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Author Topic: Noonan on Obama
Pete at Home
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http://online.wsj.com/public/article/declarations.html

quote:
He is the brilliant young black man as American dream. No consultant, no matter how opportunistic and hungry, will think it easy--or professionally desirable--to take him down in a low manner. If anything, they've learned from the Clintons in South Carolina what that gets you. (I add that yes, there are always freelance mental cases, who exist on both sides and are empowered by modern technology. They'll make their YouTubes. But the mad are ever with us, and this year their work will likely stay subterranean.)


With Mr. Obama the campaign will be about issues. "He'll raise your taxes." He will, and I suspect Americans may vote for him anyway. But the race won't go low.

Mrs. Clinton would be easier for Republicans. With her cavalcade of scandals, they'd be delighted to go at her. They'd get medals for it. Consultants would get rich on it.

The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it's fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He's not Bambi, he's bulletproof.

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented--"He's too young, he's never run anything, he's not fully baked"--the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.

I've noticed an increasing amount of bad faith among reporter opinion pieces, arguing positions that they obviously don't believe in order to shift opinion for or against a candidate. (e.g. the lefty publications that said that Romney was the weakest Republican candidate until he dropped out and now say that he was the strongest Republican candidate [Roll Eyes] ). But does anyone disagree with me that Noonan sounds like she's for real here, and thinks Obama is the stronger Democratic candidate?
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EDanaII
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Honestly, I think he's the weaker candidate. For all his high talk and rhetoric he has, as yet, to explain how he is going to get us there. For a terminal pragmatist, such as myself, he promises a whole lot of nothing.

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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He's the shiznets and she knows it. If you're dem or indy, he's the guy to back.
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Pete at Home
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Remember that Noonan was Reagan's best speechwriter. She doesn't hide her own political point of view.

Ed disagrees with Noonan's analysis, but doesn't actually say that Noonan's praise of Obama is some sort of insincere briarpatching.

Kenmeer says that she knows that Obama is "the guy to back" which implies that Kenmeer thinks that Noonan's analysis is sincere.

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Snowden
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I think they are merely different candidates. You can go after Hillary Clinton as if it were a boxing match, complete with military metaphors and points scoring. It's a pundits dream. With Obama, you go after him like you go after Adlai Stevenson. You call him an egghead, or out of touch, a dreamer, not ready for prime time. And then you play up the fear, not enough to be tasteless, just enough to win the vote 51/49 percent. The goal isn't to make people hate Obama, that's not going to happen. The goal is to make people see him as just a little bit too frail to helm the ship of state.

[ February 13, 2008, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Snowden ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Snowden:
I think they are merely different candidates. You can go after Hillary Clinton as if it were a boxing match, complete with military metaphors and points scoring. It's a pundits dream. With Obama, you go after him like you go after Adlai Stevenson. You call him an egghead, or out of touch, a dreamer, not ready for prime time. And then you play up the fear, not enough to be tasteless, just enough to win the vote 51/49 percent.

But Noonan's not doing that to Obama -- in fact she warns against using the exact strategy that you just described against Obama. She seems to be actually giving her honest (albeit biased) analysis. Almost like, well, what we should expect from a reporter.

[ February 13, 2008, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Eggheading Obama will backfire.

The man did street-time. He argued with bipolar outraged slum tenants and turned them into coalition members.

I've seen the man on TV. He's got more rhetorical chops, baseline charisma, and underlying street cred than any of his competitors and then some.

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MattP
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He's kind of hard to fight on the issues, too. Obama supporters don't really *care* about the issues, at least not nearly as much as they care about Obama The Man.
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kenmeer livermaile
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It's true his populist appeal is overhwelming, but lots of us came to trust his *image* because his policies and related actions consistently support it.
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kenmeer livermaile
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And there's this: he is a Black Man. He is so much an embodiment of the Healing of the Racially Fractured American Dream. That means a LOT to a LOT of people.

I think we will be surprised by how wide a winning margin he achieves both in the nom and the election.

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jasonr
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quote:
Honestly, I think he's the weaker candidate. For all his high talk and rhetoric he has, as yet, to explain how he is going to get us there. For a terminal pragmatist, such as myself, he promises a whole lot of nothing.
As a pragmatist, you should be looking at the polls, which show Obama is by far the lead candidate in a national election, in either party. His numbers are far higher than Hillary's.

