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#842347 --- 07/15/08 06:57 PM Worse than McCain?
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Delusions About Obama
Worse Than McCain?

By MIKE WHITNEY

Every four years, liberals and progressives are expected to set aside their beliefs and stand foursquare behind the Democratic Party candidate. This ritual is invariably performed in the name of party unity. It doesn't matter if the candidate is a smooth-talking politician who's willing to toss his pastor of 20 years overboard for a few awkward comments, or whether he refuses to defend basic civil liberties like the 4th amendment's right to privacy. All that matters is that there's a big "D" following his name and that he shows he's willing to engage in some meaningless verbal jousting with his Republican opponent.

For nearly a year now, the public has been treated to regular doses of Mr. Obama's grandiloquent oratory and his sweeping "Follow me to Shangri-la" promises. These flourishes are usually followed by "clarifications" on the central issues which identify Obama as a center-right conservative with no intention of disrupting the status quo. CounterPunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn summed it up like this in a recent article on this site:

"There have plenty of articles recently with headlines such “Obama’s Lunge to the Right”. I find these odd. Never for one moment has Obama ever struck me as someone anchored, or even loosely moored to the left, or even displaying the slightest appetite for radical notions, aside from a few taglines tossed from the campaign bus."

Obama-boosters on the left simply ignore the facts because the thought of the unstable John McCain in the Oval Office with his stubby fingers just inches from the Big Red Switch is too much to bear. So, they throw their support behind Obama and hope for the best. But Obama has done nothing to earn their vote and there's nothing to indicate that he has any interest in restoring the republic or putting and end to US adventurism. He's just a one-term senator who doesn't want to rock the boat. That's it. He'd rather keep his position on the issues blurry and rattle off lofty-sounding platitudes than state plainly how he feels. Unfortunately, when he's pinned down and has to give a straight answer, he quickly swerves to the right where he feels most at home.

Some Obamaniacs admit to feeling troubled from time to time. They worry that behind the rhetorical fanfare, Barack is just an empty gourd; a well-spoken pitch man with no moral core. Could he be another Slick Willie, they wonder; another self-promoting politico as eager to sell out his working class supporters as chase a frisky intern around the Lincoln bedroom? No one knows, because no one has figured out exactly why Obama is running. Does he really want to lift the country from the muck of 8 years of Bush misrule or does he just want to gad about on Airforce 1 and make pretty speeches in the Rose Garden? What really drives Obama? It's a mystery.

But don't be fooled, Obama could turn out to be worse than McCain, much worse. No one doubts that he is brighter and more charismatic than the irritating senator from Arizona. And no one underestimates his Pied Piper ability to galvanize crowds and stir up national pride. But what good is that? Obama works for the same group of venal plutocrats as Bush; a fact that was made painfully clear just last week when he voted to approve the new FISA bill that allows the president to continue spying on American citizens with impunity. Obama is a constitutional scholar; he understood what he was voting for. He was sending a message to his supporters that they don't really matter; that what really counts is the small gaggle of powerful corporatists who run the country and believe the president is above the law. That's what his vote really meant.

So, why vote for him? We don't need a glamor boy to trash the Bill of Rights. And we don't need another paper-mache president who tries to conceal America's war crimes behind stuffy-sounding pronouncements about "Islamofacism" and other terrorist mumbo-jumbo. What we need is someone with enough guts and moral fiber to shake up the political establishment, put an end to the wars and covert operations, and clean up Wall Street.

Obama has dazzled the media with his easy manner and his savoir faire, but he's not the right man for the job. He has surrounded himself with ex-Clintonistas who will continue the global onslaught with even greater ferocity than Bush, although much more discreetly.(After all, this is the empire's A Team) And just like Clinton, who bombed the bejesus out of Belgrade for 87 days without batting an eye; Obama will keep the war machine chugging along at full-throttle. No thanks.

What the world really needs is a five or ten year break from the United States; a little breather so people can unwind and take it easy for a while without worrying that their wedding party will be vaporized in a blast of napalm or that their brother-in-law will be dragged off to some CIA hellhole where his eyes are gouged out and his fingernails ripped off. That's what the world really needs, a temporary pause in the imperial violence. But there won't be any sabbatical under Field-Marshall Obama; no way. As Bill Van Auken points out in an article on the World Socialist web site, Obama may turn out to be the point-man for reinstating the draft:

Obama has "lamented the failure of the Bush administration to issue “a call to service” and “a call for shared sacrifice....There is no challenge greater than the defense of our nation and our values,” said Obama. We “need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century," which, according to Obama, will require an "increase US ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.'" ("Obama continues lurch to the right on Iraq war and militarism" Bill Van Auken)

Is that why the political establishment is so enthusiastic about Obama, because they need a better recruiting sergeant than the uninspiring McCain?

