Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Opinions are like assholes

The excitement of the VP annoucements have come and gone. All the hype about a hot Vice President is getting old now, and it's time to get down to business. As most people know (or should know), the presidential campaigns are always full of shit. The sole purpose of campaigns are for the candidates to wrangle as many voters as possible to believe that their platform is the one to vote for. They have general positions that usually conflict with the opposing party (Not parties. Let's face it. The US is a two party system, and until we can accept that there is more than just black or white on issues, it's going to stay that way). For example: "Abortion is good!" Ok. That is a well defined position, and everyone knows exactly what that person believes. But what if only 1/4 of the population think abortion is good? What if another 1/4 think that abortion is only OK, and should be avoided if possible? They might go with the other candidate who says, "Abortion is not good! Killing babies is not even cool, and no one should be able to do it. We support life!" Well that person might decide, "Well, while I think that abortions might be beneficial in some cases, I also support life, and don't support killing babies. I guess Anti-abortion is my stance." It's all about the bluring of lines.

With that said, We can only vote for one person. With that person comes all of their stances. It's like a game of tag, and those 3 BFF's, one of whom really sucks at tag, HAVE to be on the same team. Well two of them are really good, but is the slow kid worth them? Maybe not, but at least it is a net gain over those other 3 BFF's, two of whom really suck at tag. It's a package deal. So the only reasonable method of deciding on the candidate of choice is to determine the general position on every issue of each candidate. Pick the candidate for each choice in which you find their views closer to yours than the other. Then weigh each issue on personal importance, and conclude who fits your opinions better. I've already done this for McCain and Obama, and made my choice. So for fun, I wanted to compare Palin and Biden.

Again, opinions are like assholes. Everyone else's stinks (though some are way better than others). So debates like "Obama rocks!" - "No he doesn't! Obama totally sucks, McCain is better!" - "Nuh Uh!" are worthless. I'm going to compare some of the issues I think are important, and determine a winner. All of this info was taken from http://www.ontheissues.org/, so I'm going to assume it is accurate. I also removed a lot of the voting stats. I don't agree with the whole flip flopper argument. Peoples' views change. Abe Lincoln didn't want equal rights? What a racist! Society changes and evolves, so what someone said 50 years ago should be taken with a grain of salt. Unless of course it's something like "Voted YES to Anti Breathing Act which would make breathing illegal". Anyway, on to the battle.

Round 1 Fight!

Joe Biden
Allow women to choose, but no federal funding. (Jul 2007)
No public funding for abortion; it imposes a view. (Apr 2007)
Supports partial-birth abortion ban, but not undoing Roe. (Apr 2007)
Accepts Catholic church view that life begins at conception. (Apr 2007)
Nominees should agree on constitutional right to privacy. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)

I agree with the views on abortion, and federal funding. I like how, despite his religious affiliation, he supports it. A good example of Church and State separation. Woot! Human Clones!

Sarah Palin
Rejected sympathy for Down's Syndrome son, as gift from God. (Aug 2008)
Opposes stem cell research. (Aug 2008)
Every baby is created with a future and potential. (Aug 2008)
Pro-life. (Nov 2006)
Pro-contraception, pro-woman, pro-life. (Aug 2006)
Only exception for abortion is if mother's life would end. (Jul 2006)

Thumbs down to the stem cell opposition. I am also a proponent of contraception, woman, and life. Thumbs up to those. There are more reasons for abortion than just the mother's life.

Biden Wins!


Round 2 Fight!
Budget & Economy

Joe Biden
Balancing budget is about priorities; GOP made wrong choices. (Dec 2007)
Save Pentagon spending by getting the troops out of Iraq. (Dec 2007)
More transparency for hedge funds and private equity funds. (Aug 2007)
Invest in new programs by ending war & eliminating tax cuts. (Apr 2007)

Hmm, ok.

Sarah Palin
Reduced general fund spending by $124 million. (Mar 2007)
Aim to reduce general fund spending by $150 million. (Jan 2007)
Firm believer in free market capitalism. (Nov 2006)

Not much here either.



Round 3 Fight!
Civil Rights

Joe Biden
Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)

He doesn't have much of an opinion on gay marriage. I'm neutral on this one.
NOTE: The fact that there was an attempt to actually ban flag desecration is baffling.

Sarah Palin
Vetoed bill denying benefits to gays, as unconstitutional. (Aug 2008)
Marriage only be between and man and a woman. (Nov 2006)
Value our cultural diversity. (Nov 2006)
Ok to deny benefits to homosexual couples. (Aug 2006)
No spousal benefits for same-sex couples. (Jul 2006)
Top priorities include preserving definition of "marriage". (Jul 2006)

Value our cultural diversity, eh? It doesn't look like it.

Biden Wins!


