Monday, February 18, 2008

Obama: the new politics

I don’t want to start Obama-bashing but his campaign is turning in a way that belies the “new politics” he advocates. He’s in Ohio today and is continuing to turn his attention to John McCain. Today he warned his audience that Senator McCain is talking about “a 100-year war” in Iraq.

McCain has said no such thing. What he did say was that it would not concern him if we were in Iraq for 100 years, as long as they were no casualties, just as we’ve been in Korea for over 50 years without casualties. You can certainly argue that that is a bad idea unto itself, but twisting his words to say something very different than their meaning sounds like the old politics to me.
It also sounds a lot like what the Clintons did to him a couple weeks ago, twisting his remark that the Republicans have been the party of new ideas for the past 25 years into an endorsement of those ideas.

Sen. Obama has brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to the political conversation. Now that the nomination is within his grasp I hope he is not going to abandon the principles that got him this far.


hankster said...

Why don't we ask ourselves some basic questions about this "war on terror?" The current administration use it as a euphemism for the war in Iraq. If terrorism is the essential international security issue facing this country, how best are our resources being spent? Is Iraq mostly sectarian strife with a small percentage being the actual international terrorism which threatens us? That is how it looks to me. If the benefits of our involvement in Iraq are striking directly at these terrorists and gathering intelligence, and if you had a son, daughter or spouse in Iraq, would you feel comfortable with the risk to them as they are hitting terrorism over the head with an umbrella? Or would you feel better if they risked their lives striking at the head of terrorism. Some say terrorism is too nebulas to actually take a frontal assault. However, we know that Pakistan is fertile ground for the terror network. Should our energy better be spent working on a united world effort hitting each hot spot, followed up with international agreements detailing weapon sales and policing rather than our total commitment to Iraq, playing referee while they reinvent the political wheel? Does a rational national energy policy feed into a solution to this problem? Where does McCain stand on this?

d'blank said...

It's a hard question to answer because we are not starting from square 1. Unfortunately we are deeply afixed in Iraq already, and we have a suddenly shifting relationship to Pakistan. Right or not, these are now part of the "terrorism" equation.

Birdman said...

I must admit that I'm unsure about all of this "war on terror" stuff. I big part of me thinks this is simply a political cudgel the republicans use to beat away democratic challengers. It also seems to me that we, as a nation and a culture, are still reacting to the sucker punch we took on 9/11/01. Although I understand it and at some level condone it, I don't think it's healthy at all. It's destroying our economy, our military, and our political, moral and constitutional underpinnings. The more we fight this "war" the less chance we have of winning anything.

As to the Obama thing, it sounds like he's hired one of those political hacks like Bob Shrum and is actually taking his advice. I hope he jettisons this tactic as well. He seems to be able to counter punch very well. Many times this is more effictive than acutally taking a swing at an opponent.

d'blank said...

Bird -- are you saying you don't think that some group of people in the middle east have been attacking and killing Americans whenever they get a chance? Do you further doubt they'll continue to do so until they are stopped? I think those would be dangerously incorrect positions.

Birdman said...

D - there have been people like this since the end of WW II. I don't doubt it for a second. What I doubt is the current strategy being employed to deal with this situation. Deploying 200,000 troops to act as targets and Al Quaeda recruiting posters while crippling our economy is not the way to make us "safer".