No one has followed Obama's rightward drift with greater interest and bemusement than the editors of the Wall Street Journal. They have faithfully chronicled all the vacillating, obfuscating and backpedaling and they've made up their minds; Obama is marching straight towards the welcoming arms of the Republican Party. That's right; he's gradually embracing the conservative platform and abandoning any pretense of liberalism. Two weeks ago the WSJ ran an editorial that summarized Obama's metamorphosis in an article titled "Bush's Third Term":

We're beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of 'George Bush's third term.' Maybe he's worried that someone will notice that he's the candidate who's running for it.

Most Presidential candidates adapt their message after they win their party nomination, but Mr. Obama isn't merely 'running to the center.' He's fleeing from many of his primary positions so markedly and so rapidly that he's embracing a sizable chunk of President Bush's policy. Who would have thought that a Democrat would rehabilitate the much-maligned Bush agenda?

That's fair enough. Obama has changed his position on his "support of a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies". He has wormed his way out of a definite commitment on withdrawing the troops from Iraq. (which was a real lesson in Clintonian triangulation) He's backed off on his promise to rewrite the NAFTA free trade agreement. He's thrown his support behind Bush's "faith-based" social programs which provide state money for religious organizations. He's sided with the majority on the Supreme Court on gun rights and whether to ban the death penalty for rape. How can anyone support a candidate who is on the same ideological side of legal issues as Antonin Scalia?

In the past few weeks, Senator Switcheroo has blasted Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while, at the same time, heaping praise on our "good friend" Israel. Obama even has a two paragraph commentary on his campaign web site lauding Israel's devastating attack on Lebanon a year ago which killed 1,500 civilians and reduced much of the country's vital infrastructure to rubble.

Still think the "peace candidate" does not have the warmongering bone fides to do the empire's dirty work?

Think again.

Many of us who have criticized Obama are being dismissed as cynics, but that's nonsense. The truth is that the left Obama supporters have projected their own values onto their candidate and are trying to make him out to be something that he is not. They put words in his mouth so they can continue to hold on to the crazy notion that the system really isn't broken and that it can be fixed by simply pulling a lever on election day. This is just the lazy-person's way of ignoring the real work that needs to be done to restore American democracy; the organizing of groups and networks, the building of labor unions and working coalitions, the focussed determination to root-out corruption and entrenched corporate power. The system has to be rebuilt from the bottom-up not the top-down. It'll take a revolution in thinking and lots of hard work. There's no quick fix. Freedom isn't free anymore; deal with it. Voting for Obama and keeping one's fingers crossed, is not a sign of hope. It's a sign of self-delusion.
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#842370 --- 07/15/08 07:54 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: VM Smith]
Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
There's no doubt that John McCain is eminently more qualified for the office of POTUS than Barack Obama.

The real question is: Are the American people so fed up with George W. Bush that they'll elect the lesser qualified of the candidates?

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#842380 --- 07/15/08 08:09 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
I don't think McCain is qualified either, plus he's crazy. I'm not voting for either.
_________________________
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#842381 --- 07/15/08 08:11 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: VM Smith]
Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
All things are relative. "More qualified than Obama" isn't necessarily a ringing endorsement. I will likely not vote for either of them (maybe no one at all).

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#842385 --- 07/15/08 08:17 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
Brad ONeill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 567
Loc: Seneca Falls NY
Originally Posted By: Festus!
The real question is: Are the American people so fed up with George W. Bush that they'll elect the lesser qualified of the candidates?


Its very possible. Bush is not popular but Bush is over twice as popular then the democrat led congress is. Overall the federal government is at an all time low with the people.
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#842387 --- 07/15/08 08:21 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
I wouldn't not exercise my right to vote, even if I wrote in for myself, or, more likely, someone I thought would make a good president, politician or not.

I understand that in England, there is a ballot line for "none of the above", which I like.

That way, the parties don't think that you don't care about government, but know that you don't care for the abysmal choice they give you.
_________________________
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#842389 --- 07/15/08 08:25 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: VM Smith]
Brad ONeill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 567
Loc: Seneca Falls NY
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
.I understand that in England, there is a ballot line for "none of the above", which I like.

That way, the parties don't think that you don't care about government, but know that you don't care for the abysmal choice they give you.


