CLINTON vs. OBAMA vs. McCAIN

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BRING IT ON: CLINTON vs. OBAMA vs. McCAIN
by Jack Random
When John Edwards dropped out, I went on record as standing with Obama in the race for the White House 2008.  I made that decision on the basis of his early opposition to the war in Iraq, his commitment to the environment, health care, equal opportunity, reasoned diplomacy and equitable economic policy.  

I was careful to state that my allegiance was not unconditional.  I expected the candidate to strengthen his stands against the war and global trade policies.  I chose to pin my hopes on Obama rather than Clinton because Hillary had and has an integrity problem.  Like the second coming of John McCain, Hillary’s stand on the issues depends on what time of day it is.  More accurately, it seems to depend on poll numbers and the demographics of the next primary.  


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In the early primaries when Edwards was still in the race, I took the position that a candidate could evolve and still retain his integrity.  One did not change on matters of conscience or core values but the means by which our goals are achieved may change over time – even in response to campaign pressure.  At the time, even Edwards was still evolving on trade and foreign policy.  

Now that we have narrowed the field (barring a brokered convention) to only three candidates in a process that has resembled asymmetric war (replete with sniper fire), one would think that all the questions have been answered.  Sadly, that is not the case.  

The questions that come to mind regarding Obama now are:  Has he evolved enough?  Why doesn’t he press the war issue?  Has he given up on Fair Trade?  Why has he allowed Clinton to take the lead on trade?  Does it he consider trade talk pandering?  

Applied to Hillary:  Why has she evolved to a strong Fair Trade position while faltering even further on the war in Iraq and the prospect of war with Iran?  Does she consider trade a winning issue while the war is an opportunity to demonstrate her commander stature?

Then there’s John McCain, waiting in the wings.  He has walked both sides of every fence – campaign finance, abortion rights, gay rights, tax cuts during war, immigration, torture, the role of religion in politics – yet he continues to be portrayed as the straight talker.  The only consistent line in McCain’s portfolio is his support of war, every war, no matter how unjustified or immoral or destructive to American interests.  The only act of American military aggression McCain ever opposed was Reagan’s intervention in Lebanon circa 1982.  Even then, once we went in, McCain would have flattened the country before “empowering our enemies” by withdrawing as Reagan did.  

The lingering problem is:  I don’t trust Hillary Clinton; I don’t trust John McCain; and I’m beginning to feel a little queasy about backing Barack Obama.  

Hillary is challenging Obama to another debate.  McCain has been throwing barbs Obama’s way.  Obama has been dodging sniper fire.  

I say:  Bring it on.  Let’s hook them all up to lie detectors and let them talk it out.  

Why not?  They want to lead the free world at this critical time in history.  The stakes are too high to leave it all to chance.  We deserve to know who is telling the truth.  It is too late for them to change their stories now, isn’t it?  The cards are on the table.  Let’s find out who’s running a bluff.  

Here are five questions for each of the three candidates (with some overlap):  

Hillary:  Did you oppose your husband’s global trade policy at the time?  Do you support the principles of Fair Trade (living wages and labor rights in all trade agreements)?  As president, would you protect the profit margins of health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations or the interests of the people?  Under your policies, do you anticipate expanding the war to Iran?  Do you intend to end the occupation of Iraq during your tenure in office?  

Bonus round:  Explain your Bosnia and Northern Ireland misspeaks.  

Obama:  Would you renegotiate NAFTA?  Do you support the principles of Fair Trade?  Would international labor standards, including living wages, be a high priority in your administration?  Do you fully repudiate the incendiary words and pronouncements of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?  Would you keep your promise not to maintain permanent military bases in Iraq?  

Bonus:  Do you think you are better than the average beer drinking Joe?  

McCain:  Would you support military action against Iran now or in the near future?  If the Bush administration does not expand the war to Iran and/or Syria in the remainder of its term, do you intend to do so in your administration?   If military “victory” required inflicting mass civilian casualties and/or the use of nuclear weapons, would you employ such methods?  Do you foresee military action in Latin America during your presidency?  If commanders required more soldiers than a volunteer military can supply, would you call for a military draft?  

Bonus:  Would you change your positions on core issues to win an election?  

Bonus for all three:  Would you support an unprovoked attack by Israel on Syria, Lebanon or Iran?  

I know what you’re thinking:  A skilled politician would be able to fool a polygraph machine.  Maybe so – even if their drinks were spiked with truth serum.  

I therefore propose a few contingencies that would raise the stakes:  One failure and the candidate would be forced to appear without makeup or theatrical lighting for a week.  Two failures and the candidate will be subjected to harsh and/or coercive interrogation techniques, ranging from prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation to simulated drowning.  Three failures would result in an immediate rendition to Kandahar or Sadr City.  

I know what you’re thinking:  The rules favor John McCain, a survivor of harsh and unconventional interrogation techniques.  Maybe, but the truth plays no favorites and we would stand a better chance of understanding our choices.  

My guess is we would end up electing Ralph Nader in a landslide.  

Jazz.  

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS).  THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON NUMEROUS CITES OF THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, BELLACIAO, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH, DISSIDENT VOICE, THE DAILY SCARE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS AND PACIFIC FREE PRESS.  SEE WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM 

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