Tuesday, February 13, 2007

so soon? way too soon! -and campaign finance reform

If I were not a First Amendment fanatic, I would want to stop this manaical (you should pardon the expression) surge of candidates throwing-hats-in-the-ring . It's too soon! I don't mind getting to know the candidates-to-be. I just wish they weren't out there spending money and solidifying their images already.

At this stage, all we really know about people like Obama is based on style, not substance. (I happen to think style can be important - a person's bearing can influence whether she/he is going to be taken seriously as a leader.) With other candidates, we may be too blinded by their style (Hillary's abrasiveness, for example) to hear the substance. Others might be all substance (Biden) and no discernable style at all. We might never know.

Maybe I'm just a policy wonk, but I'd rather read position papers and archives of each candidate's career than see them stumping already. Stumping requires money. Money requires donors. Donors require compensation. More than anything else, this mad sequence perverts the democratic process - in my opinion - by forcing candidates into servitude to the kinds of special interests with the money to tempt them - or control them.

It should not cost hundreds of millions of dollars to become the president of the most powerful nation on earth. I've heard the argument that donating money to candidates is an expression of free speech - the First Amendment. Thus, my dilemma. Thus, this nation's dilemma.

What can we do?


Oh, the candidates!

Things are starting to heat up again in politics-land. I listen to NPR every morning while driving my daughter to school, and the talk is hot and heavy on the candidates who are popping up everywhere.

Obama finally threw his hat into the ring, and it looks like it's going to be the Barack-and-Hillary show over the next year. I'm really quite delighted at them both when not thinking political views at all - a woman and an African-American! It would be quite exciting to have either in the white house.

The Republicans also have their hands full picking a new candidate. There's Giuliani who was wildly popular after 9/11 but is also pro-choice and pro-gay rights. There's a Mormon who may or may not be able to find common ground with the religious right. And there's good old John McCain, who I personally would not hate to see in the presidency, but the very things that would make me not hate for him to get elected would make lots of Republicans feel the exact opposite.

2008 is going to be an interesting year!

The prizes!

Finally, we've got our prizes drawn for three of our lucky voters. Here's what they will receive:

I've got blue yarn, red yarn, and some Wildefoote that has all the colors blended together (to represent the great discussion we had on this blog, and the fact that we're really not all that different when it comes right down to it).

Our lucky winners are Melanie, who will get the blue yarn, Yvonne, who will get the red yarn, and Debra, who will get the Wildefoote.

Thanks for playing, everyone! I am turning this blog over to Emily, who has graciously offered to help manage it and keep the discussion going. Obviously I have been a bit neglectful lately (something about some sock knit-along).

Happy knitting!