Thursday, August 02, 2007

None of the Above

I bounce between hopping on the Sheila soapbox and writing about the impending empty nest. Today’s installment is political and I’m mad at the Democrats and the Republicans.

But I will focus on the Democrats and save the rest for another day. My message: Don’t take this Yellow Dog Democrat for granted. Sure, I have been a party loyalist. The first presidential candidate I ever voted for was George McGovern back in 1972 when I was a student at the University of Alabama. I am unhappy though with party leadership or rather I should say, the lack of leadership.

The more I hear, endlessly it seems these days, the more the pack of candidates seems to blend together into one big “none of the above.” I am tired of polls, pundits and politicians. I am tired of lobbyists who can buy a voice. The few little dollars I can contribute are so small as to be laughable. Who the devil am I kidding?

I used to think my vote counted, but I no longer think that. So to quote my favorite South Park character Cartman, “Screw you guys. I’m going home.”

Longtime dear gentle readers will know, I cannot pull away entirely. Here’s what I am doing, though, and I urge you to check this out friends. I am thinking about joining Unity08.

The Atlantic chronicles the birth of Unity08:

Over dinner, some of the best political minds of the 1970s, Republican and Democratic, reached bipartisan consensus: none could any longer recognize the political parties in which they had once been major players. The cynical focus on divisive “wedge” issues and the ferocious negativity of recent campaigns, which fed in to an inability to govern once elected, dismayed everyone at the table.

If you watch much TV, you have probably seen actor spokesman Sam Waterston on The O’Reilly Factor, Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC Morning Joe or Chris Mathews’ Hardball. I’ve looked at the names of people putting themselves behind this effort. They are a bipartisan group. Here and there you may read about the efforts of Unity08. I just noticed the Washington Times had a piece recently, and a professor who studies political rhetoric said she thought the lack of a candidate and agenda would hurt Unity08. She is quoted as saying,
"It's going to hurt them because there is nothing substantial that well-meaning, critical American voters can hold on to," she said. "They're using Sam Waterston as spokesperson because he's identifiable, but most of us think politics in terms of an ideology, and there should be people, ideas and beliefs that are tied together, that are shared by people. And if discontent with the status quo is your only unifying factor, that's not going to be enough to hold it together, in my opinion."

To which Unity CEO Robert Bingham replied:
"We are not going to have a candidate until June of 2008," he said, but predicted the primaries will leave "a lot of people that are going to be disappointed and disaffected. And so we think that those folks will come our direction, and because they will feel like the system isn't going to produce the solutions that they expected."

From the Web site of Unity08:
Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.

Be warned, Democratic Party muckety-mucks. This Yellow Dog is shopping around. You probably aren’t going to listen to me. You didn’t the last time about John Kerry. And the Hillary Clinton bandwagon seems to be gaining more and more of the Big Mo. Funny, though, none of my fellow Democrats whom I have asked are supporting her. What I hear most often is “I don’t trust her.” And if there are any Hillary supporters who read this, I’d dearly love to hear from you. I’m polite and would welcome your two cents before I take my ball and go home.

photo by Scott Noblitt during a school trip to the Big Apple.


Marsha said...

I am a huge fan of Hilary. I can remember when Bill was president and how hard she worked toward national health care and how the media twisted attacked her. I can remember how her ideas about helping parents with child care issues were attacked, etc. I really and truly agree with national health care, child care help for the poor and education reform. These issues touch on the core of my beliefs. I believe that our country needs to take care of our poor, of our children (even the poor ones) and women. Of all the candidates I feel Hilary cares about these issues as much as I do. As for how she talks, I think the way she was treated by the media the entire time Bill was president taught her an important lessons on how your words can be twisted. It taught her not to be naive and think that the world can be changed by dreams and idealistic thinking. I think she understands the big money corporate side of America and how to realistically get things done in Washington. No matter how badly she is portrayed I will vote for Hilary.

Marsha said...

sorry about my grammar haven't had coffee yet.

Sarge Charlie said...

Well I have started some nasty exchanges by leaving a comment directed at your commenter. I will only say that I think Hillary is more dangerous that most of the field because she is willing to say or do whatever it takes to win and election, much like Bill. National health care, OMG, look at Medicare, Medicade, and the VA and tell me you want government to be in charge of more of our healthcare?????????

