I’m finally (kinda) settled here in the nation’s capital. I’m living in a poor and very friendly and welcoming part of town. These are the people who are not benefiting from our current administration. This brings me to Senator Obama’s acceptance speech last night.
It is no secret that the Bush administration has not been an economic boon to the lower and middle classes. Here’s the key quote from the link:
The tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households — those least in need of additional resources — at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.
Back to the Senator from Illinois. This is a guy who passed on a high-paying law career to do community work in Chicago. I will leave it to the Traditional Media to gush over how great the speech was. Instead, this post will mainly focus on the specific policy points he outlined. However, I can’t resist my favorite snark of the night. Referring to “Maverick” McCain’s record of voting in line with Our Fearless Leader 90 percent of the time, Obama said:
What does it say about your judgment when you thought George W. Bush was right more than 90 percent of the time?
On to the policy. I was impressed with the promises for the middle and lower classes. Here’s the specifics. Obama wants to:
-- Rewrite the tax code to actually benefit the middle class and small business.
-- End our dependence on Middle Eastern oil within the decade, primarily through renewable energy sources. It’s sounded like JFK’s challenge to put a man on the moon in ten years.
-- Improve education. He and Michelle achieved what they have because of the opportunities they had to get a world class education. I am going to a prestigious college on almost nothing as well, so I have a vested interest in this one.
-- Affordable health care. This is not socialized medicine. It is offering the uninsured the same plan that members of Congress are offered. Obama also wants to change the laws so that the insurance companies cannot turn down or charge ridiculous rates to people with pre-existing conditions.
-- Mandatory paid sick and family leave. Do you really want your waitress to come in sick because the alternative is losing her job?
-- Protection for worker pensions when their companies go belly-up ala Enron.
-- Protect social security
-- Equal pay for equal work, “because I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.”
How to pay for it? Let’s try closing corporate tax loopholes and going through the budget line by line and eliminate wasteful spending.
Next, Obama put the kibosh on these lame patriotism attacks. “We all put country first.” YES!
Then there were the social issues. We hear about them because they are easy to report on. Obama suggested that we need to unite in common effort. Instead of arguing about abortion, let’s try reducing unwanted pregnancy. We can uphold the second amendment while keeping AK 47s away from criminals. Same-sex couples should have the right to visit hospitalized loved ones. We can find a common ground on immigration. These are not the important issues facing this country. These are the issues activists scream most loudly about. As the Senator said:
Let’s not make a big election about small things.
Brilliant. Just a few other observations about the DNC.
Michelle Obama was great and the kids were so cute. I missed the speech, but it great to see Senator Kennedy in top form. Hillary Clinton showed real grace conceding the nomination and moving on. She probably has a lock on any post she wants in an Obama Administration. Guam was amusing when they cast four of their nine votes for Obama and the other three (?!?) for Clinton. 4+3=9? Okay. John Kerry pointed out that McCain opposed the immigration bill proposed by McCain. Al Gore believes in recycling, but electing McSame is one recycling program he won’t sign up for. Joe Biden’s “Freudian slip” was hilarious.
And my two favorite quotes from people not running for president:
New York Governor David A. Patterson
If he’s (McCain) the answer, the question must be ridiculous.
That’s not a maverick. That’s a sidekick.Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. on McCain’s voting record.
Yes, I’ll suck it up and watch the soon-to-be loyal opposition’s party next week, too. Stay tuned and hope that another major hurricane does not hit the Gulf Coast this close to McCain’s 72nd birthday.