Ordinarily I’m not one to complain about liberal bias in the media–foremost, because it’s such a typically right-wing thing to do.  Also, all media is going to be biased in one direction or another, and even if the publication itself will not acknowledge its bias, people ought to be smart enough to recognize bias when they see it, and if they aren’t, whose fault is that?  I don’t know.  So whatever.  We stopped taking the daily Oregonian about a year ago, mainly because it was just too much paper to have to manage, and we didn’t read enough of it to justify the energy expended on recycling the stuff.  We still get the Sunday paper, only I find that I mostly just read the funnies and maybe the Arts and Entertainment section.  I’m not interested in the news reporting because regardless of what newspaper we’re talking about, I find there’s usually not a whole lot of there there.  To avoid the dreaded consequences of Media Bias, one really has to read about 400 different sources in order to extrapolate something remotely resembling the truth, which is why the internet is such a handy invention.  (Thank you, Al Gore!)

Where was I?  Oh, yeah–I was reading the Sunday Oregonian yesterday, i.e. looking for the funnies, and I happened across this sidebar to an article on the presidential candidates’ campaign strategies.  Didn’t read the actual article, of course, because that would have taken up precious time that could be spent reading funnies or surfing the interwebs, but the sidebar took hardly any time at all to digest.  Too bad it made me sick.  (Ha ha, get it–digest? sick? eh, whatever.)
The sidebar is entitled “How would they lead?”  In the interest of fairness, I am reproducing the entire thing for context.

John McCain:
If elected president, the Arizona Republican could be expected to…
  • Resist setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and redouble efforts to find Osama bin Laden.
  • Pick specific issues and push them to the limit, such as vetoing legislation larded with pork-barrel projects.
  • Continue his my-way-or-the-highway approach, setting up battles even with his own party in Congress.
Barack Obama:
If elected president, the Illinois Democrat could be expected to…
  • Make history as the nation’s first black commander in chief and alter the world view of America, at least for a time.
  • Maintain tight control on his administration, but backers say it would be more for reasons of efficiency than secrecy.
  • Push to bring combat troops home from Iraq, work toward universal health coverage and launch a far-reaching energy plan.

So what’s my problem?  It doesn’t start out so bad.  It’s pretty fair to say that John McCain would resist setting a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and remember when he told us he’d follow Osama bin Laden to “the gates of hell”?  Sure, he was a little spooky there, but could you argue with his sincerity?  It’s also fair to say that he’d veto legislation larded with pork-barrel projects (I enjoy the use of “larded” in that clause)–though I’m not sure what’s so distinctive about a politician pushing specific issues “to the limit.”  Wasn’t that a Prefontaine movie?  Oh, no, that was Without Limits.  Thank God the President still has limits, or who knows what John McCain would do!

Where it starts getting eye-roll-worthy is bullet point number three:  McCain’s alleged “my-way-or-the-highway approach.”  Ah yes, because he’s just like George Bush, I guess.  You’re either with him or against him.  (“Only a Sith deals in absolutes!”)  As opposed to that celebrated compromiser Barack Obama, the cat who’s constantly reaching out to the opposition, who’s sponsored so much bi-partisan legislation that the party faithful hardly think he should qualify as a Democrat.  Oh, wait, that’s not Barack Obama.  That’s someone else.  If only I could remember who…ah, well, no matter.  Moving on dot org!

So if Barack Obama were elected president, he would, presumably, not push specific issues “to the limit” or take a “my-way-or-the-highway approach,” but he would Make History!  He would Alter The World View Of America (at least for a time)!  What does this say about how Barack Obama would lead?  Nothing!  So why mention it?  Is anyone out there still unaware that Barack Obama would be the first black POTUS?  As for altering the world view of America, I’m not inclined to dispute that.  However, this little tidbit doesn’t have much bearing on how Barack Obama would lead, either.  It doesn’t even say how the world view of America will be altered.  The syntax itself is awkward–I’m not sure if it’s America’s world view or the world’s view of America that’s getting altered.  I’m presuming the latter, in which case it’s fair to say that if John McCain is elected, the world will have a different view of America–one in which terrorists get their butts kicked!  It’s all in the way you look at it.

It’s also reassuring that if Barack Obama’s going to keep “tight control” on his administration, it will be for the sake of “efficiency.”  What does that even mean?  Well, at least he won’t be secretive!  (Not like some presidents we know.)

The third bullet point is inoffensive to me, except that it’s funny how Barack Obama’s domestic policy priorities merit mention, but John McCain’s don’t (though whatever they are, he will push them to the limit).(And what exactly is a “far-reaching energy plan”?  Is that the same plan where he “looks into” clean-coal and nuclear technologies?  Like, really looks into them?  Really far in?)

Note that I’ve not tried to persuade you to vote for McCain or against Obama.  As far as I’m concerned, there are legitimate, rational reasons to vote for Obama.  For example, you might want your taxes raised.  Just kidding–well, no, not really, but I wasn’t going to go there.  I was going to say that you might believe that his temperament is better suited to this office of enormous responsibility.  Maybe you think that his health care plan will provide better coverage for more Americans.  Maybe you’re thinking he’ll bring the troops home from Iraq.  Maybe you think he’s more likely to appoint Supreme Court justices that will protect our rights and liberties, and you won’t have to worry about the government tapping your phone or nosing into your library books or telling you which forms of birth control you can use.  Maybe you think people who earn more than $250,000 should pay more in taxes.  I reckon lots of Americans would happily pay more in taxes if it meant that everybody got health care and a college education.  Who am I to argue?  I’m just mocking the Oregonian for pretending that they print relevant, unbiased information in their sidebars.  They should have put Peanuts there instead.

Just so you all know, I’m prepping myself for Obama winning the election.  You won’t see me threatening to leave the country if the Democrats take control.  I’m making a list of silver linings for the day that cloud starts hanging over me.

Silver Lining #1:  We will finally have a black president.  Sure, it would be better if he were a black Republican president (or a black Republican woman president), but still, considering our history, it’s a big deal to finally have a black man elected to the nation’s highest office.  So that’s cool.  No, it is.  History-making, even.

Silver Lining #2:  After 200+ years of boring Jeffersons and Johnsons and Harrisons and Bushes, we will have a president named OBAMA.  How much more fun is it to say “OBAMA” than “McCain”?  Answer:  Way more fun.  And unlike “Dukakis,” it doesn’t sound like some kind of staph infection.

Silver Lining #3:  For the first time in my voting career, I will have every right to complain about the government because I didn’t vote for that cat.  For four whole years I can just bitch bitch bitch all I want, and nobody can say I only have myself to blame.  I could even get a bumper sticker that says, “Don’t blame me, I voted for That (OTHER) One.”

I have more, but my little ones are begging for another round of Duck, Duck, Goose, and if I disappoint them, it’s like Obama’s already won.