Monday, September 8, 2008

Mr. Smooth-Talk Express is at it again!

The media, especially blogs, are all abuzz today with the content of an interview Barack Obama had with George Stephanopoulos over the weekend. Chief among the observations was that Obama slipped up and inadvertently claimed to be Muslim. I can completely understand how someone like Obama faced with the kind of good journalism Stephanopoulos presented in that interview could slip up. I could happen to anyone. Some people I have spoken to have not been as forgiving, and think that this Freudian slip reveals some hidden truth about him.

What the clip now on YouTube shows in all its glory is how badly Obama handles himself in that setting. It seems "change" and "hope" are not Obama's ethereal words of choice after all. His favorites can actually seen to be "um" and "uh."

Robert Bellah, of whom I have usually been a fan, said of Barack Obama: "I believe that speaking well and thinking well usually go together, and vice versa, as the incumbent president so vividly illustrates." Low blow and not nearly a certainty even if the idea itself is expressed nicely (oh, the irony!).

So speaking of speaking well, let's parse a portion of that interview where Obama, after having time to recalibrate his response, answers the question of when a human person begins to have rights:

Original Answer: "Answering that question with specificity, um, you know is, uh, above my pay grade."

New And Improved Answer: "What I intended to say is, uh, that as a Christian, uh, I have, uh, I have a lot of humility about, uh, when does the soul enter into [the body].

AND Later, as a Summary: "All I meant to communicate was I don't presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions. What I do know is that abortion is a moral issue, that it's one that families struggle with all the time, and that, uh, in wrestling with those issues, I don't think that the government criminalizing choices that families make is the best answer for reducing abortions."

So, let's break that down:

1.) "Abortion is a moral issue." That is a true and very vague statement. Imagine Obama equivocating! Yes, it is a moral issue, but in his relativistic mind, he should easily forgive those who see it as taking a life. And if there is any uncertainty about what abortion is, shouldn't we preserve life as much as possible unless we know for certain that what we have ended in an abortion is not human life?
2.) Abortion is a moral issue "that families struggle with all the time." Here's another great blanket statement for you! Here's another: Lots of people struggle with lots of things all the time, and sometimes they make the wrong decision....sometimes this decision is not only wrong, it's illegal! So what does this statement add? Nothing.
3.) Therefore, "government criminalizing [the] choices that families make is [not] the best answer." If you have already read the last two statements thoroughly, you'll see this is something of "straw man" argument. Like saying: "McCain want's to make criminals of families that make everyday choices." The rule of law is itself evidence that government make decisions on values all the time, and abortion be treated the same, not differently, because it affects many lives.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain is the True Bipartisan Powerhouse

It seems that the phrase "reaching across the aisle" is very in vogue with both parties' candidates.  How can we take Obama seriously when he claims that he and his running mate will do that, that they are truly great leaders who will listen to everyone.  After all, didn't Biden extol the virtues of compromise (likely on the part of conservatives) when accepting his place on the ticket?

Obama's camp can't have it both ways: trying to stress McCain's lack of conservative support (and therefore proving him not convervative) AND painting him as a Bush clone (and therefore calling him an arch conservative) which is a completely ridiculous idea as anyone who pays any attention to politics knows.

Isn't it McCain who is pals with former Dem-turned-Independent Liebeman, who championed campaign finance reform alongside Russ Feingold, who broke step with Republicans on immigration (a Bush idea which I am sure Obama would never mention every time he says McCain voted with Bush "95% of the time!"), and who asked Sarah Palin to be his running mate?  And isn't it Sarah Palin who overtook the Alaska Republican party politics and who has gotten in trouble for stepping out of line by praising Democrats and inviting them and Independents to participate in goverment?  Who's Lincoln now, Obama?

The following is an article from today's New York Daily News regarding the Kennedy legacy and bipartisanship in this year's elections:

John McCain, not Obama, is following in the Kennedy family footsteps

Party loyalty, nostalgia and the allure of a glamorous, slender figure promising a better world to a roaring crowd might mislead us into confusing the magic of Barack Obama with the reality of the two Kennedy brothers we have lost. Denver's theatrical staging enhanced this evocation, presenting a groundbreaking youthful candidacy passing the generational torch and completing the American Dream.

But if substance guides us rather than style, if character is more important than audacious ambition, then we should recognize that this time the mantle of genuine American leadership rests on a truly bipartisan figure: John McCain.

Like Jack Kennedy, McCain is grounded by heroic service as a naval officer. His patriotism requires no parsing. Like JFK, McCain understands that you cannot conduct foreign policy without understanding history. No person of that background could suggest a unilateral strike on Pakistan, as Obama did last year, apparently forgetting that this United States ally has nuclear weapons. Calling Obama's threat to Pakistan "misguided" at the time, Sen. Joe Biden also said the freshman Illinois lawmaker was unprepared to lead America. Calling McCain "my hero," Biden has stated that he would be delighted to share a ticket with the Arizona senator, whom he has suddenly begun to denounce.

Click here to read more...

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Sarah Palin!

With America still in the shadow of Obama's acceptance speech with its F├╝hrer-esque quality, the McCain campaign stole the show the very next day by pulling off a true surprise VP pick in Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

This selection has sent eh Democrats' heads spinning, and every barb they've sent flying at Palin has come right back to sting them:

From Obama, the man who HAD to speedily travel the world and take on almost McCain-like, white-haired, long-time Washington insider Joe Biden to even make himself look reputable:  Palin has no foreign policy experience? Really?  It could be worse, she could be RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!

From a man who wants the votes of small town, middle-America:  that she started off as only a mayor of a town of 9,000?  Don't they matter?  Aren't they Americans too?  Besides, isn't that just a fact, not liability.

From Mr. Change himself:  "That's not the change we need, it's just more of the same."  What change do we need, then, Sen. Obama?  I guess you're just the guy to TELL us what we need.

Sarah Palin is:
  • all executive experience
  • true blue collar, middle American roots
  • a real powerhouse of change
Which means: Be very afraid, Sen. Obama!