The past eight years have been disastrous for America: the failed (or — if you are an optimist — failing) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the parallel rise in regional influence of Iran; 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 lead to the current economic meltdown; and an epidemic of Congressional corruption among the Republicans and their corporate lobbying cronies.
It is impossible to emphasize the importance of redirecting America’s sorry course. The nation has lost its way.
For these reasons — and for others that are also vitally important — the Phoenix endorses Barack Obama for President and Joe Biden for Vice President.
The idea of 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 a bankrupt past.
The challenges 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 that it is difficult not to imagine that a President Obama at times might falter. But his energy, eloquence, intelligence, and steady temperament make him the candidate best equipped to face the future.
Reed for Senate
US Senator Jack Reed is a diligent and thoughtful legislator whose influence is steadily on the rise in Washington. His ability to get the big decisions right is demonstrated by his vote against the authorization of the war in Iraq.
Reed is the latest in a string of Rhode Islanders — John O. Pastore, John Chafee, and Claiborne Pell — to distinguish themselves in the Senate, offering a sharp contrast to the shady dealings that sometimes take place in the Ocean State. Thanks to his background as an Army ranger, Reed offers an informed voice on national security issues, and he can be expected to have the ear of the president should Obama win next week’s election.
Challenger Robert Tingle, a Foxwoods pit boss who touts himself as a Reagan Republican, is among the handful of critics who fault Reed for his campaign war chest (which is unremarkable by Senate standards) and for some of his contributions from the banking and finance industry (which, largely, are a reflection of how Washington operates).
We take Senator Reed at his word when he says he decides issues based on their merits. There are good reasons why public opinion polls routinely show him to be the most popular elected official in Rhode Island, and we offer Reed our endorsement without reservation.
Kennedy and Langevin for US House
Jonathan Scott and Mark Zaccaria deserve credit for offering Republican alternatives, respectively, to US Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy and James R. Langevin.
Yet Scott and Zaccaria lack the experience necessary to win our support. Kennedy, who is steadily accruing seniority in the House, scored a recent victory with the passage of the mental health parity measure that he co-sponsored. Langevin is a knowledgeable legislator and has done a solid job in representing his district.