01 September 2008

The gathering storm

This is one of those times when I know that I am about to write for two hours or so.  It's 12:31 as I begin.  Let's see where I end up.

The back is better for now, but it looks like I have a herniated disc, which means that some gelatinous goo has burst through the side of one of my vertebrae and is pressing up against a whole lotta nerve endings.  Rest and medication help, but nothing is guaranteed until I subject myself to a claustrophobic morning in an MRI on Tuesday.  I am back on planet Earth, at least for now, but for a few days there it felt like my back was a break away Soviet Republic and the Russian army was throwing all it had at it.  There were times where I felt like I had been tasered for about one month straight.  I am not looking forward to the possibility of re-visiting this type of pain anytime soon.  At least I can pick up Des again, for now.

I've had some time to further reflect on Obama's convention speech, and the same word comes to mind: presidential.  He's the one.  This might be the most profound difference among the two candidates in my lifetime.

The GOP is starting to implode.  Someone please explain to me why the RNC has to cancel most of their convention activities because of Hurricane Gustav hitting Louisiana; I don't get it.  It's not like the convention is in New Orleans, though I certainly would not have been surprised if they tried to have it there.  Remember how the Republicans couldn't wait to get to NYC for the 2004 convention so that they could tap dance all over 9/11 and Ground Zero? 

So McCain has decreed that tomorrow is nothing but business at the convention, which crushes me, truly, because both Bush and Cheney were supposed to speak in St. Paul tomorrow.  There are millions of Republicans praising the powers that be for delivering this hurricane, thus sparing the spectacle of the worst president/vice-president tandem in history from the thrashing that the media would have so deservedly given them. 

Perhaps you heard that in the build up to the Dems convention in Denver last week that several bigwigs from "Focus on the Family" (I feel so dirty even writing that) called for people to pray for "significant, torrential, historical" rain during Obama's speech at Mile High Stadium last week.  What better to way to establish the moral high rode through meteorological censorship?  It didn't work; the weather was perfect last Thursday night in Denver and Obama nailed his speech.  But hmm, less than a week after a significant rain event is bearing down on the one part of the country that surely doesn't need it.  How do James Dobson and his boys feel about that?  What a pity Jerry Falwell isn't still around to contemplate this.

Now McCain and his running mate (more on her, oh so much more, in a sec) are in Mississippi being briefed on what's being done in preparation for the storm.  Why?  Are they the head of FEMA now?  What could they possibly do to help?  McCain does have seven homes, remember, so surely he could help out and put up some folks who need to evacuate for a few days.  If Obama went to New Orleans today, he'd be vilified for getting in the way.  He's stayed for away, and rightly so.  The storm isn't about him, and it's not about the GOP.  Have your convention already; you couldn't possibly look more uncaring or inept than you did the last time New Orleans got hit.

Now, on to Sarah Palin.  I freely admit that before Friday I had no idea who this person was.  I thought Mitt Romney was going to be McCain's veep choice, but silly me: Romney is a Mormon, and much of the evangelical base don't like Mormons.  I never felt the rumors about Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman were worth taking serious despite their "strong" national security credentials (you do remember that if anyone but a Republican is in the White House that we are all going to die right?) because they also happen to be pro-choice.  Mickey Mouse could be McCain's running mate and he'd get more votes than a ticket with a pro-choice running mate on it.

I digress.  Enter Sarah Palin.  She's got guns.  She likes to eat moose.  And, most importantly, she is 44 years old and has an infant son who has Downs Syndrome.  The inference here is as large as the storm surge about to hit the bayou: she had a baby with Downs; she could have aborted it instead; she is a pro-life hero; ergo, she is qualified to be president of the United States.

Now let me clarify something here: I'm a cynical, cynical person who believes that each and every move on the presidential stage is carefully calculated, and since the abortion debate is so heated, I certainly believe that the infant son with Downs is being used as a thinly-veiled political pawn.

National security?  Over-rated.  Besides, according to Cindy McCain, Palin is qualified to be president because she is governor of the state closest to Russia. Good to clear that up.  By the way, Palin's oldest son is in the army and is being deployed to Iraq soon.  Remember, Joe Biden has a son who is being sent to Iraq as well.  Push.