Thats a great idea. Wish they did that here.
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#842394 --- 07/15/08 08:35 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: Brad ONeill]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
I think Congress would be more popular if the dems would quit caving in to the repubs. They were elected in '06 to do something about the war, and about Bush, but they act like they're repubs.

This poll is interesting:


Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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Republicans have gained some ground this week, but Democrats continue to lead by double-digits in the Generic Congressional Ballot. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that, if given the choice, 46% of voters would choose their district’s Democratic candidate, while 36% would vote for the Republican candidate.

The two parties are even among men but Democrats enjoy an eighteen point lead among women.

Last week, the Democrats were ahead 47% to 34%. From now through Election Day, Rasmussen Reports is tracking the Generic Congressional Ballot on a weekly basis. Crosstabs are available for Premium Members. Support for the Democrats this week is actually the lowest it’s been since the end of April. But, support for both parties has stayed in a very narrow range. Since weekly tracking on this question began in June, support for Democratic congressmen has ranged from 47% to 48%. Support for the GOP has ranged from 34% to 35%.

Among voters not affiliated with either political party, Republicans and Democrats are essentially even in this poll. But, there are more Democrats in the nation than Republicans.

While the Democrats have a 56% to 26% advantage among voters who see economic issues as the top issues of the election, the Republicans lead 57% to 29% among voters who think that of National Security. Democrats have a big lead among voters who see domestic issues, such as health care and Social Security, as the most important in the upcoming election. Republicans have the advantage among voters who believe Cultural and Fiscal issues are the most important.

Last week, approval ratings of Congress hit their lowest levels ever. Just 9% of voters believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job, while 52% said Congress is doing a poor job. The Rasmussen Consumer Index shows consumer confidence continues to hover around all-time lows. A survey released today shows that most adults believe high gas prices are the biggest short term threat to the economy, while a different survey finds that 62% of voters favor drilling offshore oil wells as a possible solution.
_________________________
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#842399 --- 07/15/08 08:40 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: VM Smith]
Brad ONeill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 567
Loc: Seneca Falls NY
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
I think Congress would be more popular if the dems would quit caving in to the repubs. They were elected in '06 to do something about the war, and about Bush, but they act like they're repubs.


The majority party always has to cave in at times, especially when the majority party does not have 60 senate seats. Without 60 seats they need to comprimise plus if the pres vetos they need 2/3 to override. They can do something about the war though, they can cut the funding and end it but they dont out of fear that they will lose their seats.

If I voted these guys in in 06 I would be a pissed off voter, they have done nothing except give out more pork barrel projects and question baseball players.
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#842400 --- 07/15/08 08:42 PM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
Reinhart Faust Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 6953
Loc: This Island Earth
Originally Posted By: Festus!
There's no doubt that John McCain is eminently more qualified for the office of POTUS than Barack Obama.

The real question is: Are the American people so fed up with George W. Bush that they'll elect the lesser qualified of the candidates?


What good is extensive experience when that experience makes you more inclined to continue to pursue a strategy, a policy or a modus operandi that has already failed our nation and its people? No amount of experience can can make our current path, the wrong path, lead anywhere but where it leads. A fresh perspective is what's called for. Maybe Obama will provide that, and maybe he won't. But I think the country needs change and I believe Obama is more likely than McCain to provide it.
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#842643 --- 07/16/08 08:30 AM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: VM Smith]
threeputt Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/01
Posts: 2800
Loc: Waterloo
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
Delusions About Obama
Worse Than McCain?

By MIKE WHITNEY

Every four years, liberals and progressives are expected to set aside their beliefs and stand foursquare behind the Democratic Party candidate. This ritual is invariably performed in the name of party unity. It doesn't matter if the candidate is a smooth-talking politician who's willing to toss his pastor of 20 years overboard for a few awkward comments, or whether he refuses to defend basic civil liberties like the 4th amendment's right to privacy. All that matters is that there's a big "D" following his name and that he shows he's willing to engage in some meaningless verbal jousting with his Republican opponent.

For nearly a year now, the public has been treated to regular doses of Mr. Obama's grandiloquent oratory and his sweeping "Follow me to Shangri-la" promises. These flourishes are usually followed by "clarifications" on the central issues which identify Obama as a center-right conservative with no intention of disrupting the status quo. CounterPunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn summed it up like this in a recent article on this site:

"There have plenty of articles recently with headlines such “Obama’s Lunge to the Right”. I find these odd. Never for one moment has Obama ever struck me as someone anchored, or even loosely moored to the left, or even displaying the slightest appetite for radical notions, aside from a few taglines tossed from the campaign bus."

