This is the home stretch, kids. Either make up your freaking mind or get the hell out of the ring

I said I would tell the whole story of the surprise party, and I will (promise! It’s even saved as a draft in WordPress). Right now I’ve got a debate to talk about.

1) I won’t even go into “Joe the Plumber.” What I do find quite funny is that “Joe” has turned up in the form of a Sixpack and a Plumber, and yet he’s also a VP Candidate. I realize that Joe the Plumber is an actual person, but you’d think that with Biden on the ticket, McCain and Palin would’ve chosen to discuss, say, Bobby Sixpack.

2) Having a baby with Down syndrome does not make a person an instantaneous expert on “special needs families.” As the sister of someone who had severe cerebral palsy, I know that Tractor Palin (or whatever his name is) has a lifetime of hurdles to jump over. But that doesn’t mean I inherently know how to improve special ed programs (other than fund them more adequately, which we all know a McCain-Palin administration wouldn’t do), and it certainly doesn’t make me qualified to be a vice president.

3) McCain’s absurd insinuation that the last two years of Democratic control of Congress has led to the financial crisis we are experiencing was downright ludicrous. I believe I shouted, “Oh, come on! That’s bullshit and you know it, you douchebag!” in the middle of the quiet bar I was watching the debate in. If McCain really believes that (which I truly doubt he does), then this man has an even thinner understanding of the causes of the crisis that I originally thought, and is in absolutely no position to solve it.

4) This isn’t limited to last night’s debate but it’s been on my mind lately: what’s up with the constant use of “pal” as a verb? Sure, it’s proper English, but before two weeks ago, how many times had you used it that way? In fact, how many times had you used the word “pal” at all? Same thing applies to “shore up.”

5) Again, this isn’t limited to the debate. And what I am about to say proves that I am no longer the same person who used to register voters regardless of party affiliation because I had a strong belief that increased voter participation is always good. But here’s the thing: it is dangerous and terrifying that the fate of our country lies in the hands a few voters in swing states who haven’t yet made up their mind.

Gail Collins put it best in today’s column: “At this point, [Obama and McCain] only care about the small chunk of undecided voters in swing states. That means a handful of people in Ohio who have managed to avoid noticing that Obama and McCain disagree on virtually every issue facing the nation and continue to insist that they are torn between them… The candidates are gearing their remarks to people who have managed to completely ignore nearly two years of news about the 2008 elections.”

Nothing is going to change between now and November 4. Either you believe that it is the role of government to provide its citizens with a social safety network because the free market doesn’t provide adequate or fair protection, or you think that making rich people richer will eventually bring up everyone else.

If you haven’t yet figured out which one you agree with, perhaps you’re simply not informed enough to vote.

(I know, I’m mean and I must be anti-American. But hey. Your civic duty is not simply to vote. It is to cast an informed vote. And if you are still “torn” between these two candidates, then I have trouble believing you are anything but uninformed or, worse, apathetic. Sorry. You can leave hate mail in the comments if you so care to.)

3 thoughts on “This is the home stretch, kids. Either make up your freaking mind or get the hell out of the ring

  1. All measures I’ve read showed Obama’s ratings and electability move up and McCain’s down. He came off cranky and cantankerous, while Obama kept his cool and rebutted absurd charges. That’s all he has to do.

    Here’s the rub, which understandably the Obama camp won’t speak aloud: At this point it’s about not losing the election and building margin of victory. The undecided voters should split fairly easily (or get lost in their own driveway, as that seems apt for their powers of observation, and thus not making it to the polling place), and no matter how you slice it Obama has a gap that’s hard to overcome.

    I also theorize some of the undecideds are, even in the 21st century, struggling with issues of race. Some don’t want to vote for Obama and don’t want to say why. Others are overcoming prejudice but can’t yet verbalize they’d rather vote Obama than the country that drove us to hell in a handbasket. Polling is much more complicated than people willingly answering yes/no binaries, though the press lacks the insight or willingness to treat it that way.

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