You should also be familiar with certain facts, namely that Obama has proven that he can win independents, and even moderate Republicans. Hillary can't do this, and if she wins the nomination, these people will very likely rally around McCain, who also has a strong appeal among independents and moderate Republicans / Democrats.

If Obama wins the nomination, he will absorb all of Hillary's votes without a problem. If she wins the nomination, she will almost certainly lose many of Obama's votes.

Hillary's strength is in the core of the Democratic party. In that limited environment, she can compete with Obama. Outside of that small pool, in the context of a wider election, her advantages are rendered meaningless, and Obama's appeal will increase dramatically. Put it this way: Hillary is as strong as she can possibly be right now, and she is still getting beaten. Obama, by contrast, has a way to go to reach his full potential. He isn't even started yet.

As for Hillary being "tougher", this is rather circular logic. If she's so tough, why isn't she creaming Obama? If Obama is such a lamb, why is the Clinton Lion getting its butt kicked?

As for issues, I have watched the debates, and Obama is as articulate and substantive as Hillary, in my opinion. But even if he isn't, that doesn't change any of the arguments I've just made. As a pragmatist, your choice is clear, and it isn't Clinton.

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kenmeer livermaile
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" Honestly, I think he's the weaker candidate. For all his high talk and rhetoric he has, as yet, to explain how he is going to get us there. For a terminal pragmatist, such as myself, he promises a whole lot of nothing."

This myth (as I perceive it) that Obama's positions lack substantive underlying details is a mystery to me. I will note here that many in the left blogosphere believe the media is throughly biased for She Who Must Not.

But I predict this will flip soon, because Obama is NEWS, and news is bottom line profit.

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Kent
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I love that it is February and the head-to-head polls are treated like they mean anything. Guiliani was the inevitable candidate according to the polls in December, and that is just a couple months back. NOBODY has a clue what November will bring.
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jasonr
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quote:
I love that it is February and the head-to-head polls are treated like they mean anything. Guiliani was the inevitable candidate according to the polls in December, and that is just a couple months back. NOBODY has a clue what November will bring.
Recognizing that the polls are often wrong, if you're going to prognosticate on who is the stronger category come November, the polls are certainly a relevent consideration. Hillary claims she is the stronger candidate for November. Based on what, exactly?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Screw the polls. They show Obama and McCain pretty much neck and neck.
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Snowden
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Noonon, as a speech writer, played up Reagan's dreamer side, which was fine when you were a Republican going against Carter or Mondale. Reagan could cast himself as an idealist because he needed Democrats to pull over and vote for him. Conservatives are a different animal.

Obama isn't going to get them by playing nice, at all, unless he does an end around and go after white Christians, but they are a scary, death penalty loving public works hating group. Obama needs to stand toe to toe with McCain and argue the finer points of national security and the economy with conviction. You remember how Al Gore came off as a wonk during his debate with Bush, Obama needs a bit of that, I think.

quote:
He is so much an embodiment of the Healing of the Racially Fractured American Dream. That means a LOT to a LOT of people.
But not as much as keeping their kids safe.

[ February 13, 2008, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Snowden ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Obama needs to stand toe to toe with McCain and argue the finer points of national security and the economy with conviction. You remember how Al Gore came off as a wonk during his debate with Bush, Obama needs a bit of that, I think."

Obama gots it, in spades. Also, he is a master at being a respectful nigrah. By that choice of offensive terms, I mean that he will be hugely adept at *respectfully* acknowledging McCain's war experience and senate/foreign policy experience in a way that moves things right back to facts and logic, at which point McCain soon reveals himself to be a windbag of talking points with a lunatic edge.

Obama is nothing like Gore.

Even utting aside the vote count issue, Nader, and all that, Gore LOST the '00 elkection.

Why? Because a decent candidate would have won against a bobohead like Bush *easily*.

Love what that comic said about Kerry losing against Bush in '04:

"That's like a normal person losing the special olympics."

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Colin JM0397
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IMO "democrats" recognize exactly what they have here. However, the Democratic’s political machine - the DNC - is controlled by the Clintons. Otherwise he’d be stomping her thoroughly.

