might even convert into fears strong enough to keep the voter from casting a vote for Obama. But as long as the McCain campaign persists in virtually 100% negative campaigning without offering any concrete plan for dealing with the current economic and social issues, those undecideds are not going to vote for a hole in the air. At best, from McCain’s perspective, they simply won’t vote; but that doesn’t win him Pennsylvania.

I sincerely believe that if the American system of government permitted a “None of the Above” option on the ballot and had a workable process for interim government (i.e., not even another single day of the Bush Administration) until a candidate could actually win a true majority, then this year would be a year when voters would send both major parties back to the drawing board. Whether or not that belief is actually true among all registered voters, certainly it is a prevailing opinion among any remaining undecideds that neither candidate is winning their approval. But if those “None of the Above” undecideds are finding cause to doubt and fear Obama, don’t look for them to just shrug and vote for a “trust-me” blank page that has failed to sufficiently distinguish itself from the failed policies of its predecessor. Or if a few are influenced enough by GOP demagoguery to fear Obama enough to vote against Obama in similar spirit as I’ve voted against my own party in going with Obama, don’t expect it to be in numbers of the order of 5 to 1.

I would rather pay a little higher tax on a higher profit than a lower tax rate on lower profits.

Victor Hammel, CEO of J.C. Ehrlich,
a pest-control company based in Reading, PA

As a general rule of thumb, my own profession tends to be economically conservative and lined up politically pretty much the same. But starting about four years ago, I found more and more actuaries at conferences and other business meetings speaking openly of disaffections with where the GOP was headed. We are not socialists, nor are we liberal. But we do expect leadership and positive action toward realistic goals. And although certainly not to speak for the profession in general, I have been hearing from hundreds who are no longer hearing what they want to hear from their traditional party. So seek instead to form a moderate coalition with someone whom they know not to be boogeyman caricature the McCain campaign has degraded itself into painting Obama as.

I am not alone. I know of many just like me, Republicans who would have given almost anything to have a reason to vote for McCain, but instead only have been muddied up by despicably ignorant attempts to keep us from voting for Obama. And for every one like me whom I personally know, there are thousands more. Not un-American. Not Marxist. Just seeking solutions that are MIA from the McCain campaign. When he loses, it will be because he lost voters like me. Pushed us away.

Bush League: Below good standards, not good or incorrect. Pitiful, poor, terrible, awful, bad, sucky.

Urban Dictionary

Pretty accurate characterization of the campaign that Bush’s would-be successor has run.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - jourbeau

Written by macheide

31 October 2008 at 4:16 pm

Posted in jourbeau

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