2008 May 15 Thursday
John McCain Promotes Iraq Pull Out Fantasy
Senator McCain obviously doesn't want you to see the Iraq war as a reason to vote against him. But he's not absolutely sure that the US can end the fight in Iraq in 5 years. By contrast, I'm certain 5 more years of fighting in Iraq is a waste.
McCain, in a speech delivered in Columbus, Ohio, set forth a sweeping, extraordinarily positive vision of what he said the world would look like in 2013, when he says he will have been in the White House for four years - so positive that Democrats immediately derided it as clearly unrealistic.
"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure," McCain said. "The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy" and "violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced."
The United States, McCain added, "maintains a military presence there, but a much smaller one, and it does not play a direct combat role." During his primary battle, McCain frequently accused his rival Mitt Romney of setting a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, a charge the former Massachusetts governor denied.
McCain later insisted to reporters that his speech should not be interpreted as setting a date for withdrawal, and that he was simply projecting victory.
McCain is a loser unless some big surprise changes the balance of forces so heavily favoring Obama at this point. The economy by itself is enough to elect a Democrat as President in the 2008 election. The unpopular war in Iraq is just icing on the cake. Obama's biggest liability is his past writings on the overwhelming central importance of his black identity. But I think he's safe from that because McCain and the press aren't going to challenge him on it. You can read more realistic views of Obama if you want to. But he's headed for the Presidency of the United States of America.
I hope there are some upsides from Obama's election. Will he get us out of Iraq within 4 years? I hope so.
I was never enthusiastic about Obama... I thought the crowds chanting "Yes, we can" were somewhat deluded but he is the best candidate out the remaining three. Obama is unambiguously better than McCain.
Here's what I like about McCain:
*Resolutely opposes earmarks and pork barrel spending
*Generally favors free-market solutions to problems such as health care rather than more big government
*Lukewarm about tax cuts but better than Obama
Here's what I don't like about McCain:
*Supports Iraq war and interventionist US foreign policy
*Believes in anthropogenic global warming
*Supports open borders
*Favors restrictions on free speech in the guise of "campaign finance reform"
Here's what I like about Obama:
*Opposes Iraq war and interventionist US foreign policy
Here's what I don't like about Obama:
*Just about everything else
McCain seems to come from outside the GOP mainstream, and many Republicans are unenthusiastic about him. Obama, on the other hand, is the poster child of the leftie Democrats - many more conservative Dems are not thrilled with him, either. I have heard McCain speak, and he's not bad, but I wonder how he'll hold up over a long campaign. Obama is a liberal elitist who just oozes contempt for ordinary Americans - how will that play in white working class neighborhoods in Ohio or Pennsylvania? And yesterday's California Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage may be a godsend for the GOP - if a referendum on that issue makes it to the ballot, the Republicans may have a shot, albeit a long one, at carrying that state; if they do, the Dems are dead. The entire issue will certainly put Obama in a tight spot.
So the game of giveaway checkers that is modern American politics continues. I know we'll all look back on it in November and say oh yeah, it was obvious that Obama or McCain had it locked up from the beginning. But right now it doesn't seem so obvious.
"And yesterday's California Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage may be a godsend for the GOP - if a referendum on that issue makes it to the ballot, the Republicans may have a shot, albeit a long one, at carrying that state; if they do, the Dems are dead. The entire issue will certainly put Obama in a tight spot."
Blacks and Mexicans do indeed oppose gay marriage, but they certainly will still vote for those who serve their economic interests first.
Why did I say "Mexicans" I meant to say "Latinos" - many immigrants are not from Mexico.