Friday, October 17, 2008

After The Debate

After The Debate
By Jerome Grossman

At the third debate, John McCain accused Barack Obama of promoting "single-payer" national health insurance, a system that puts every American on the equivalent of Medicare, the efficient low cost system that keeps retirees alive. Barack's response was a grin and "who me?" Then he and McCain outlined their complex health insurance plans that few could understand in detail, plans that would cross a rabbi's eyes.

Neither candidate told us how to revive the crashing economy, joining the professional economists and Nobel Laureates who are also lost. Both candidates support the quick rescue of banks and bankers from their derivative mistakes, but are slow to restore the purchasing power of the American masses by building roads, schools, hospitals etc.

They agree that America is spending beyond its means resulting in enormous deficits. Yet they support expensive military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the largest military establishment in the world including 737 US military bases in 130 countries.

The winner of the debate was the most handsome, the most likable, the most articulate, the smoothest and the youngest performer who overcame an irascible old man, the representative of a collapsing political party facing abject domestic and foreign failure. Obama could have clarified the differences between the parties by asking McCain a simple question: “Is this a good time to talk to you about your plan to privatize Social Security?” But the debate revealed no solutions to the overwhelming problems. If they arrive at all they will come after the Obama inauguration, after the celebration, in the glorious first 100 days - we hope.

And hope will be needed, for the future is a mystery. As pundit David Broder wrote in the Washington Post. “Something strange is happening in this strangest of all presidential contests. The longer it goes on, the less we know about what either of these men would do if he were in the Oval Office next year.”

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain's Last Gasp

McCain's Last Gasp
By Jerome Grossman

William Kristol, the neo-con columnist at the New York Times, has surrendered the campaign of John McCain. “His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama's........ McCain is doomed.”

Obama's lead in the polls is lengthening. He is far ahead on domestic issues although today’s stock market rally will help McCain by modifying the wave of bad financial news. Public concern about foreign and military policy, issues on which McCain is strong, continues to slide.

Look for a shift in the McCain strategy, away from issues of public policy, away from attacks on Obama's associations, away from Obama's inexperience.

The McCain focus in the last two weeks of the campaign will be his life story, his ancestors, his military service, his five year imprisonment in Hanoi, his bi-partisan initiatives in Congress, his embodiment of the American Hero and American values, making him the person who "deserves to be President."

This story, this strategy, may not work but it appears to be all that McCain has left.
Sic transit gloria mundi


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