If they go with her, McCain will beat her.

Policies be dammed, many centrists and probably a good handful of those on the right will vote for him just because he's new, likable, and it's about time we had someone other than a white guy in there, if nothing else.

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Pete at Home
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Interesting. So no one here objects to my accusing Ms. Noonan of providing an honest analysis of Obama's strengths as she perceives them and other conduct unbecoming of a 21st century election reporter? [Smile]
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Ron Lambert
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Foreign policy and the war on terrorism are the issues of greatest import to the greatest number of voters. This is what propelled Sen. McCain's candidacy from virtual death to virtual coronation. And these are the areas where Sen. Obama is the weakest and most wrong-headedly out-of-step. McCain will eat him alive in debates. Obama will shoot himself in the foot talking about Iraq and Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, and then his glamor will fade rapidly.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"And these are the areas where Sen. Obama is the weakest and most wrong-headedly out-of-step. McCain will eat him alive in debates. Obama will shoot himself in the foot talking about Iraq and Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, and then his glamor will fade rapidly."

I don't think that check will cash out to nearly the amount you think. One reason foreign policy is so much an issue is that people are very upset with the past 7 years' FP.

McCain will find it very difficult to justify his stated positions on Iraq and that WoT thing. Sure, his position is better than Bush's was.

But the very idea that invading Iraq was a necessary move in the WoT is easily shredded by someone like Obama who is uncannily adept at condensing -- on the fly, even -- intellectual concepts into easily understood and emotionally resonant language.

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Pete at Home
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Here again I'm finding the scariest statements about Obama being offered as praise.

quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
... Obama who is uncannily adept at condensing -- on the fly, even -- intellectual concepts into easily understood and emotionally resonant language.

[nod] Like Reagan. A lot of people really dig being relieved of the responsibility of thinking for themselves.

I hope to see more specific analysis from Obama.

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canadian
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Write him a letter.
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Jesse
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Like Reagen, like FDR, like TDR, like Hitler, like Kennedy, like MLK, like Ghandi.

Charisma scores don't actually affect Alignment. [Wink]

It's true, it's time to start talking policy. His website has been doing that on a one issue a day basis. He's added a lot more policy content to his speeches. It just doesn't fit the medias storyline.


Blueprint for change

The other thing is, most people are sort of mesmerized and a lot of the rest are turned off when he speaks. They tend to miss details even when he's talking about giving student a 4,000 dollar tax credit in return for 100 hours of volunteer service, or taking Americorps from 75,000 to 250,000, or describing how improved record keeping can cut health care over head, or how he wants to change the cap on social security to keep it solvent, or how he wants to waive income tax for those over 68 and making less than 50,000.

I've actually sat and listened to those speeches with people who then say "that was great...but where were the specifics"?

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LoverOfJoy
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I think all the details in the world won't convince a lot of people that he can pull off all (or even most) of his campaign promises. I haven't read through his comprehensive PDF but I expect that a lot of it may require congressional support that just won't be there unless a lot is changed (and lost). I'm going to be reading up when I get a chance but I'm skeptical of a lot of detailed campaign promises by anyone because it never seems to happen according to the details anyway (if anything remotely close to it happens at all).
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canadian
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That's the beauty of bureaucratic government. Most processes are so slow that one man (or woman) can only nudge the boat instead of rocking it over completely.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Like Reagan. A lot of people really dig being relieved of the responsibility of thinking for themselves."

Reagan was good at off-the-cuff sound-bites and moving his finger over graphic charts.

Obama is *articulate*.

And the fact some people prefer not to think doesn't mean it's bad that a guy who wants to lead the nation is good at thinking.

[ February 13, 2008, 09:44 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"Like Reagan. A lot of people really dig being relieved of the responsibility of thinking for themselves."

Reagan was good at off-the-cuff sound-bites and moving his finger over graphic charts.

Obama is *articulate*.

And the fact some people prefer not to think doesn't mean it's bad that a guy who wants to lead the nation is good at thinking.

