Falling for McCain’s Distraction

Like everyone else, we’ve done a couple posts on Sarah Palin, and had LOTS of discussion. Know what we haven’t discussed AT ALL? Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, in which he laid out what he will do if he becomes President. And that’s exactly what McCain and Rove want. Mr Jender pointed out to me what we’ve been doing, and urged me to rectify it. So here’s what Obama proposes:

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East…

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced…

I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American – if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education…
If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day’s work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons…

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease.

Additional quote, prompter by JJ’s comment:

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.

We’re a feminist blog, and how women politicians are treated is of course an important topic for us. But the most pressing topic for the upcoming US election is what the Presidential Candidates will actually do, and it’s important for us not to forget that. You can get more information about Obama’s positions here. We need to keep our eye on the ball, to use a Karaoke metaphor! (Thanks for all your help, Mr Jender.)

11 thoughts on “Falling for McCain’s Distraction

  1. Thanks so much for the reminder!
    I do remember that civil unions, not marriage for same-sex couples, was on the list.

  2. Assuming this isn’t inappropriate, either because it’s bound to be too esoteric or because it’s uncomfortably close to calling someone out — I’ve asked ilovefanon to explain her criticisms of Obama several times over. In particular, zie has said at least once (and similar things several times) that Obama will `(re)construct poverty’. I think this thread, with some more-or-less specific policy proposals laid out at the top in Obama’s own words, would be an excellent place for ilovefanon to explain zir criticisms in more specific terms.

  3. Here’s what Obama says about poverty on his website: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/poverty/
    The Problem

    Poverty Rising: There are over 37 million poor Americans. Most Americans living in poverty work, but still cannot afford to make ends meet.
    Minimum Wage is Not Enough: Even when a parent works full-time earning minimum wage and EITC and food stamps are factored into their income, families are still $1,550 below the federal poverty line because of the flat-lined minimum wage.
    Barack Obama’s Plan

    Expand Access to Jobs
    Help Americans Grab a Hold of and Climb the Job Ladder: Obama will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.
    Create a Green Jobs Corps: Obama will create a program to directly engage disadvantaged youth in energy efficiency opportunities to strengthen their communities, while also providing them with practical skills in this important high-growth career field.
    Improve Transportation Access to Jobs: As president, Obama will work to ensure that low-income Americans have transportation access to jobs. Obama will double funding for the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities and that urban planning initiatives take this aspect of transportation policy into account.
    Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: Obama will work to ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities. Obama will also create a prison-to-work incentive program and reduce barriers to employment.
    Make Work Pay for All Americans
    Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit: Obama will increase the number of working parents eligible for EITC benefits, increase the benefits available to parents who support their children through child support payments, increase benefits for families with three or more children, and reduce the EITC marriage penalty, which hurts low-income families.
    Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 an Hour by 2011: Barack Obama believes that people who work full time should not live in poverty. Even though the minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour by 2009, the minimum wage’s real purchasing power will still be below what it was in 1968. As president, Obama will further raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing – things so many people take for granted.
    Provide Tax Relief: Obama will provide all low and middle-income workers a $500 Making Work Pay tax credit to offset the payroll tax those workers pay in every paycheck. Obama will also eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year.
    Strengthen Families
    Promote Responsible Fatherhood: Obama will sign into law his Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act to remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, and ensure that payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies.
    Support Parents with Young Children: Obama will expand the highly-successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all 570,000 low-income, first-time mothers each year. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families.
    Expand Paid Sick Days: Today, three-out-of-four low-wage workers have no paid sick days. Obama supports guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.
    Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing
    Supports Affordable Housing Trust Fund: Obama has supported efforts to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods.
    Fully Fund the Community Development Block Grant: Obama will fully fund the Community Development Block Grant program and engage with urban leaders across the country to increase resources to the highest-need Americans.
    Tackle Concentrated Poverty
    Establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods: Obama will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provides a full network of services, including early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college.
    Ensure Community-Based Investment Resources in Every Urban Community: Obama will work with community and business leaders to identify and address the unique economic development barriers of every major metropolitan area. Obama will provide additional resources to the federal Community Development Financial Institution Fund, the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies, especially to their local branch offices, to address community needs.
    Invest in Rural Areas: Obama will invest in rural small businesses and fight to expand high-speed Internet access. He will improve rural schools and attract more doctors to rural areas. And Obama will implement a bold climate change and energy independence plan that will revitalize rural America through new investments in renewable energy production, including wind, solar and biofuel investments.

  4. Bravo, Jender!! If we could only get the mainstream media to emphasize these points, rather than fall into the trap of McCain’s distraction – which we have seen right here is very easy to do.

  5. Thanks for the praise, but it really goes to Mr Jender for this one– I was busily obsessing about Palin to him, and he rightly pointed out to me what I was doing!

  6. Yea for a raised minimum wage! That sort of thing has so many implications, including making education more accessible. Many, perhaps most, of the students at my university depend on working to pay at least some of their expenses.

    Other poverty measures are presumably informed by his experiences in Chicago…

  7. YES! Thank you so much for refocusing our eyes on the issues! Yes, Palin’s mistreatment is important but so are the issues that she’s going to hack away on. Hmmm, maybe we can try to always tie these things together? Something like, “dragging Palin’s pregnancy into the limelight is demeaning and inappropriate; it objectifies women just like policies that restrict access to abortion and that’s why we need to keep Roe in place. Did you know that McCain/Palin are pushing an anti-choice platform?” I dunno – just thinking out loud here but I think we might to be able to tie the issues in with the Palin discussions because Palin’s treatment is really part of the bigger picture of women’s mistreatment… What do you think?

  8. Here’s another example of how we can pick up the distractions but then tie them in with policy issues, in this case “illegitimacy” and abstinence-only sex education… Of course, your very own post on universal health care is another example. Now if we could just get (at least some of) the MSM to follow…

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