Obama-boosters on the left simply ignore the facts because the thought of the unstable John McCain in the Oval Office with his stubby fingers just inches from the Big Red Switch is too much to bear. So, they throw their support behind Obama and hope for the best. But Obama has done nothing to earn their vote and there's nothing to indicate that he has any interest in restoring the republic or putting and end to US adventurism. He's just a one-term senator who doesn't want to rock the boat. That's it. He'd rather keep his position on the issues blurry and rattle off lofty-sounding platitudes than state plainly how he feels. Unfortunately, when he's pinned down and has to give a straight answer, he quickly swerves to the right where he feels most at home.

Some Obamaniacs admit to feeling troubled from time to time. They worry that behind the rhetorical fanfare, Barack is just an empty gourd; a well-spoken pitch man with no moral core. Could he be another Slick Willie, they wonder; another self-promoting politico as eager to sell out his working class supporters as chase a frisky intern around the Lincoln bedroom? No one knows, because no one has figured out exactly why Obama is running. Does he really want to lift the country from the muck of 8 years of Bush misrule or does he just want to gad about on Airforce 1 and make pretty speeches in the Rose Garden? What really drives Obama? It's a mystery.

But don't be fooled, Obama could turn out to be worse than McCain, much worse. No one doubts that he is brighter and more charismatic than the irritating senator from Arizona. And no one underestimates his Pied Piper ability to galvanize crowds and stir up national pride. But what good is that? Obama works for the same group of venal plutocrats as Bush; a fact that was made painfully clear just last week when he voted to approve the new FISA bill that allows the president to continue spying on American citizens with impunity. Obama is a constitutional scholar; he understood what he was voting for. He was sending a message to his supporters that they don't really matter; that what really counts is the small gaggle of powerful corporatists who run the country and believe the president is above the law. That's what his vote really meant.

So, why vote for him? We don't need a glamor boy to trash the Bill of Rights. And we don't need another paper-mache president who tries to conceal America's war crimes behind stuffy-sounding pronouncements about "Islamofacism" and other terrorist mumbo-jumbo. What we need is someone with enough guts and moral fiber to shake up the political establishment, put an end to the wars and covert operations, and clean up Wall Street.

Obama has dazzled the media with his easy manner and his savoir faire, but he's not the right man for the job. He has surrounded himself with ex-Clintonistas who will continue the global onslaught with even greater ferocity than Bush, although much more discreetly.(After all, this is the empire's A Team) And just like Clinton, who bombed the bejesus out of Belgrade for 87 days without batting an eye; Obama will keep the war machine chugging along at full-throttle. No thanks.

What the world really needs is a five or ten year break from the United States; a little breather so people can unwind and take it easy for a while without worrying that their wedding party will be vaporized in a blast of napalm or that their brother-in-law will be dragged off to some CIA hellhole where his eyes are gouged out and his fingernails ripped off. That's what the world really needs, a temporary pause in the imperial violence. But there won't be any sabbatical under Field-Marshall Obama; no way. As Bill Van Auken points out in an article on the World Socialist web site, Obama may turn out to be the point-man for reinstating the draft:

Obama has "lamented the failure of the Bush administration to issue “a call to service” and “a call for shared sacrifice....There is no challenge greater than the defense of our nation and our values,” said Obama. We “need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century," which, according to Obama, will require an "increase US ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.'" ("Obama continues lurch to the right on Iraq war and militarism" Bill Van Auken)

Is that why the political establishment is so enthusiastic about Obama, because they need a better recruiting sergeant than the uninspiring McCain?

No one has followed Obama's rightward drift with greater interest and bemusement than the editors of the Wall Street Journal. They have faithfully chronicled all the vacillating, obfuscating and backpedaling and they've made up their minds; Obama is marching straight towards the welcoming arms of the Republican Party. That's right; he's gradually embracing the conservative platform and abandoning any pretense of liberalism. Two weeks ago the WSJ ran an editorial that summarized Obama's metamorphosis in an article titled "Bush's Third Term":

We're beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of 'George Bush's third term.' Maybe he's worried that someone will notice that he's the candidate who's running for it.

Most Presidential candidates adapt their message after they win their party nomination, but Mr. Obama isn't merely 'running to the center.' He's fleeing from many of his primary positions so markedly and so rapidly that he's embracing a sizable chunk of President Bush's policy. Who would have thought that a Democrat would rehabilitate the much-maligned Bush agenda?

