Well, I actually didn't catch all of McCain's speech. I honestly did try, but I kind of fell asleep while it was on. I'm not sure what that says, exactly, but it's worth noting that I wasn't in any danger of falling asleep during Palin's speech. I took a look at the transcript of his speech, though, and it looked like pretty standard stuff. I don't feel like spending a lot of time analyzing his speech, but I will say that one thing that bothers me is that McCain keeps talking about how he's going to be a uniter and reach across party lines, but then I feel like he keeps making cheap attacks on Obama, questioning his character and patriotism, and even worse, mocking the man's work as a community organizer and as someone who has struggled diligently to help improve his life for the residents of his Chicago community. These don't strike me as the acts of someone who really wants be seen as a uniter.
I also just have questions about whether McCain really understands the problems that much of middle America is going through. He keeps saying that Obama is raising taxes on all Americans, but Obama's paln includes tax cuts for 95% of the population with the only people who may have income tax increases making more than $250,000 (Obama will actually cut taxes for many of the rest of us). Of course, with Cindy McCain wearing outfits to the Republican convention that cost $300,000, the McCain's probably really do feel like everyone in Ameirca is going to be getting a tax increase (they probably know very few people who make less than $250,000 a year). I don't think the McCains understand the problems being suffered by the middle Americans whose jobs are being outsourced, salaries and benefits are being cut, health care costs raised, and whose homes are being foreclosed upon. They think they can fix our problems by continuing to cut taxes and give benefits to the wealthiest members of our nation, but the reality is that that money isn't spreading through the economy. It's creating an income disparity and creating record profits for a limited few while the jobs and benefits that middle Americans used to enjoy (and which, incidentally, are making all of those profits for the wealthiest members of our nation) are being outsourced overseas (which helps increase profits if you're at the very top of the corporate structure, but leaves the American labor force in the lurch). Conservative deregulation and lack of oversight in lending practices helped a bunch of wealthy bankers and mortgage brokers get richer, but that greed ultimately resulted in predatory lending practices, countless home foreclosures, and the beginnings of an economic downturn (I'm not saying irresponsible borrowers didn't play their part in this, but you don't see the bankers being evicted from their homes). I don't want to live in a country with only a very wealthy elite and a poor working class. I'm still one of those suckers who believes that a strong middle class is part of what has separated America from third world, underdeveloped nations.
The Republicans keep talking about bringing change with their campaign, but they talk as though McCain wasn't a member of the party who helped to lead us to our current situation (do I need to quote Obama's favorite statistic about McCain voting with Bush over 90% of the time?).
Anyway, there's a lot to like and respect about John McCain, but I just don't think he has the policies or the beliefs to turn the country around right now.
By the way, there was a story on Nightline last night that was about all of the lobbying money and lobbyist schmoozing that goes on at these conventions for BOTH parties, and it was sort of disturbing. Everything from giving politicians rides to the convention on private jets to golf tournaments and extravagant parties to hip hop concerts with Kanye West (the Republicans had at least one event with a band called Hookers and Blow)- the lobbyists throw insane amounts of money at convention delegates and at elected officials from each party. Spending more, of course, gets the lobbyists more access to elected officials, including exclusive passes to restricted events, and the lobbyists and corporate donors have found some pretty crazy ways of exploiting loopholes in recent lobbying regulations (the Nightline story showed footage of a dinner that was all comprised of lavish finger foods and items served on spoons, since regulations now prohibit lobbyists from serving meals "eaten with forks and knives").
Anyway, the rampant cronyism and preferential treatment was kind of disturbing (on the part of both parties). Clearly wealthy corporations and individuals still have a major leg up when it comes to gaining access to lawmakers and other government officials, and it's worth noting that a number of the companies throwing parties (I'm pretty sure Disney was one) currently had legislation pending before Congress which might significantly impact their businesses. I know this stuff has always gone on, but I thought we were getting better about it.
I just talked to my friend Jennifer on the phone, and she says the politics on my blog are getting old. She's probably right.
Not much else to report, though. Last night I had dinner at Romeo's with Ryan, Jamie, and Jamie's friend, Becca. Dinner was pretty good. Jamie and Becca are driving up to their hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma, today to attend a sort of impromptu, informal class reunion at their old high school. Hope they have a fun, safe trip.
I'm so glad it's Friday, and the weather here in Austin seems like it might be nice for the weekend (knock on wood)!