29 August 2008

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks

Just throwing in my two-bit commentary on the thing no one is talking about: The Obama speech! (full transcript here)

Dispelling Criticism: I've never doubted that Obama and his family are swell people, so the fact that he spent the better part of his speech talking about how he feels the pain of an average schmoe to diffuse the "elitist" label bestowed upon him from the right was pretty lame. Oooo, average Americans working jobs in flyover country are decent people, what a provocative statement! Who gives a fuck if the future president is Mr. Rogers or a raging asshole. Obama's not going to come over and pass out on my couch when he's too drunk to drive home, so why is he so hung up on convincing America that he's a good person. We don't need a president to be a buddy, we need a leader to deal with pressing crises, and Obama wasn't convincing me of that during the first part of his speech by acting like some lefty blogger dispelling McCain camp rumors. Zzzz!

Throwing a bone to vets: "The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America." Very inspiring, indeed. Obviously, I'm a little interested as to how any politician deals with the military and veterans, and I thought he had some decent things to say about military sacrifices. But he still gets caught in the trap of not supporting the mission in Iraq, where many of our personnel have spent time, and many have had some misgivings about someone who thought what you were doing for your country was a "mistake" or a "foreign policy blunder". Recent polling on the political leanings of military members seems to suggest that many share my sentiment. But, on the flip side, I doubt Obamamaniacs are going to be featured on C.H.U.D. Busters anytime soon, and GI Kate loved the speech.

Bin Laden: "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won't even go to the cave where he lives." Does this mean that Obama wants to send troops into the FATA in Pakistan? Uh...there might be some problems with that. But along with the Brooks and Dunn lyrics at the end of the speech, this sounds like empty, fist-shaking rhetoric. I would've liked to see him spend a bit more time focusing on the details of policies as a wartime CinC, because some of the Dobbs-esque red herrings, like toys from China, aren't high on the priority list right now.

Government Working For You: In 10 years we'll have independence from foreign oil? Cutting taxes for 95% of Americans (booyah, I'm in that lower 95th percentile!)? Slashing bureaucracy? Free health care if you don't have the cash for it? Solving global warming and having a polar bear epidemic? We've been burned by these people and their promises many times before. These are some pretty lofty goals, and I'm not going to whine, sulk, and moan if Obama gets elected in November, but don't think that maintaining a non-cynical attitude about government is wise. Vote for the best...prepare for the worst.