Sunday, August 03, 2008

McCain Or Obama? - What Is An Independent Moderate To Do?

As of today it appears that John McCain and Barak Obama are tied for the presidential vote. However, we still have three months to go and Vice Presidents to select. Since I am a registered independent I couldn't vote in the primaries. If I could, my choice would have been Democrat Bill Richardson, the Governer of New Mexico, who is politically closest to my philosophy. However, with the Democratic Party captured by the left wing and the Republican Party by the right wing, it makes it very difficult to choose the right candidate for an independent moderate voter.

Both McCain and Obama are attractive to me. However, to decide which candidate to vote for I need to look at their voting history, not what they are saying today. Most importantly, as an educator I am very unhappy with McCain's support of those so-called phony education reforms identified here at the NYC Public School Parents blog and his Daily News Opinion page article It's obvious to me that he has no clue of what the classroom environment is like. His support of Vouchers and Charter Schools are a real negative in my book. While Obama has seemed to be more supportive, if vague, of the teaching profession. He did support merit pay, ugh! If education was the only issue, my vote would be a no-brainer; Obama by far. However, I need to think of the big picture and have found Obama to have a paper-thin history of accomplishments and what little data there is shows that he has a strong liberal voting record. I also don't like his flip flopping of his positions to attract the moderate voter. Examples of his flip flopping are: Troop withdrawals from Iraq, off-shore drilling, and Israel.

I also have problems with John McCain. Yes he is a maverick and works well with Senate Democrats on many issues. I give him credit on the Finance Reform legislation that he co-authored and his failed immigration reform compromise that was defeated by the Republican right wing and the Democratic left wing. I also like the fact he does not take earmarks and will veto any earmarks that pass his desk as President. However, I don't like his pandering to the Republican right, his change in position on immigration or his stance on Roe v. Wade. His age also concerns me and his choice of Vice President will be more important to me than Obama's choice (unless it is Bill Richardson).

Presently, I am undecided and will wait and see how the campaign goes before I decide who to vote for.


Anonymous said...


Obama stood still and did nothing to prevent the privatization of Chicago public schools. The debacle that took place in the windy city is a template for the agony and corporatization of the last bastion of democracy, public education.

Did he not vote for NCLB legislation? Everything about this man who is so taken with himself and acts as though he is the Messiah is very creepy.

That's not to say that McCain is so fantastic.
The fact that Obama gave a speech in Germany that was not very flattering to the US is a troubling event.

It seems that Obama as a citizen of the world who couldn't be bothered visiting wounded GI's because his campaign manager was not allowed to go with him, is not the type of individual who should have the most powerful job in the world.

One thing that puzzles me is which position on Israel would you prefer that an oportunist and flim flam man such as Obama take?

Why is the issue of the executive office appearing on your blog? Are there not enough pressing issues facing us all under the Reich of Bloomberg and Randi Swinegarten.

I sincerely hope that the Tweed thought police are poring over this comment at the Reichstag or at very least at the new Stasi headquarters.

I also wonder what the Union Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen make of this. As always lets not do the Bush thing and take our eyes off the ball.


Chaz said...


I forgot his inaction on the Chicago school mess. As for Israel, Obama has changed his position from being sympathetic to the Arab cause to pro-Israel in 2007.

hey, can't I talk about politics for once?

ed notes online said...

I don't see how you can say the Democratic Party is captured by the left. Or maybe you are misreading what constitutes the left in this country. The Clintons are right of center and Obama is not to the left of them. Edwards was more left than either and he didn't capture the party and Kucinich is far left of him. And Nader's policies are also left and far from where the Dems are.

And the radical left takes a hard look at policies in Israel and is often leaning towards the Palistineans, very far from Democratic Party policy.

Chaz said...


I guess it is how I look at it. There are issues that are defined as liberal and conservative. Neither Obama or McCain are hard left or hard right. That is why they are attractive to me. However, I do believe both parties are captured by these groups and the candidate's changing polices reflect this.

Example" As Hillary Clinton shifted righward, Obama received the support of the left wing of the party. Now that he has the nomination, he is trying to shift back to the middle to get my vote. McCain also hardened his immigration stand to get the right wing of the party to support him.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Chaz- I think that Obama is far more to the left than you give him credit for. At the risk of incurring the wrath of all my blogger friends, his views are bordering on socialism. I cannot, and will not, endorse anyone with those views. I'm tired of his flipflopping (he's against offshore drilling, he's for offshore drilling)- in fact, as of late, he's taken a "whichever way the wind is blowing" tact in his campaigning. As you stated, his "I am the Messiah" schtick is rapidly getting old. And he can attempt to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan, but as my mother always said, "you are known by the company you keep". I haven't even touched on his total lack of experience (I find it hard to take a candidate seriously who tells me to inflate my tires and get a tune-up to conserve fuel).

Having said that- I don't love McCain- never have, never will. But I still feel more comfortable with the thought of having him in the White House.

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that people are debating this explains more of why teachers and other working people are getting slaughtered than anything else.

