A Shenandoah Valley Virginia View on Obama, McCain, Warner, Goodlatte, and AL FRANKEN !

Here is little ol me chiming in on the subject of the 2008 election with Obama nearly a certainty to win the presidential race as I write this, and an amazing thing happening in that AL FRANKEN is about to be a senator. WOW.

I have diehard republican friends and democrat friends as well, and in my day to day life try to honestly not to offend either side with anything overtly partisan for the sake of a political party ...and at the risk of some of those friends, and even family, running into the blog post and knowing what they may already suspect ...I ABHOR those who make political choices NOT based on issues, but rather by party affiliation. To flush this out more, here in the Shenandoah Valley, where it is VERY VERY conservative and republican, there are honestly those who just feel they don't need to educate themselves on someones stance on issues. They think all democrats are bad, (evil even) and all republicans are good. Terrible thing for America ..this my team / your team system. And that's one of the reasons that an Obama speech here, with the usual adoration that accompanys all his stumping, will seem so out of place at JMU tomorrow.

In these parts, I remember how bad it got when Clinton was president. To some who would call candid comment or write the Daily News Record letters to the editor, everything from the decline of morals in our country (might have had a point) to tornados in the midwest (eh ..) were Bill Clinton's fault.

Now apparently ....are things changing here ? On the advent of Barrack Obama visiting JMU in Harrisonburg Virginia, putting every single vote in play ...even the ones in this republican stronghold, I will go out on a limb and express here some thoughts on the election for the sake of expressing myself ...and hoping I don't lose a friend.

I am a ticket splitter. I am voting for a democrat for Senator, as Warner vs Gilmore is the contest of one of the best governors this state ever had against the hands down worst. If there is a race I am passionate about, it is this one ...it's my main reason for making sure I get to the booth November 4th.

I will also vote for Bob Goodlatte, who has not exactly stood up to the Bush administration ...but carries experience, intellect, and common sense back to Washington with my vote. Having said that, I believe that with the anti -Bush backlash , the local democrats have possibly missed a chance to steal this seat by running such an unknown against him.

Now ..for president, it depends on the issue that matters the most to me that day as to who I will vote for ....but I have to state mostly that once again I am saying "are these the best two we could come up with ???" And ...I think NOT. But ...you can't write in that Alfred E Neuman guy from Mad Magazine and have it count for much.

I also think that NOT enough attention is paid to the fact that the president does NOT get to just do whatever he wants ...I have heard sooooo much about McCains budge and Obamas budget, and neither of these budgets will actually be enacted as they are being run upon. Look at them as ideals ...don't believe the whole package comes with the political promises.

On the issue of health care, probably the most important to my family which includes a cancer survivor, McCain is not standing up enough for my taste to the problems with drug company, AMA, and insurance company run medical system we have. Things need to change, and if I realllllly believe that Obama can get prexisting conditions to be accepted in a job change, which he says he can, or at least his ads claim that, vs. what McCains beliefs on health care appear to be, then my choice is made ...period.

I believe that McCain used pretty bad judgement in picking Palin ...We all will be interested to see where she ends up 12 years from now ..a friend thinks playboy is more a possibility then a presidential run , but I think she will gain experience somewhere, and make a more serious run at some point. Having said that, she is in no way shape or form qualified to be president ...but then again, that brings to mind Obama ...who also has such little experience. If experience were the issue ...its McCain.

And on the issue of Change ...no doubt CHANGE will come when Obama takes over with a likely democratic senate and congress ....but will that change be as partisan on the liberal democrat side as the republicans can be sometimes ? The CHANGE that straight talkin John seems to advocate is more my style. Middle of the road, independent of party influence ....if I realllly thought a McCain administration would be independent of partisanship ...he'd have my vote on that issue.

So ..it's complicated right ?

Oh ..and I am a Springsteen fan, but when Bruce has made his speeches for Obama ...I have more listened to his enthusiastic ramblings about American ideals ...but I HONESTLY think HE ought to run for something. He says these great things about America, then just throws in there, "and Obama is the guy that will uphold these ideals." I am not basing my vote on what my longtime hero in life and music says for me to do ....but his prose has been remarkable ..much moreso than when the dems ran such a tool 4 years ago and Bruce went so far for him as to have many believing he'd get a cabinet post.

Eight years ago, we chose a C student over a future nobel prize winner. I kinda lost faith that American democracy, though it is a right way of doing things, doesn't always make the right choice. Always wonder where we'd be today after 8 years of President Gore. No worse I guarantee.

I can honestly say at this point, 8 days from election, that I am someone who could be pursuaded to change my mind on the presidential election. But I am leaning Obama ...with a certain amount of "show me what you can do big man." Let's hope what he can do is reallly lead America to think about whats right for America on the issues and lead us away from partisan politics.

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