The NY Times today features an op-ed piece by John S. D. Eisenhower, called "Presidential Children Don't Belong in Battle." Chillingly, it describes how the author had an agreement with his father that he would kill himself before allowing himself to be taken captive. Will Sarah Palin discuss this with her son?
The NY Times also ran a six page investigative report on John McCain's ties to gambling. His knowing that this report was coming, on top of the Times' linking of Rick Davis to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, illuminates McCain aide Steve Schmidt's conference call diatribe against the Times.
The LA Times ran an editorial called "Bush the Arrogant" that blasted Bush for being complicit in the financial crisis and for attempting to foist off on the American public a bailout plan that would justify the expansion of its own power. The financial crisis mirrors the ignorance, greed, and deceit of the Iraq War: " ... in both cases, the pattern is the same. Ineptitude led to crisis; crisis then became the argument for the radical expansion of executive power."
Unfortunately, the Times editorial board refuses to take a stand on which candidate can best resolve the economic crisis. Although they lean toward Obama in their analysis of who will bring about open, intelligent, honest government, they are apparantely awaiting a knight in shining armor to save us all.
There is an essay by Shankar Vedantum in the Washington Post called "My Team vs. Your Team: The Political Arena lives up to its Name" that posits that voters identify with their party in much the same way they support a sports team. Thus moderates, with no team affinity, have a much less clear view of the differences between candidates. Vedantum quotes Gary C. Jacobson, a politicl scientest at UC San Diego: "Party identification is part of your social identity, in the same way you relate to your religion or ethnic group or baseball team."
According to this essay,
"There are certainly people who think carefully about issues before deciding which side to support, but that cannot explain why the electorate has become so intensely polarized on so many unrelated issues. Knowing whether a person is a Republican or a Democrat today tells you far more about their views on many issues than it did in previous eras.
One implication of this thesis is that it makes little difference what positions presidential candidates take on issues. People's views -- on the war, immigration or the economic bailout -- come down largely to their party affiliation. "