Sunday, May 04, 2008

Russert plays patty-cake with Obama

Sen. Obama appeared on Meet the Press today. Most conservatives guessed beforehand that this was not going to be one of Obama's most difficult appearances, and they turned out to be right. Still, even when talking among friends, Obama leaves open doors that could expose him as the empty suit we on the right know him to be:

-- Russert started out asking about Wright. Obama only called the Wright business a "distraction" 3 times, which I guess is an improvement for him. When asked about his Philadelphia speech and how it dealt with Wright, Obama stressed that "when (Wright) made those statements, or I learned of those statements that I found so objectionable, I, I felt that they didn't define him"--leaving the door open for some enterprising young journalist to potentially create a "greatest hits" of Wright's mutterings WHILE OBAMA was in the audience, adding further fuel to the "what did you know and when did you know it?" inquiries.

Also, Obama stressed that he joined the church for the community he found there, not for the man who spoke from the stage. That's plausible, I guess--until you bring children into the scene. The second your kids are exposed to a message of hate--THAT YOU RECOGNIZE AS SUCH--once and you don't take steps to ensure that they don't get a second dose, then it becomes willful negligence on your behalf. There's more at play here than "the community"--and any parent who is truly post-racial ought to know better than to expose your kids to that kind of vitriol from a figure of authority.

In short, Obama left open more chances for Wright to come back and hit him.

-- There was a lot of bubble gum stuff about how Obama loves this country and how he feels Washington is failing this country. This is probably supposed to be a setup to how his judgement trumps the "Washington experience" of his main rivals, but he fell short of mentioning that today. I wonder if he realizes that his "judgement" has taken some serious body blows lately?

Anyhow, without his punchline, this just looked like a guy talking about Washington's failures and how he loves this country. I thought we called those guys "editors", not candidates?

-- there was a good discussion about energy policy. Obama talked about his opposition to the gas tax holiday because it represents a "classic Washington gimmick", with which I agree--but I still support the holiday just because I think it's a start. (I don't think there should be a tax on gas at all, but that's just me) The discussion evolved into nuclear energy, where Obama was as non-commital as was possible. Something along the lines of "yeah, I think we need to look into it. . .but it's gotta be safe." Well, how about looking into it now so you have a more coherent strategy? Is that too much to ask of a candidate? As for safe. . .well, we kinda operate some of them right now, and as I recall 3 Mile Island was about 20 years ago. That's pretty good, don't you think?

But what really got my blood boiling here was the discussion on global warming. Russert let Obama pass on his statement that "global warming is real" without even a simple follow-up. How about a "is it real enough to voluntarily hamstring our economy with (insert environmental cause here)?". Or how about asking if, in order to avoid the $8 or $10 a gallon that Obama alluded to in his answer, if we should drill our own oil? Or build more refineries? The lack of these questions left this part of the interview flat, in my opinion.

-- Finally, the interview got around to foreign policy and the war in Iraq. I guess there's just a fundamental disconnect in the mind of leftists that make them say things like "(what) we have to do is figure out how are we going to recalibrate our strategic position in the region (the middle East). I think that starts with pulling our combat troops out of Iraq." Because the pure chaos that would result there . . .would be beneficial to our strategic position in the region? I don't get it. Russert asks him about the likely genocide that would take place in the aftermath of our withdrawal, to which Obama says that "oh, it'll take us almost two years to get out"--as if that solves the problem. Two things: 1) Doesn't the left understand that ANY timeline makes chaos in Iraq a guarantee? No matter what is going on now and in November, if the bad guys know they just have to bide their time until a certain calendar date and then they can have the victory that they feel is so precious, they will find a way to be operationally capable on that magic calendar date. The ONLY way to do this is to be open-ended, and to tell the Iraqi government that "we're here for as long as you want us to be here, and for as long as you give us a reason to be here". Anything else is just asking for trouble in Iraq--and the region; and 2) Obama says that if the Iraqis can't figure out their own defense in seven years, than they won't figure it out in 14, or 28, or 56. Let me say, IMHO, that more egotistical words have never before been uttered by a politician. Hell, this country was 30-odd years old when the British burned down the capital! Thank heavens the government of the day didn't say "eh, we've tried for a couple decades, but we still can't protect our own. Might as well ask if the Brits want us back."

Obama showed a remarkable naivete in this segment of the interview.

OVERALL, the interview was exactly what I expected. Softballs, weak follow-ups, some very noncommital answers from a guy who can only speak about "hope". . .it truly frightens me that this guy is on the cusp of being our next President.

God help us all!


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