How about the employee free choice act? Since 1981 when Reagan fired the striking Air Traffic Controllers, unions have been on the defensive. This piece of legislation that Obama supports and McCain opposes could start to turn things around slightly.

Who do you think a Republican administration is going to help: working people or their employers? People vote Republican and then can't understand why they can't get justice from Republican dominated courts and bureaucracies. 28 years of Republican and moderate Democratic rule have left working people defenseless.

The overflowing rubber-rooms would not happen if Unions were stronger. Having stronger unions will not be possible under Republican rule.

When people vote against their own self interests, it is depressing.

Stop complaining about Klein and Randi. We have met the enemy and they are us.

Anonymous said...

Let's all vote for McCain and get vouchers so all of us can lose our teaching jobs. Privatize everything. Who needs public schools.

ed notes online said...

I echo anon. 11:29.
People should be more aware of labor history and think about where things were and where they may be again.

The "art" of Reagan and Nixon and the Republicans has been to break apart the FDR coalition and actually get working people to vote for people who want to destroy unions, eliminate regulations that protect people from things like bad meat (remember The Jungle), promote privatization and now in education, the Klein/Sharpton agenda of attacking teachers, as McCain has done.

So to me a vote for McCain is like a vote for more rubber rooms.

Now is Obama much better? Probably not and I may not vote for him either because in NYC my vote for him is meaningless and I feel there needs to be some sense of protest out there over the policies of both parties.

But at least the Dems have some ability to pressure a Democratic president and have none on a Republicn one.

Anonymous said...

This post and the comments from people like 17 more years are truly frightening. How could you even be considering more Republican rule? Are you that masochistic?

Anonymous said...

What an overwhelming response! In the past two weeks alone, 160,000 workers have joined us in support of the Employee Free Choice Act. We’re quickly closing in on our intermediate target of 500,000 supporters by Labor Day. And with your help, we can smash through that goal as we march toward the big one: 1 million mobilized members.

Even if you are lucky enough to already be a part of a union with a good contract, we need you to fight for all workers, because the more people in unions, the better it gets for all of us. A strong union workforce means higher wages, better benefits and improved living standards for everyone.

Join 460,000-plus workers and call on Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

All across America, hardworking families are feeling the squeeze from economic policies that bail out billionaires but abandon workers. It’s long past time to level the playing field. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act will make it easier for workers to form a union, negotiate a contract, ensure their jobs are well-paid and protected and provide a chance for a better life.

All workers—not just CEOs and their high-priced consultants—deserve fair wages, decent benefits and safe working conditions—but without union representation in the workplace, many will never get them. That is why we need the Employee Free Choice Act.

Sign on today and help us get to 500,000 signatures by Labor Day.

Unions have been at the forefront of the fight for workers rights in America for over a century. Benefits like overtime pay, maternity leave and employer-sponsored health plans have become standard—not because corporations somehow became nicer, but because unions fought for all of us. It’s time for us to join together to demand a fair deal for workers again.

Sign the petition now and help us get 1 million signatures.

Thanks so much for your support.

In solidarity,

Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO

Chaz said...

To both anons:

I look at the total picture, not a couple of issues. If I thought like both of you I would vote for Obama since his education policy is superior to McCain's. However, I also look at job creation, immigration policy, energy plans, experience in foreign affairs, tax issues, economic plans, and selection of supreme court judges.

As an independent moderate, I find both candidates wanting at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Obama has a superior education policy but you are a teacher who is considering McCain. I think it's time you woke up and started voting your own interest. Labor issues are not an issue since clearly Obama will be better for labor. Have you been abroad and seen our unpopularity in most of the rest of the world the last few years? You want more Supreme Court Justices like Sam Alito? They will not be labor or teacher friendly if McCain wins.

Your blog is interesting on teacher issues but when middle class teachers consider voting against their own self interest and for Republicans, it is so distressing.

17 (really 15) more years said...

To anon 2:50
"I think it's time you woke up and started voting your own interest."

And that's exactly how we ended up with a shitty contract, too.

I am well aware that Obama is pro-union. But you're comment about voting your own interest flies in the face of everything that Obama stands for.

Chaz said...


I think you fail to see the big picture. The president has little say on education on the local level. If he did, all NYC schools would compete with private and religious schools under Bush's voucher program. Of course, we don't have such a disgusting program and never will.

Furthermore, as much as I dislike Alito, I dislike judge Ginsberg and Stevens more. I think having liberal judges making policy rather than upholding the constitution is a serious problem.

Anonymous said...

"I am well aware that Obama is pro-union." 17 more years: Voting in your interest means voting for a candidate who is pro labor.

Chaz: Your logic escapes me on politics. If we didn't have Bush, we wouldn't have No Child Left Behind. Yes, it had bipartisan support but if there was a Democratic President, we would've gotten a more favorable law and the whole Bloomberg Klein mess may never have occurred.

Also, I guess having a Supreme Court that favors big business over working people is a good thing too in your way of thinking.

Who is your idea of a good justice?