10 September 2008

A Journey into the Heart of Darkness: The 2008 Dem PlatformD

It Smelled Like Slow Death in There

Following up on the amateur analysis of the GOP platform, the Dem platform is out(pdf) and worth taking a gander at. I admit to once having a strong dislike of the Democrats when I first became interested in politics during the Clinton days, which was probably the result of listening to a lot of Waco-era talk radio growing up. But, the times have definitely changed, and old partisan lines have been redefined. Here's the rating systems of the platform (out of 4 Sinbads for good, out of 4 Mr. Van Driessens for heinous)

Sinbads (out of 4): The hilarious comedian and star of the epic TV show, A Different World, and the underated 1995 classic, Houseguest, embodies the best traits of liberalism. He understands that institutionalized forms of intolerance are best defeated at a grass roots level by relentless mocking and parodying of the hypocrisy in the cultural elite. While advocating for change, Sinbad still holds a profound affection for this country by serving in the Air Force (despite going AWOL a few times) and doing USO tours into a conflict zone to boost morale among forward deployed Americans (even though he didn't come under sniper fire the way Hillary remembered).

Mr Van. Driessen (out of 4): The wussy teacher of Beavis and Butthead embodies the worst of liberalism. A cult-like fanaticism exists within his mind towards emphasizing people's feelings and being one with mother nature like some sort of hippy ant colony. Mr. Van D can only sense injustice within the own confines of his silly little world, as shown with his distrust of authority figures in law enforcement and irrational fear of human progress. Naively singing songs about Lesbian seagulls, while madmen overseas plot to massacre both nature-lover and corporate fat-cats alike. Mr. Van Driessen represents the dregs of modern liberalism and is not a good choice for a candidate in a time of uncertainty.

The Issues:
  • Economy: Entitlement programs, ahoy! The platform wants to give Joe and Jane schmoe energy rebates to accommodate rising gas prices, health coverage for Americans similar to the plans congressmen get, stronger social security, stronger medicare/medicaid, and much, much more. There's probably some shit in their about free puppy dogs and lollipops to voters in bellwether states, but it's hard not to space out when reading this beast of a PDF. They also want to pump in a whopping $50 Billion to local and state coffers that will certainly save incompetent government programs from the chopping block in these tough times. All this money doesn't grow on trees, and these pie-in-the-sky promises are exacerbating the problem of government misspending that has gone on in both the major political parties, which makes the dollar more worthless, making shit more expensive, and making me have to haul a wheelbarrow full of cash to the liquor store to buy a pack of smokes for fuck's sakes.
Rating: 3 Van Driessens
  • Energy: The Dems are pushing hard for the cap and trade system, which would cut greenhouse gases and prevent Denver from becoming beach front property in the future due to global warming. And who doesn't like the idea of more jobs being created to develop infrastructure and the like. But even the platform's ambitious zeal for "green-collar" jobs can't make totally wacky promises, and they seek only 25% of America's energy from renewables by 2025. Scrounging around the platform for nuclear power, one only finds something about how awful it would be in using the barren, uninhabitable expanse of Yucca mountain as a place to store nuclear waste. Seems a bit unrealistic and lofty a proposal to put all our eggs in one solar-powered basket, and we'll most likely continue giving Chavez petrobucks until we can come to our senses on a reasonable energy policy. The platform also mentions harnessing American ingenuity to free America from the "the tyranny of oil". Hmm. I'm confused about the context here, because if it wasn't for crude oil and its distilled products, we'd probably be bitching about needing the local consulate to mend the yoke for our oxens because all the able-bodied men died of the bubonic plague or something of a medieval nature. I think the Dems are looking for solutions that aren't totally anti-growth, but they need to keep lookin' harder. If any of you know the silver bullet to our energy woes (which can't be destroyed or created tanks to the crummy law of thermodynamics), you've got my vote!
Rating: 1 Van Driessen

  • Military/Diplomacy: Lots of good ideas to expand the State Dept (by way of the Peace Corps), Americorps, and the military, Scrapping the archaic Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is a way to allow more Americans to serve their country. Also, expanding diplomatic options as service-based rather than career-based would have more people working for Uncle Sam as opposed to the indirect method we have now, where many civilians serve as contractors. The Dems focus a lot on the conflict in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and I hate everything they tried to fly during the surge, but the reality is that the future administration will require a reduction of military forces in Iraq, and more focus in A-stan/Pakistan. This has been the position of the Democrats for a long time, even when it was completely irresponsible, but it would be a good thing for Iraq and America if withdrawal was done based on the conditions now. As for Iran, they say they will have diplomatic negotiations without preconditions to prevent Iran from developing nuke weapons. Not a bad idea, since saber-rattling has got us jack and shit the last 28 years. The only beef I have is with China, because the Dems talk about economic trade with the emerging giant as a way to foster a more legitimate regime, but the Dems platform on trade was alarmingly protectionist to placate the union cronies that have their dicks in punch bowl. Seems like they want to have their cake and eat it too. I have no reason to question that Dems care for vets, as Sen. Webb, a Dem, was the ones who passed the GI Bill and was awarded the Military Coalition Award.
Rating: 3 Sinbads

  • Values: The Dems acknowledge the 2nd amendment, but want to instate the assault weapons ban. Bye-bye zombie protection kit! They also support money going to churches, despite the infringement on the first amendment. More pandering to the evangelical base, when they clearly will have trouble getting these votes because they are pro-choice. And if you are irresponsible enough to knock someone up or get knocked up without the means of raising a small kid, your babies will be shipped off to Pre-K on the government's dime. Lucky you. The platform also gives would-be fathers advice: "We need more fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to understand that what makes a man is not the ability to have a child–it’s the courage to raise one." I find this very offensive that a political party would feel the need to explain something so obvious to the unwashed masses. Maybe in 2012 they'll tell people how to tie their shoes. However, the platform gets some props for strongly supporting tribal sovereignty, which is a matter not often discussed.
Rating: 2 Van Driessens

This platform isn't bad on national security (never thought I would say that for the lefties), but promises an awful lot of goodies from Uncle Sugar to woo voters come election time. The foreign investors must be ecstatic at the amount of cash our country is willing to borrow. The Dems have the fiscal spending responsibility of a 15 year-old at a Gucci shop in Beverly Hills with Daddy's plastic. Unfortunately, we're all gonna have to pick up the tab eventually. You say Hope and Change, and I say Game Over, Man! See you all at the burn barrel under the bridge.

What are your thoughts on the platform?