Friday, October 13, 2006


So far, all that's been proven is that Foley is gay and he sent lurid emails to a kid. Somehow, this seems to be enough to warrant abstaining from voting for the members of the entire republican party. ... Torture, Constitutional challenges, the Iraq War, and the 9/11 commission report are all issues that have gone on for years...and somehow Foley is the biggest news to come out.

Often neither party benefits from discussing relevant policy issues because their positions are too unpopular with the public, and changing positions would threaten the support of their financiers. So they appeal to voters through non-policy considerations like "character" or "values" -- whether you actually earned your war medals, and so on. It seems a lot of energy goes into this by the mutual consent of both parties, as a way of concealing what they actually stand for: They're more comfortable playing a game of character assassination with each other than talking about their policies in public. Unless people organize around issues that concern them and force their representatives to respond, this kind of thing seems to be the status quo of political campaigns.

Just as an example, initiatives that enjoy the overwhelming support of the public -- like universal healthcare -- will never gain any traction in either party unless politicians feel they can afford to support it -- meaning the public is so mobilized on the issue they constitute a sufficient counterweight to the political influence and financial backing of the HMO's, insurance industry, pharmaceuticals and other private interests that directly profit from the current healthcare mess.