Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate at U of M

There was no decisive victor of Friday's debate, especially, in terms of composure, confidence, and craftiness. There was, however, greater differentiation in substance and tactics, ah ... , err, ... strategy. First, both have been pressured to speak in ways they're not comfortable with: Barack spoke twice of assassinating enemies and McCain about weaning America off of Middle Eastern oil. Second, McCain attacked much more than Obama's voting record. Third McCain's responses lacked substance, e.g., his rebuttal to universal healthcare: "I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government." As a citizen of Canada and intermittent user its health care system, I have never experienced nor heard of the government interfering in decisions between the patient and the doctor. McCain cannot be referring to abortion and euthanasia, since they are separate issues: the government interferes the same way in Canada as in the U.S., e.g., legislation and legal precedent.

Throughout he sounded like a broken record: "a new strategy," "a new strategy," "cut spending," "cut spending," "a maverick," "a maverick," "the surge," and "the surge." Other favourite McCain moments:

"I have a long record and the American people know me very well and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate and I'm happy to say that I've got a partner that's a good maverick along with me now."

"The next president of the United States is not going to have to address the issue as to whether we went into Iraq or not. The next president of the United States is going to have to decide how we leave, when we leave, and what we leave behind."

"There is social, economic progress, and a strategy, a strategy of going into an area, clearing and holding, and the people of the country then become allied with you. They inform on the bad guys. And peace comes to the country, and prosperity. That's what's happening in Iraq ...".

This quote sounds very much like Jack in season 2, episode 7 of 30 Rock, "Tracy, I don't have to understand their world in order to help them. It's like this great country of ours, we can go into any nation impose our values and make things better. It's what Bush is doing all over the globe."

My favourite Obama's response, "And, John, I -- you're absolutely right that presidents have to be prudent in what they say. But, you know, coming from you, who, you know, in the past has threatened extinction for North Korea and, you know, sung songs about bombing Iran, I don't know, you know, how credible that is. I think this is the right strategy."

Hopefully more voters will discern McCain's limited scope over the next two debates. Obama can make this readily apparent by referring to climate change and Bush's order to send special forces into Pakistan: "Now, you don't do that. You don't say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government." Does he mean that as president you give the o.k.? At least Bush restrained himself when it came to Israel bombing Iran. In terms of McCain's numerous trips to Waziristan, Iraq, etc ..., what could he have actually gained from them? His observations were either made from a helicopter or through the shoulders of his body guards from within the Green Zone. McCain states, "... the consequences of defeat would have been increased Iranian influence. It would have been increase in sectarian violence. It would have been a wider war." Isn't this what has happened? Isn't this what numerous analysts warned about? McCain has to concede that victory may not be attainable and realize that admitting to a mistake and making reparations for it makes sense:


Mary said...

Hey D:
Have you had the chance to download and listen to Rise Against "hero of war". Resonates with this video clip. (from album 'appeal to reason'). Check it out and let me know what you think.

D. said...

Just downloaded the album. Love the song.


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