I will go one better, the Old Sarge Voted for Jimmy Carter Twice, how dumb can one person be. Oh well, I do respect the Yellow Dog Dems, but they were sure mislead in the last election. The yellow dogs won the election, not the Dems, then tucked their tails when confronted by Nancy. We need a strong person, I am not sure I know who that is but here is hoping, I am giving Fred Thompson a long looksee.

Now I am off my soap box, I do hope you have had a nice day, kinda wet here in the North Georgia Mountains. Oh by the way, I hope I did not upset Marsha by saying what I believe.

Marsha said...

My hubby is in the military and we have spent the last decade living overseas where the govt runs health care and I do believe it looks a lot better than what we have at home.

I absolutely believe that the rich and powerful people in our country have much better health care than anyone in any other country, but what about the rest of us? The health care I have received as a military spouse has been outstanding compared to the health care I received as a member of the working poor with health insurance before I was married. Just my experience. As I will never be rich I care more about improving the health care for the poor than I care about the health care of the rich.

I do agree that Hilary is doing and saying everything in an effort to get elected, I am not sure if I agree that doing this makes her unethical or a liar.

I hope it is ok to say what I think? I respect very much your opinions, mine are certainly not set in stone. Just trying to express what goes on in my head.

The people living in countries with national health care live Italy and Japan (where I have been living the last few years) they live longer than we do???

Sarge Charlie said...

Why do Canadians who can afford it come to the USA for health care? Because they do not want the delays in the Canadian system.
Hey, I am no expert but I see things around the world also, UK sucks, France not bard but 50-60% tax rate, Hillary Care will not be my choice.

Hi Shela, sorry if I am stepping on your space, you know I am outspoken. I saw you were at Miss T. site, I did a post about her today. I got to get out of here, you ain't got no grits....

Marion said...

Well, Sheila, I'm Canadian, and I try not to mess in foreign politics.

But voting Bush out would be much appreciated. Good luck in your search!

I love your son's photo, by the way!

Miss Trashahassee said...

It's nice to see people agreeing to disagree politely. I've seen some bulletin boards/forums where name-calling is rampant and manners are non-existent. Kudos to you all!

Miss T

Sheila said...

Marsha, I so appreciate you sharing your views. I feel much as you do about these issues. I won't attempt to bash Hillary Clinton except to say, I am longing for a fresh face who will appeal to more than Democratic Party loyalists and the usual suspects. I don't expect Clinton to appeal to everyone, but I feel she is old-school and I would like to see what a new-school candidate might be able to do. There is such geniune hostility generated by her that I think we will continue to have this armed camp mentality should she win the nomination.

I share your concern for the greater good on issues of poverty, education and health care. I would like to see the process play out without us anointing the victor just yet. Thanks for your two cents.

Sheila said...

Welcome, Sarge. I appreciate your thoughts. Funny you voted for Jimmy Carter twice--twice for President or governor? I voted once for him and did not vote for his re-election. I was a rebellious Yellow Dog even then. Are you up there in northern Georgia near Rome? We visited Berry College and loved that part of the state.

Anyway, stop on by and give us your opinion when you can.My soapbox is big enough for two or three and I delight with polite visitors like y'all.

Marsha and Sarge, here's what I think about health care in America: I think it's pretty darned good for some and for others, it stinks. As a county human services worker (for a short time) in one of the richest counties in Illinois, DuPage County, I saw on a daily basis the struggle of the fall-through-the-cracks people when it came to medical care. We had a little assistance we could give but it was pitiful. The hardest thing I had to do was tell an obviously distraught person that there was no money available to pay for a prescription for some expensive antibotic. I never thought that couldn't be me. Funds were limited. Even in this prosperous area, there were those who were working and yet could not afford health insurance.

Bless Marion's heart, she could tell us a thing or two about the Canadian system. It has problems too. But Marion, would you rather have yours or ours?

Sheila said...

Dear, dear Miss T, thank goodness I can go visit you when I want to escape thinking about politics. Keep up the good work! You are right. Some people will get into the meanest name calling. So far people are civil and I think if we can talk with each other, just maybe we can realize we are all in the same boat.

Marion said...

I believe I would rather have ours, long delays, waits and what-have-you...but some changes are in order. There is not enough of anything, be it hospital workers, nurses, doctors, etc., because of cutbacks to the system.