That's fair enough. Obama has changed his position on his "support of a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies". He has wormed his way out of a definite commitment on withdrawing the troops from Iraq. (which was a real lesson in Clintonian triangulation) He's backed off on his promise to rewrite the NAFTA free trade agreement. He's thrown his support behind Bush's "faith-based" social programs which provide state money for religious organizations. He's sided with the majority on the Supreme Court on gun rights and whether to ban the death penalty for rape. How can anyone support a candidate who is on the same ideological side of legal issues as Antonin Scalia?

In the past few weeks, Senator Switcheroo has blasted Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while, at the same time, heaping praise on our "good friend" Israel. Obama even has a two paragraph commentary on his campaign web site lauding Israel's devastating attack on Lebanon a year ago which killed 1,500 civilians and reduced much of the country's vital infrastructure to rubble.

Still think the "peace candidate" does not have the warmongering bone fides to do the empire's dirty work?

Think again.

Many of us who have criticized Obama are being dismissed as cynics, but that's nonsense. The truth is that the left Obama supporters have projected their own values onto their candidate and are trying to make him out to be something that he is not. They put words in his mouth so they can continue to hold on to the crazy notion that the system really isn't broken and that it can be fixed by simply pulling a lever on election day. This is just the lazy-person's way of ignoring the real work that needs to be done to restore American democracy; the organizing of groups and networks, the building of labor unions and working coalitions, the focussed determination to root-out corruption and entrenched corporate power. The system has to be rebuilt from the bottom-up not the top-down. It'll take a revolution in thinking and lots of hard work. There's no quick fix. Freedom isn't free anymore; deal with it. Voting for Obama and keeping one's fingers crossed, is not a sign of hope. It's a sign of self-delusion.



Looks like an ad for my boy.... RALPH!

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#842647 --- 07/16/08 08:33 AM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: Reinhart Faust]
Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
Originally Posted By: Reinhart Faust
Originally Posted By: Festus!
There's no doubt that John McCain is eminently more qualified for the office of POTUS than Barack Obama.

The real question is: Are the American people so fed up with George W. Bush that they'll elect the lesser qualified of the candidates?


What good is extensive experience when that experience makes you more inclined to continue to pursue a strategy, a policy or a modus operandi that has already failed our nation and its people? No amount of experience can can make our current path, the wrong path, lead anywhere but where it leads. A fresh perspective is what's called for. Maybe Obama will provide that, and maybe he won't. But I think the country needs change and I believe Obama is more likely than McCain to provide it.



You spiffed it up real nice, but that's zactly whut I said.

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#842675 --- 07/16/08 09:18 AM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
Odysseus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/12/08
Posts: 1300
Loc: Ontario County
Originally Posted By: Festus!
Originally Posted By: Reinhart Faust
Originally Posted By: Festus!
There's no doubt that John McCain is eminently more qualified for the office of POTUS than Barack Obama.

The real question is: Are the American people so fed up with George W. Bush that they'll elect the lesser qualified of the candidates?


What good is extensive experience when that experience makes you more inclined to continue to pursue a strategy, a policy or a modus operandi that has already failed our nation and its people? No amount of experience can can make our current path, the wrong path, lead anywhere but where it leads. A fresh perspective is what's called for. Maybe Obama will provide that, and maybe he won't. But I think the country needs change and I believe Obama is more likely than McCain to provide it.



You spiffed it up real nice, but that's zactly whut I said.


Why do you think that? Okay, lets throw experience right out the door and focus totally on accomplishments. Obama has served in the Senate for part of one term and has done virtualluy noting of note. Before that he was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, to represent the 13th District, which encompassed Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods. Did he bring “hope” and “change” to the South Side of Chicago – go there sometime and take a look. It is the same impoverished, dead end, hell hole that it was when he arrived on the scene.
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#842682 --- 07/16/08 09:30 AM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: Odysseus]
Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
Hellooooooooooooooooooooo
Are you in there??

It ain't about McCain and Obama, it's about BUSH.
Folks are so disgusted with ole GW that they don't want another REPUBLICAN in the White House. McCain needs to make it plain (if he can) that he won't continue Bush's policies. Peolple don't like Bush, and McCain will pay the price.

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#842751 --- 07/16/08 11:01 AM Re: Worse than McCain? [Re: ]
Brad ONeill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 567
Loc: Seneca Falls NY
Originally Posted By: Festus!
Hellooooooooooooooooooooo
Are you in there??

It ain't about McCain and Obama, it's about BUSH.
Folks are so disgusted with ole GW that they don't want another REPUBLICAN in the White House. McCain needs to make it plain (if he can) that he won't continue Bush's policies. Peolple don't like Bush, and McCain will pay the price.


Thats what they said in 2004 also.
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