I agree. But if he wants the votes of thinkers as well as nonthinkers, he's going to need to publicly articulate more of his reasoning.
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flydye45
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Yeah, Ken, Reagan simply talked good, but YOUR guy is articulate. The hem of your bias is showing.
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flydye45
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Pete, Noonan gives honest analysis. Fair but biased is a pretty good term. Certainly she's worlds fairer and higher minded then half the opinionaters that the NYT overpays.
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RickyB
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There are no general head to head money markets yet, but Obama is destroying Herself on Intrade and such right now. He was up 53-47 before Saturday night. Now? 70-30. I shyt thee not. Money markets, during the short time they've been around, have consistently outperformed polls.
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kenmeer livermaile
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OK. It's time. The first major YouTube hit on Obama's closet skeletons. It's not pretty:

Obama's Blood Libel

Ha! Had someone going for a moment, I bet!

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The hem of your bias is showing."

Mongo make distinction. Him rational. Think big-teeth black man talk more better than grey black hair white dude.

Sorry, dude. I feels duh way ah feels.

And I heard Reagan speak, and I heard Obama speak.

My new bumper sticker:

OBAMA: MO BETTAH

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EDanaII
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@ Pete at Home:
quote:
Ed disagrees with Noonan's analysis, but doesn't actually say that Noonan's praise of Obama is some sort of insincere briarpatching.
That's because I don't care it it's "insincere briarpatching" or not. I'm not interested in her intent, only her position.


@ kenmeer livermaile:
quote:
If you're dem or indy, he's the guy to back.
I'm an "indy" and, in my opinion, he's not the guy to back.

quote:
This myth (as I perceive it) that Obama's positions lack substantive underlying details is a mystery to me.
His positions do lack substance. He promises change, but doesn't tell us how he's going to bring it and seems to be blind to the fact that you can't change politics without cooperation and ignorant of the fact that cooperation tends to be lacking in a two party (oppositional) system. He tells us he will withdraw from Iraq but doesn't tell us what he will do to keep Iraq from sinking back into chaos. He tells us that he'll get Osona Bich Laden by invading Pakistan but doesn't tell us how he's gonna do it without starting a war with Pakistan... nor does he tell us how the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty is any more justifiable than the invasion of Iraq.

He's an intelligent and articulate man and, unfortunately, his positions raise more questions than answers and give me great pause for concern. And when push comes to shove, I suspect his idealogical stances will be his undoing, making him, in my view, the weaker candidate.

But, I admit, without him actually answering the issues he raises, I could be wrong.


@ jasonr:
quote:
As a pragmatist, you should be looking at the polls, which show Obama is by far the lead candidate in a national election, in either party. His numbers are far higher than Hillary's.

You should also be familiar with certain facts, namely that Obama has proven that he can win independents, and even moderate Republicans. Hillary can't do this, and if she wins the nomination, these people will very likely rally around McCain, who also has a strong appeal among independents and moderate Republicans / Democrats.

Sorry, Jason, but there's no correlation between the polls and what Obama can actually accomplish. As a pragmatist, I only care about what he can do, and most of what he promises, he doesn't actually back up in any substantive way.

quote:
As for issues, I have watched the debates, and Obama is as articulate and substantive as Hillary, in my opinion. But even if he isn't, that doesn't change any of the arguments I've just made. As a pragmatist, your choice is clear, and it isn't Clinton.
Where's McCain in that list? He, at least, is addressing the issues I care about. Obama's foreign policy views are wishful thinking, at their very best.

Ed.

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Jesse
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"He tells us that he'll get Osona Bich Laden by invading Pakistan"

No, he doesn't.

Under the parameters of the hypothetical, which asked what he would do if Pakistan could not or would not act if we provided them with rock-solid actionable intelligence as to Bin Ladens location, he said we would act.

Guess what? That's a parallel to Afgahnistan, not Iraq. Do you want a President who would say "Oh, ok then, we'll let him go rather than sending in a strike force"?

I've repeatedly linked to a detailed list of his policy postions, and he's repeatedly given specific proposals with more details than most other candidates.

Double the peace corps, quadruple AmeriCorps and give it a disaster response role, add 80,000 men and women to the Army and Marines, provide a 4,000 dollar tax credit to students who provide 100 hours of community service in return, provide transition assitance for all those exiting our Armed Forces who want it, return VA benefits to middle-income vets who want them, eliminate income taxes for seniors who have less than 50,000 a year in income.....

