Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention time

So, despite the wobble in the polls, the media are still hot for Obama, and the Democrats in general. No surprises there: they always are. But there is just the suspicion that the frantic bigging-up of the speeches at the Convention have a trace of desperation in them. Obama's supporters in the media so want him to be a runaway success that they will push that message regardless.
Look at Michael Tomasky here today:
I can't convey in these few hundred words how brilliant Clinton's speech was. Let me just say that every sentence flowed perfectly from the one preceding it and that he was in masterful control of the text. Best single line to me: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." But quoting that line out of context tells you nothing. It was part of a testimonial to Obama's judgment that no speaker at this convention had yet delivered and that every attendee yearned for.
I heard snippets of Clinton's speech this morning, and I noted the endorsement as being "Barack Obama is qualified to be President". Yee-haw.
Incidentally, and hilariously, Tomasky is almost correct about that Clinton line about the power of the American example. No speaker at this convention had delivered it. But Joe Biden did, in the 2004 convention, in precisely the same terms. The biter bit, given Biden's predilection for plagiarism...
And as for Biden's speech itself, once you get past the toe-curling opening, what were those shattering foreign policy denouncements?
Let me ask you: whose judgment should we trust? Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he said only three years ago, "Afghanistan—we don't read about it anymore because it's succeeded"? Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending to additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?
McCain was making a point about the media's habit of focusing only on failure and ignoring good news stories. Now Afghanistan is more difficult, there's a lot more news coverage. That'sa different point to greater troop deployments. And are we talking about surges here? No? Why ever not?
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he rejected talking with Iran and then asked: What is there to talk about? Or Barack Obama, who said we must talk and make it clear to Iran that its conduct must change.
Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran, because that's the best way to advance our security.

Talks without pre-conditions? I don't think so. And that's what Obama was after.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he says there can be no timelines to draw down our troops from Iraq—that we must stay indefinitely? Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home?
Now, after six long years, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.
All of them - like Obama wanted? Or a gradual reduction in troop numbers as ther Iraqis take over - as McCain advocated. The reality is rather closer to McCain's stance than Obama's - though I guess we should be glad the Democrats are talking about Iraq again - the reductions in violence have rather shut them up.
And that was it - the great foreign policy expert's critique of McCain consisted of an irrelevance and two misleading comparisons. I'm yet to be persuaded by McCain (hell, I've yet to hear anything about him, it's like there's only one candidate in these elections) but there's been nothing to make the heart race from the Democrats...

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5 Comments:

Blogger Letters From A Tory said...

The Clintons uniting behind Obama will surely have made an impact on some swing voters (and some Democrats for that matter).

10:06 am  
Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

Grow up tory boy why do you hate blacks so much?
Going on about how you hate obama and how you think we should shut up about slavery tory slave traders.

10:37 am  
Blogger Tim J said...

LFAT - I'm sure it will, though by how much remains to be seen.

Dirty Euro - briefly, because I doubt you really want any interaction, I don't hate Obama, I'm just not sold on him as a candidate yet. I also didn't say we should shut up about slavery, just that it isn't a momentously significant part of British history.

And, although again I doubt you're open to sweet reason, presumably you mean Tories like William Wilberforce?

12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willberforce was not a tory he was an independent. Wrong again. Boom. Case closed. Slavery was removed under the whig party.

2:04 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

18th and early 19th century party politics were a touch more complicated than that. Although Governments were classified as being either Whig or Tory, members of parliament themselves often, perhaps usually, were not.

So Wilberforce worked closely with William Pitt (whose administration was described as Tory) but also worked with Whig Governments (not that there were that many when Wliberforce was in the House).

Read Duverger on early politics. He's pretty useful, even if it's an old book.

But anyway - so what? I've not argued that a Tory administration abolished slavery. It's entirely irrelevant to the debate. It's a fatuous, pointless little finger-jab of an argument.

Tell you what, why don't you address some (any) of the points in my post. Either of them, since you don't seem to mind. Then we can have an argument based on that.

2:37 pm  

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