Round 4 Fight!

Joe Biden
Hire more teachers and pay them for smaller classes. (Dec 2007)
For longer school day & school year, & 16-year minimum. (Oct 2007)
$3000 tax credit for college for anyone earning under $150K. (Sep 2007)
There needs to be performance-based pay for teachers. (Aug 2007)
Teach sex ed in schools; including prevention methods. (Aug 2007)
Overcome racial achievement gap with early education. (Jun 2007)
Pay teachers more to get better educational results. (Apr 2007)

I agree with all of this (longer school year too, now that I'm out. muhahaha). I'm surprised performance based pay isn't already implemented.

Sarah Palin
Teach creationism alongside evolution in schools. (Aug 2008)
Supports teaching intelligent design in public schools. (Aug 2008)
Committed to providing strong education, including morals. (Jan 2008)
Fully fund K-12 and support early funding of education. (Jan 2007)
Supports charter schools, home schools, & other alternatives. (Nov 2006)
Faith-based materials ok in homeschooling. (Nov 2006)
Supports parental choice for what is best for their children. (Nov 2006)
Let parents opt out of schoolbooks they find offensive. (Jul 2006)
Parents know best, about school spending & school age. (Jul 2006)
Pledge of Allegiance with 'Under God' is good enough. (Jul 2006)

Soooo many things wrong here. First of all, strong education != creationism. Education involves getting facts to students so they can learn and become more intelligent. Creationism has absolutely nothing proven about it. Intelligent design is just more creationism. I do support informing student what the idea of creationism or intelligent design is. However, in no way should it actually be taught as a proven fact. Support charter schools, home schools, and other alternatives? Ok. Faith based materials in homeschooling? No fucking way. That is an oxymoron. "faith" based "schooling". "Faith", which by definition means believing something without evidence to support it, should not be considered as a form of education. Parents do NOT know best. They didn't go to school for education or study the development of the human mind (unless they got homeschooled, by their parents (who probably got homeschooled by their parents (etc...))). Teach your kid what you want, but he'd better not get any real degree. Also, have fun taking care of him when he comes back home, because he can't cope with society.

Biden Wins!


Round 5 Fight!
Energy & Oil

Joe Biden
The energy challenge take sacrifice and is a moral crusade. (Dec 2007)
Supports cap-and-trade for greenhouse gases. (Nov 2007)
Provide for emergency fuel assistance immediately. (Oct 2007)
Make every automobile sold be a flex-fuel automobile. (Apr 2007)

Not really what I was looking for. That automobile idea is pretty cool.

Sarah Palin
Global warming affects Alaska, but is not man-made. (Aug 2008)
To win, GOP must push energy independence. (Aug 2008)
Agrees with Obama on more Alaska oil & gas production. (Aug 2008)
Lift moratorium on offshore drilling. (Jul 2008)
Convinced McCain to drill offshore; not yet on drilling ANWR. (Jul 2008)
$250M for proven alternative energy, including wind & hydro. (Jan 2008)
Fund cellulosic biofuel research in Farm Bill. (Oct 2007)

The global warming comment is just ignorant. I disagree with drilling offshore, but can't really decide what is needed for short term benefit. Funding for alternative energy shows a push for the future.

Palin Wins!


Round 6 Fight!

Joe Biden
America should guarantee Katrina reconstruction. (Jun 2007)
Take away the billions of subsidy to the oil companies. (Jun 2007)
End commercial whaling and illegal trade in whale meat. (Jun 2001)
EPA must do better on mercury clean-up. (Apr 2004)
Strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting. (Jan 2007)


Sarah Palin
Opposed protections for salmon from mining contamination. (Aug 2008)
Sue US government to stop listing polar bear as endangered. (Aug 2008)

OMG polar bearz r not endangered!! Stop saying that they are!



Round 7 Fight!
Principles & Values

Joe Biden
Insulted Indian-Americans in attempt to compliment vibrancy. (Nov 2007)
Prayer gives you strength, but doesn't prevent crises. (Aug 2007)
Religion informs my values; my reason dictates outcomes. (Jul 2007)
Biggest mistake was thinking he could work with George Bush. (Apr 2007)
Knocked out of 1988 race due to plagiarizing a speech. (Oct 2005)
Religious affiliation: Catholic. (Nov 2000)

Another good example of separation between Church and State. Oh shit he plagiarizes too!

Sarah Palin
Miss Congeniality in statewide beauty pageant in 1984. (Aug 2008)
Husband left oil job to avoid conflict; now works for BP. (Aug 2008)
Religion: non-denominational Bible-believing Christian. (Aug 2008)

Why don't we talk about your values over a nice bubble bath?

Biden Wins!


Biden: 4
Palin: 1

Game, Set, Match.

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