Let's go back to the baby issue: how do I continue without sounding sexist?  I don't understand how a mother of four month old can leave the baby for the campaign trail, especially a baby with special needs.  I don't understand how any parent could; there is no way I would leave Desmond to spend eighteen hours a day campaigning all over the country for the next few months whether he had special needs or not.  Others have expressed that opinion, and combined with some other observations there is a rumbling starting that suggests perhaps that this baby is instead Palin's grandson, the son of her eldest daughter.  It's a lengthy story that can be read here, and I have to say that I am now inclined not to believe it.  However, it also brings up this point, which I believe is quite insane.  I am speaking to the issue with the airline flights.  Why would any mother who has already four kids and knows that the kid she is carrying now is special needs be so reckless with her decision making?  It seems more than a little risky to me, but apparently, Gov. Palin has a little bit of Russell Crowe in her.

Here's the deal: this whole thing is not about Sarah Palin.  It's not about a baby boy with Downs Syndrome (and the parents of the child deserve praise and respect for going ahead and having the little guy-while I'd like to think that I would make the same decision I will not judge anyone who actually has to do it).  It's not about anyone else but John McCain.  It's about his decision making process, how he didn't bother to recognize the potential land mines of his decision.

And I haven't even got into the offensive implications of how this pick assumes that Hillary Clinton supporters who are not thrilled by Barack Obama will now flock to McCain.

Almost at two hours.  I feel that this is terribly unorganized and unclear.  I have a feeling that Gustav isn't the only storm approaching.


psychfun said...

Oh my dear! I herniated my L4 & L5 a year ago April. Doc said actually the one above them was worse but not bothering me???? He wanted to do surgery. I opted to try the Vax-D treatments in Chicago first. I am now what 16 months post & doing much better. I still have at times tingling & numbness in my big toe but I do my exercises & better, try to remember to lift bending my knees etc. So far, someone find a HUGE piece of wood, no major problems & no need for more than Tylenol. Now they have a new Vax-D table that also does cervical. They also have mini treatments kinda like a tune-up every so often. I went all summer with no PT for it so not too bad. I'm hoping to head back there soon for a tune up. They initially put me on Predisone pack & I think I took a med Toradel (sp) for the nerve endings that is good stuff. Gave it to me for muscle tension headaches also and was great. I went into my neurologist this summer & his expression was just amazing. He could not believe I had not been back in over a year! I couldn't care less if it was crystals getting me out of pain...avoiding surgery & keeping my gel stuff working for me etc.


As for the politics...becare they are all a big pain in the A*S! :-)

jevanslink said...

I'm with you on how could a mother leave such a tiny baby, especially one with special needs. I have a bigger problem with families that have more than two kids.

However, I also know that there have been more and more babies with Down Syndrome living full lives. I've also read that Down Syndrome kids are naturally loving and extremely sweet.  

Can't wait to read the theory about the baby being her daughter's. But I'm already skeptical since Down Syndrome is a problem usually for older mothers.  

Mrs. L

lv2trnscrb said...

your back problem sounds terrible; hoping you get good news at your MRI

interesting observations you brought up; the saddest thing that I read in it all was the info you posted about Focus on the Family; I hadn't heard them doing that, but it saddens me; as one who tries to follow Jesus, I'm often appalled to hear of others who claim to be following Jesus, doing things like this;that's how come a lot of us trying to truly follow Jesus and his life get criticized for being hypocritical and judgmental (which oftentimes we are, I freely admit I used to be in that group, but now I'm trying to remember really who Jesus is and what would Jesus have done, and he wouldn't have prayed for rain in this situation)

both candidates need lots of prayer (for those who believe in the power of prayer which is something I happen to do); that is my intent; to pray for both of them, both parties, for our government. Its our only hope; I fear for America with this election

take care of your back and your precious son :)


luvrte66 said...

Jim, you think it's unorganized and unclear; I think it's a brilliant take on it, and you touched on many things that have been going through my mind lately. I don't mean to sound anti-family or anything, but FIVE kids? And agreed--you can't be an involved parent of a young child while campaigning!

I also wondered about the convention and asked the same question of my TV (yes, sometimes I talk back to the TV) when they said McCain and Palin were going to the area of the storm. "WHY? What are THEY gonna do about it?"

The GOP caught a break with not having Bush and Cheney speak. Too bad...I would have like to see that.

I'm sure the religious conservatives are saying about this storm, "See? A bunch of sinners. God's givin' it to 'em again." <sigh>

Hope your MRI goes well and your back feels better soon.

All my best,

aimer said...

I'm with Beth, this is very clear and not at all disorganized. You get to the heart of the Palin problem, it's not about her but about McCain's decision making process. Speaking of land mines, another one exploded today. Check the headlines about Palin's eldest daughter. Poor kid, I suspect that she does not appreciate being in a spotlight that she did nothing to claim.

Hope the back continues to improve.--Sheria