Well, you can complain that he doesn't explain how he intends to pay for it, and have a point, but McCain isn't explaining how he will fund further tax cuts while maintaining the occupation of Iraq, and Senator Clinton certainly doesn't explain how middle-income people in debt are going to pay for the healthcare she will force them to buy for themselves.

Senator Obama intends to withdraw from Iraq on a 16 month schedule which will begin in Feburary of 2009. This means all but advisors and possibly some special forces will be out by June of 2010. We will continue to support Iraqi forces with material and air-power, and with Special Forces whenever we indentify known AQ or AQ affiliated targets within Iraq.

Assuming the trends in Iraq over the last eight months continue over the course of 2008, why is this plan unreasonable?

He has said all of this, and more, in this much detail, or more, in his speeches and in the debates.

That the media likes to show 60 second clips of him being "inspirational" next to 60 second clips of the Junior Senator from New York promising "Health care for every American" in order to maintain their ratings generating soap opera has little if anything to do with reality.

[ February 14, 2008, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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The No-Substance-Obama myth will be inverted before long. Then they'll start knocking him for inconsistency because his positions will be nuanced, and nuanced means wishy-washy in times of intense political war.

And he will continue putting one foot in front of the other while his opponents increasingly put one foot in their mouth after another...

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If you want to learn Obama's positions you should read his website. I'm not sure why people expect much detail from a speech anyways.
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EDanaII
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@ Jesse:
quote:
Under the parameters of the hypothetical, which asked what he would do if Pakistan could not or would not act if we provided them with rock-solid actionable intelligence as to Bin Ladens location, he said we would act.

Guess what? That's a parallel to Afgahnistan, not Iraq. Do you want a President who would say "Oh, ok then, we'll let him go rather than sending in a strike force"?

And it's still an attack on an ally and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and would be harder to justify than our attack against Iraq.

quote:
Senator Obama intends to withdraw from Iraq on a 16 month schedule which will begin in Feburary of 2009. This means all but advisors and possibly some special forces will be out by June of 2010. We will continue to support Iraqi forces with material and air-power, and with Special Forces whenever we indentify known AQ or AQ affiliated targets within Iraq.

Assuming the trends in Iraq over the last eight months continue over the course of 2008, why is this plan unreasonable?

Because this was his position even before Iraq started showing signs of stabilization? How is abandoning millions of people to potential death and destruction anywhere approaching reasonable?

The pragmatic position would be to state "once Iraq is stable, I will withdraw" not "I will withdraw [regardless of Iraq's stability]."

I've said it before, I'll continue to say it. Barack is an intelligent and articulate man, but as is the case with many intelligent men, he seems to live in the world of the theory, and not, necessarily, one of the practical. It's one thing to say you act if the opportunity arises, it's another thing to assume that those you befriend will let you do it or remain your friend afterwards. It's also one thing to say you will leave in X amount of time, but quite another to assume that the job is actually done.

Ed.

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Jesse
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Ed, most of America isn't down with this war going on forever. His withdrawl point makes it the second longest war in our history.

We will be leaving. We've maxed the credit card on this one. The question is, will we leave in a well planned out withdrawl with plenty of advance planning for the hand off to the Iraqi forces?

We're not going to get full cooperation out of the Iraqi government unless they fear getting slaughtered themselves. Sorry to put it that bluntly. We've certainly seen how willing they are to take six week vacations while our soldiers and marines buy time for them to reach compromise.

Now, I know we disagree on whether or not this is good policy, but he certainly has given the details.

If Pakistan is a friend and an ally, they would act or allow us to act under that scenerio. If not, they are an enemy.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If Pakistan is a friend and an ally, they would act or allow us to act under that scenerio. If not, they are an enemy."

Bingo. No mysterious WMD, no fineprint on former 'treaties' and UN mandates, just simple military logic:

Deal with those people in your borders who **** with us or we will.

And, for that matter, Pakistan is a KNOWN proliferater of WMD tech. It's petty of me to say what I'm going to say next. It's the sort of thing I'm always spanking fly for. But it's just too fun not to:

I'll bet if McCain said the same thing, you guys would be down with it.

McCain: "Remember that old Frankie Valli song? Bomb Pakistan, Bomb Pakistan"

[ February 15, 2008, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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