McCain/Obama have done lots of talking, and lots of campaigning, but somehow they forgot to talk about:
1. Torture – I’m not talking about McCain war stories, I mean waterboarding, ‘advanced interrogation’ techniques and extraordinary rendition. The total silence surrounding this issue means that the ’08 election effectively establishes torture as a centerpiece of American foreign policy for the long-haul. (The time to really end this was ’04, right after Abu Ghraib, but Kerry refused to challenge Bush on the issue)
2. Wiretapping/Executive Authority – the real problem with the FISA bill was that it retroactively sanctioned the President’s overreaching in setting up the taps in the first place. It’s not like spying is even popular, but I think Obama and McCain both want to have a strong Executive Branch with themselves in charge.
3. The Gulf Coast – Hurricanes. Wiping out whole cities. New Orleans remains a mess, Galveston was annihilated, other parts of the coast were devastated in ways that remain invisible to most of the country. Rebuilding the coast requires a huge investment from the Federal Government that should be the centerpiece of a bigger infrastructure rebuilding process, but both candidates were silent.
4. Immigration – McCain even authored legislation on the issue. I guess Obama avoided it to not be seen as any more foreign than people believe him to be already, but this one isn’t going away.
5. Incarceration – Not that I expected anything out of either candidate, but holy shit 2 million people is a lot of people to have in jail. US prison policy hurts everyone it touches, and needs to be addressed in a way that reduces the number of people put in jail.