Thursday, April 17, 2008

Promises of the Founders

That's how Obama described the Democrat mission in Wednesday's debate, yet he doesn't seem to understand the promise of the Founders at all. Here were his next few words:
We are seeing people's economic status slipping further and further behind. We've seen people who have not only lost their jobs but now are at risk of losing their homes. We have a sharp contrast in terms of economic policies. John McCain wants to continue four more year of George Bush policies and, on the foreign policy front, wants to continue George Bush's foreign policy.
In other words, Obama thinks a foreign policy that includes not losing a war is somehow offtrack from what the Founders might want, yet thinks bailing out people for making poor choices on home loans somehow is one.

The pundits are saying this was the toughest debate yet. Agreed, because the candidates finally gave us a glimpse of their mindset, temperament, and candor. Neither were very impressive.

Barack showed why he's survived up to this point. When the fire gets hot he simply turns to his radio quality speaking voice and goes into a Willy Wonka vat of syrupy rhetoric. He has a way of producing a near-narcotic effect, especially when he throws in the hope and change things, rendering the question forgotten after 2 or 3 minutes. Of course he's not answering the question at all, simply using the old media trick of falling back on boilerplate talking points during a crisis (ie, a tough question). Last night neither Gibson nor Stephanopoulis let him get away with it.

Which got them honorary new rear ends from the nutroots gang for essentially, gasp, asking follow-up questions...and sometimes...shock...even two! This diluted the golden pablum like never before. Shoot, score.

On Iraq, both candidates continued their incoherency. They continue to speak about departure timetables as if they are something that might actually work and not vapid pandering to the anti-war set. These comments are usually couched as "pressure to bear" on the Iraqi political coalition to act but they're really just gifts, not only to the AQ and Ba'athists but to Ahmadinejad as well.

Speaking of A'jad, the question about Israel and Iran was most enlightening as we saw Obama snaking around through the tall grass before finally agreeing he'd support them in a pinch. Hillary jumped on this hard and made a very easy point, even mentioning the recent news that Ahmadinejad has come out as 9/11 troofer. Neither were asked about possibly going after Bush administration officials for war crimes after the election, though.

The seminal moment came during questioning about the economy and Social Security. When challenged by Gibson about his threat to raise the capital gains tax despite the fact that government revenues rise when this rate is cut, Obama's answer was basically one about fairness. Not sure where the fairness promise resides in the Constitution as to setting tax rates, but that says a lot. Most making under 35K don't pay federal taxes anyway and Bush is the first president in my memory to write ME a check. I've seen my bank statement today--I'm still not rich. So it seems Obama's sense of fair is something pretty extreme in waiting.

He was also busted for promising not to raise taxes on people making under 200K then agreeing he might eliminate the 97K cap on FICA, which would amount to a tax since those people could not be able to claim those benefits in proportion to contribution after retirement. Many don't understand that, but McCain has a huge opening to hammer Barack about the head and shoulders with those words when the time comes. It was clear that when Barack can't use his rambling narcotic replies he's much less effective.

There was one moment where I wanted to scream at the TV and it was the question about how each candidate might use George W. Bush after he's gone. Each nearly laughed it off, clearly displaying their BDS. Barack almost pulled a Saddam by saying he might enlist Bush 41 over 43, a pretty big slap that 41 probably didn't appreciate. Obama might as well have said he'd install an inlaid Bush 43 face on the floor of the White House foyer. Yet there was nothing about what they'd do to stop Jimmy Carter? Seems they missed some big scoring opportunities there.

All in all, tough but fair. We need to see these suckers under fire because if they can't handle Charlie Gibson, they can't handle the world.

MORE 4/17/08

Barack's reaction was almost as revealing as the debate. On the "gotcha" nature of the questions:
"Last night I think we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people," Obama told the North Carolina crowd. "Forty-five minutes before we heard about health care, 45 minutes before we heard about Iraq, 45 minutes before we heard about jobs, 45 minutes before we heard about gas prices."
Again, they don't want questions, they want speeches. Thing is, they could let both of them talk for 45 minutes without interruption and neither would offer any realistic solutions for any of those things. Besides, Obama was given an opportunity to show his financial acumen on the topic of capital gains and blew it.

So with that we've seen the last debate, now that Barack realizes they're actually going to challenge him (the VRWC no doubt). Said he,
"I'll be honest with you. We've now had 21," Obama said of the debates. "It's not as if we don't know how to do these things. I could deliver Senator Clinton's lines. I'm sure she could deliver mine."
"Lines", indeed.


Anonymous said...

Trouble is, they don't need to handle the world. They just need to handle Charlie Gibson.
I make a point of never watching the debates. I've been reading about these bozos for months, and I've got a pretty good idea who they are. "Can the leopard change his spots? Or the Ethiopian his skin?"
Maybe, but the odds are against it.

Debbie said...

On Brit Hume's show on Fox, all the panel members were on Charlie Gibson and Steffie's side. Brit Hume congratulated them. Wow, can you imagine? Fox congratulating ABC employees is like putting a hex on them. The Left will be even MORE upset with them now.

Obama can't put a complete sentence together on his own, without a prepared speech and teleprompter.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

It's not about us political junkies, UP. It's about the bitter people clinging to guns and xenophobia and who they'll pick.

Maybe they saw some sunshine last night. If they were watching, that is.

A.C. McCloud said...

Obama can't put a complete sentence together on his own, without a prepared speech and teleprompter.

That's an interesting way to describe it. I think it's an intentional rambling, eventually ending up back on the talking point, which is designed to make the questioner forget the question and also take up valuable interview time.

Either way he says nothing.

Anonymous said...

"[U]s political junkies"? Ouch.
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:

LASunsett said...

I thought Obama cam across as very defensive when asked about Ayers and Wright. He's had a free pass up until now, he didn't know how to handle the tougher questions that will be asked during the general election.

If you think it was tough on him last night, wait until the 527s unleash their stuff. See how the questions and the course of the campaign, go then. I cannot help but believe that there's more to come. Stuff they have been sitting on will come to light, later, when it can do the most damage.

He looked like he was trying to hide something, when he said he wanted to "move beyond it" (so as to keep up the illusion of him being a uniter). Good speeches that are uplifting and have vagueness laced through are one thing. But extemporaneous speaking about specifics off of the top of his head is not one of his strengths, this much was made clear. He looked smug and arrogant, and very nervous.

A.C. McCloud said...

As UP points out, Barama's behavior is hardly news to those who've been paying attention. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy some actual tough questions from the press. IOW, treat them like they do Bush every day. I would have loved to see someone ask McCain about open borders advocate Juan Gonzales being part of his campaign team back when it mattered, but they didn't.

Obama illuminating dismissive speech yesterday was basically a lament that he can no longer fool all of the people all of the time.