Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Democratic Presidential candidates

The candidates for President on both sides leave much to be desired. But on the Democratic side, it's particularly distressing. Hillary Clinton, despite being reviled by the right, is displaying increasing levels of Howard Dean-style unfocused insanity, and appears to absolutely refuse to answer questions in a concrete manner. Barak Obama, despite his early promise, has now turned all God-warrior on us, allying with anti-gay ministers, and also refusing to answer questions with anything but empty optimistic phrases. I still hold out a shred of hope for Obama, but I feel he has overstepped his limitations by running for President so soon. And while John Edwards gained my respect with a very strong performance in the 2004 Vice Presidential debate against Der Fuhrer Cheney, after Bill Clinton, the nation is wary of another smooth-talking southerner. I have a soft spot for Joe Biden and his unrehearsed honesty, but unrehearsed honesty doesn't get one far in the political sphere, and it's not enough to hold up a successful Presidency. And while the borderline Marxist in me also has inclinations toward Dennis Kucinich, I don't see how his ideals will translate to the anti-Marxist American stage. But there is one faint beacon of hope: Bill Richardson, the very successful and popular governor of New Mexico. Richardson is a champion of civil rights, an advocate of the environment, opposes the Iraq occupation, supports tax fairness, and, most importantly, has made affordable health care and quality education his top priorities, recognizing the Bush administration's failings in both areas. For transcripts of his cogent and eloquent speeches and outlines of positions, go to Richardson also gets points for recognizing America's energy crisis, and as former Secretary of Energy, he should know. Richardson has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Middle East and Darfur activism. While all things are subject to change, for the time being, Godless Liberal is endorsing the Honorable Governor Bill Richardson for the next President of the United States.
Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, has made some promising strides of his own in his short time as head of the state. I heard him speak on Thursday at Progressive Maryland's awards banquet. While some called his speech a "downer," I found his honesty about the hard road ahead refreshing. O'Malley passed the nation's first living wage law, and is doing his best to close the state's deficit and undo Ehrlich's various damages. And it says something about O'Malley that he is willing to be identified with Progressive Maryland, a group Ehrlich called "wack-jobs." I consider the former governor's words an endorsement. In his pro-rich and pro-business eyes, I guess any group who advocates a slight tax increase for the super-rich is a wack-job. And we wear that tag with honor. Also, Martin O'Malley, unlike many politicians, has a good sense of humor. When one of Progressive Maryland's team members put on a George Bush mask and wandered by the governor doing an impression of our President in name only, O'Malley was, according to those who saw the incident, laughing his ass off.
Here ends my political rant. Not as informed as I would like, and I may come out looking stupid as a result of my lack of thorough research, but for now, I'm comfortable with my positions. And being a member of Progressive Maryland has not only increased my comfort in social situations, but I am also learning more about various social injustices and how to start solving them. But, American politics sure is depressing. No wonder so many of us prefer not to think about it.

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