Thursday, October 23, 2008

Softness and the American Character

This article, comparing the Obama phenomenon to the Diana one touched on something that has been bothering me. The triumph of appearance over actions. Barack Obama has no accomplishments of a Presidential character on his resume. John McCain has a dozen of them.

Barack Obama (and his party) resisted the measures that would have prevented or ameliorated the collapse of the lending market. John McCain lead the charge to change the GSE (Fannie/Freddie for you normal people) structure against the pork barrel types in his party. Yet he suffers for the economic collapse caused directly by government intervention in the housing market along lines that he opposed.

Barack Obama explicitly states he will defund military weapons systems and pander to foreigners with American foreign policy. He has never in his life done anything hard as far as can be determined. There has been no tough choices for Obama. His votes of "present" and his extremely thin skin to criticism (to the extent anyone ever does) are also not formers of character. He seems most comfortable, and is most loved, in the cosseted, rarefied groves of academia.

John McCain springs directly out of John Wayne's America. He is "Lieutenant Dan" come to life. Yet we may have reached a point (with the help of the economy, Bush fatigue and McCain's refusal to attack Obama early as a Leftist) where a soft, unaccomplished liberal can waltz into the White House on style and the love of protective elites in the media.

This has nothing to do with his participation in a socialist political party, association with domestic terrorists and race baiting ministers. Those at least hint at the steel of a Leninist. Many of us don't like Hillary but none of us think she is weak.

It is the softness of the man, rather than his chomskyite views, that will invite foreign adventure by our adversaries. Biden hinted at this but I think it touches on something basic. Barack Obama seems like someone who backs down in a tight spot. Weakness is provocative.

Maybe he has the qualities of a fine princess but he does not seem to have the background, character or strength to be President. I hope I'm wrong but so far nothing hints that I am.

John McCain warned Reagan against putting Marines in Beirut. He was not heeded to and disaster followed. He warned Rumsfield to change course in Iraq. He was not heeded and disaster followed (until he was heeded on the surge). He warned Republicans not to spend so much money and implement programs they could not pay for. He was not heeded and they lost Congress. He warned against Fannie/Freddie. He was not heeded and disaster followed. Now he warns us against Barack Obama. If he is not heeded, disaster may follow.


Anonymous said...

Suffice it to say that JJV and I see different things in each of these men. McCain's personal life and career are filled with incredibly troubling events, before, during and after his time as a POW. There are a lot of things to admire about McCain, but that doesn't mean that he would make a good President. That doesn't mean that he wouldn't, either, but to say that he's some giant archtypal figure is just as much hyperbole as anointing Obama the Second Coming.

I personally don't see Obama as perfect or a messiah-like figure; I've already disagreed with him on a couple of important issues, and I expect that will happen again. I do think he's different in that he's not still trapped by the arguments of the 60's.

Specifically, the idea that Obama is just some kind of weak-kneed pacifist that will be run over in a tough, tough world is held by people who aren't paying attention. Yes, one of his first bipartisan efforts as a Senator was to promote securing nukes. I think that's a pretty good idea, given the world we live in. Yes, he's indicated that he will review weapons programs. He's not looking to de-fund the military, though. Obama's plan is to increase the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marines by 27,000 more, to allow them to retrain and re-equip properly between deployments. And to make sure that when they are deployed, they have the equipment they need. How radical.

He supports national missile defense, the war against terrorists, sea power and airlift capability to bring military force to needed locations around the world. Read the plan, JJV:

Right-wingers that haven't already endorsed Obama themselves are writing off General Powell's endorsement as race-based. I guess that influenced the Chicago Tribune (endorsing a Democrat for the first time in its 161 year history) and other conservatives, too. C'mon, JJV, don't follow the Republican herd. Open your eyes and see the light!


Dave S. said...

Forget it, he's on a roll.