The past eight years have been disastrous for America: witness the failed (or — if you are an optimist — failing) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the parallel rise in Iran’s regional influence; the unconstitutional domestic spying and other violations of civil liberties; the appointment of radical right-wingers to the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court; the growing gap between the rich and the affluent and the rest of nation; the reckless economic policies that have led to the current economic meltdown; and an epidemic of congressional corruption.
It is impossible to emphasize the importance of redirecting America’s sorry course. The nation has lost its way.
For these reasons, the Phoenix endorses Democrats Barack Obama for president and Joe Biden for vice-president.
The idea of Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin in those jobs is simply too frightening to contemplate. The McCain and Palin candidacies are rooted in a Republican vision of America that is narrow, intolerant, and divisive. They promise to lead America deeper into even darker days.
The challenge facing the next president will be the greatest in recent memory: to restore the nation’s international standing while simultaneously rebuilding a shell-shocked economy. So great is the job ahead, it is difficult not to imagine that an Obama presidency at times might falter. But Obama’s energy, eloquence, intelligence, and temperament make him the candidate best equipped to inspire our nation and wrestle with the future.
Kerry for US Senate
Democrat John Kerry richly deserves to be returned to the United States Senate, where for nearly 24 years he has been fighting for a sane foreign policy and humane domestic programs. He has more than atoned for the sin of supporting President George W. Bush’s ill-conceived Iraq adventure by running for the White House in strong opposition to Bush’s policies — both foreign and domestic. Kerry, of course, lost that quest. But, in the process, he did far better than anyone had the right to believe he would. That the Democrats could begin this long and punishing campaign season with their heads held high is due in no small part to Kerry’s efforts.
Kerry’s opponent, Republican Jeff Beatty, is not ready for any prime-time spot — let alone the US Senate. Try as Beatty might to distance himself from the Bush-McCain agenda, he has only succeeded in digging himself deeper into the pit that the Republicans have dug for themselves and the nation.
The Phoenix urges a vote for Kerry.
Chang-Díaz for State Senate
If any voters in the Second Suffolk Senatorial District doubt that Dianne Wilkerson has had her day, her recent arrest by the FBI on charges of political corruption should make it clear that Wilkerson’s career is over.
This September, voters narrowly nominated social-policy expert Sonia Chang-Díaz for Wilkerson’s job. But Wilkerson, displaying arrogance all too typical of the once estimable state senator, chose to stage an insurgent write-in campaign. Once again, Wilkerson’s sense of propriety and proportion failed her — and her constituents.
A criminal charge is not a conviction, but even before Wilkerson was collared by the FBI, new questions arose about her integrity.
Vote for Chang-Díaz. She’s un-bought and un-bossed.
Also for State Senate
In two State Senate races, progressives with impressive track records are deserving of your vote. In the Middlesex and Worcester District, Jamie Eldridge is well-positioned to move from the House of Representatives and take over the seat from Pamela Resor, who is not seeking re-election. Eldridge is independent-minded and serious on core issues — a combination much-needed in the Senate. In the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District, political newcomer Sara Orozco has demonstrated that she is more than just an anti–Scott Brown vote (although given Brown’s conservative record, and particularly his opposition to same-sex marriage, that is probably enough to earn reform votes). Over the course of the campaign, Orozco has shown that she is ready to make real contributions to health care, housing, jobs, and education.
The Phoenix suggests residents of those districts cast their votes for Eldridge and Orozco.
Question 1: Vote no.
This ballot initiative to abolish the state income tax is soreheaded, but is not without a certain appeal. Question 1 would allow voters fed up with the follies on Beacon Hill to give the finger to state government.
It is, nevertheless, the most politically immature and irresponsible measure to appear on the ballot in some time. The cuts in social services and education alone would transform Massachusetts into the Mississippi of the Northeast.
Paying taxes, as Barack Obama has reminded voters in the national election, is part of the compact citizens make with their government. Nobody likes paying taxes, but only a fool would deny their necessity.
Voters unhappy with State House affairs should take a look at the performance of their representatives and senators. If their legislators are deemed to be bums, then they should vote them out of office.
Question 1 would be a bad idea at any time. But during this economic crisis, it should be beyond consideration. Vote no.