But I believe the poor have as much right to an antibiotic as I do, and they will get that here.

It seems in an effort to find a better system,things get worse; doctors are now having to see patients every three months, if they have more than three ongoing ailments. Patients are required to be tested every 3 months, creating mountains of paperwork every 3 months for doctors and labs and administrative staff. That's just for one patient.

It doesn't take long for the middle aged to come up with three long term ailments. They are now labeling this idea complex care.

Don said...

Sheila, thanks for being generous and sharing your soapbox. I share your frustration regarding the poor choices we have as far as presidential candidates are concerned, and I will send you an email that I had previously sent to others (including a video worth watching) that I think explains why we have such poor choices. If you want to, fee free to share it with your readers here on your blog.

It’s sort of interesting to me how your blog has metamorphasized in the past year. Former and now deceased House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill said that all politics is local, and I believe that a lot of local issues are discussed and perhaps settled around the dinner tables of concerned American families. Your blog started in the kitchen as Alabama Kitchen Sink, so it is appropriate that it now is concerned with politics and government.

I’d like to say just a word about government provided and controlled health care, if I may. As a general rule, I, and many others who have studied it far more than I have, think that it is almost always inferior to health care provided by the private sector. That said, I realize some people are actually unable to afford private sector health care. My belief is that if that is provable, then government has a role to play in helping those people to have health care, but only them, and not everyone.

Dirty Butter said...

I've always voted for Republican candidates for President, but a mixture for all other elections, so I don't really consider myself to be a Republican, but an Independent. I don't see anybody I want to vote for, so I'll probably end up voting against Hillary. I am one of those who doesn't trust her, but thinks she will say what it takes to get elected, and then do as she pleases.

As for national health care, I found Marion's comment interesting, because her experiences and Ruth's in England are the main reason I'm against it!! I would be in real trouble if I had to wait so long to see a doctor. Just this week, I saw three, and am having a Sleep Study done tonight. That would never happen with socialized medicine. Improve our health care for the uninsured? Yes! Bring us all under such a health care bureaucracy? NO!

unitybroth said...

Sheila, thank you for writing about Unity08. We will be happy to have you join our movement!

As you know, there is no need to change your current party affiliation to join us. Eventually, we'll get to ranking what we think are the crucial issues facing the country, discussing those issues with the candidates seeking the U08 nomination, then engage in the largest online convention to ever take place.

I hope to see you there!

Bob Roth
VP Online Marketing

Sheila said...

I appreciate your input on the health care dilemma that seems to be international in scope. I find it interesting that despite the problems, you'd stick with the Canadian system. It seems that no matter where we are, once a third party joins the doctor-patient relationship quality care becomes harder to achieve. Paperwork and bureaucracy intrude and are we better off? I think not.

You are welcome to voice your opinion any ole time here. I've enjoyed your thoughts over the last year. We might not always see eye to eye, but isn't that grand?

I don't imagine I'd want to sit around and wait either. You are another reader well versed in the American health care system. I'm thankful you and I have a better chance to have our illnesses treated and hope we can find a way to help the uninsured and the underinsured. It really has reached a crisis in my opinion.

I continue to be interested in what Unity08 is attempting to do. You know that there is a huge potential base out there. Young people like my sons and daughter-in-law are looking for someone willing to listen and inspire them. If they are turned away by business as usual, I hope they will now know that there may be a choice. It's exciting to think about a fight that really will matter.

Don said...

Sheila, earlier today I sent you an email containing more of my thoughts on this topic. I sent it by email because I didn’t want to take up so much space on your blog but if you wish to post it here you have my permission.

Anonymous said...

The cost of health care in the USA is out of control (probably because of all the “sue happy” people in the USA)! I was in an auto accident while on vacation in Costa Rica, I fractured my skull, broke 5 ribs, and fractured my left hand. My total bill for all the medical treatment I received (in the hospital for 32 days) was 35,000. I was stunned! The MRI was only 250.00!!! I do not want the government to CONTROL any form of health care!!! I was in the military for 23 years, and though the heath care was adequate, I did not like the fact that with doctors, I had no choice as to who I could see for treatment, nor could I seek a second opinion. There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. If waiting to see government assigned doctor (while you are in pain) is your idea of good government health care, I would think again!

Cheers to you all!