Saturday, September 27, 2008

John, John, John

I just finished watching the presidential debates tonight- I must say that I am disappointed with the performance of the candidate I am leaning towards, Senator John McCain. He was not as polished as Obama, not listing points as answers to questions and explaining them well. He also looked a bit of a fogy with that striped tie, as opposed to the thin satin red tie Obama chose. But, enough about appearances, let's move on to the discussion.

I think part of the reason why I was disappointed was that McCain did not pin down Obama on the issues regarding the platform of the Democratic party. He basically just gave him a free pass. For example, when they started the debate discussing the economy, McCain did not point out that part of the reason for the housing bubble bursting was lack of fiscal conservatism on the part of lending institutions. Yes, part of the reason is greed- banks (like Wamu) gambling on lots and lots of risky loans to make a buck, but the other part of it is the government mandating many of those bad loans. Obama characterized McCain with the blanket statement that all regulation is bad. No, Senator Obama, BAD legislation is bad, and in this case, it was bad legislation on the part of the Democratic party.

McCain also let Obama make many unchallenged statements. Among them, that Obama wanted to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans, and that he wanted to ensure health care for all Americans. He could have come back with such statements as, "I'm sure all Americans will enjoy the lines they have to wait in and the 6 month to 2 year wait for surgery that others in countries with nationalized medical practice enjoy, especially when the choice for nationalized medicine is made without their consent. Where will the Canadians go if they need immediate surgery?" Regarding taxes, he could have said "I was not aware that 95% of all Americans pay income taxes. How can you cut taxes for those who don't pay?" (This would have been a beautiful time to inject the argument for the fair tax- shame he does not support it.)

Obama has not effectively lead *any* legislation in the senate. Any time he referred to legislation he sponsored, it was with connection with another senator. Additionally, there was not one mention on the percent of "present" votes Obama has cast. "A vote for being 'present' is not the change we need, nor the leadership we deserve."

The Democratic party is the one that until very recently has *NOT* wanted to drill offshore, has *NOT* wanted to drill in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge, and does *NOT* want to tap our oil reserves from shale. These are things that can help our gas prices. Why are you letting him skate on that issue, John?

When it came time to talk about overspending, McCain missed an outstanding opportunity. He mentioned a moratorium on spending, to which Obama replied, "Sounds like you are using a hatchet when you should be using a scalpel." He could have countered, "The hatchet worked quite well for President Reagan, thank you for the comparison."

Additionally, there was the discussion of North Korea and Iran. It was the Democrats under Clinton who sent a nuclear reactor to North Korea, and as a result they developed the bomb. North Korea tried to help Syria construct an atomic bomb facility (before the Israelis destroyed it.) Regarding Obama's desire to use diplomacy, he could have pointed out that it's dangerous to go into long drawn out talks when time is of the essence, and to have compared Obama's diplomacy to Jimmy Carter diplomacy. We remember what happened when Jimmy Carter tried diplomacy with the Iranians.

Last but not least, the issue of Pakistan, where he really could have scored points. To direct a question towards Obama: "What sir, will you say to the American people, when after we have launched an incursion into Pakistan's sovereign territory, and blown up Bin Laden and his crew, when Pakistan then lobs a nuclear missile or two at the heaviest concentrations of our troops across the border? What will you tell them then? I am interested in knowing what you will then say. You oppose the 4,000 deaths of our troops so far. What will you say to America if you start a nuclear war with Pakistan?"

McCain did score some points with experience, but he was far from polished. Get with it, John- show your intelligence, wisdom and ability to handle the office of the president. Get a new suit that's a little more slimming. Attack your opponent on his vulnerable positions. Make your arguments concise and to the point. Emphasize your strong points, and don't let your opponent go unchallenged.

"Your ploy of tying me with Bush due to his unpopularity is getting a bit old, Sentaor Obama. Let's drop that and I will stop calling you the second Carter administration."

That's my take- what about yours?

armchair coach
amateur historian

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