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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Hillary who?

Omigod, Iv'e been wrong about everything: 

Likening Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama to a political “trailblazer,” singer Barbra Streisand has become the latest Hollywood celebrity to join the Obama campaign bandwagon, switching from her past support of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"Barack has awakened in many of us the notion that we can again be hopeful, enabling us to believe that we are capable of lifting our brothers and sisters out of poverty, of providing quality education for all our children, of ending this unjust war in Iraq and bringing our troops home safely,” Streisand wrote on Tuesday in a posting on her Web site, http://www.barbrastreisand.com/.

Well, sign me up. It's been such a drag on my self-esteem to realize that my notion that I can be helpful has been dormant. Why did I not realize that I could lift my brothers and sisters out of poverty and do everything for everybody. God  bless Obama, and, thanks, Babs, for pulling me out of my ignorance.


Harl Delos
Thu, 07/03/2008 - 3:49pm

Given the number of people who think this country is headed in the wrong direction, given Dubya's disapproval numbers, given the number of Republicans that are sorely lacking in enthusiasm for John McCain, this election ought to be a slam-dunk for the Democrats.

Instead, while Obama is winning day after day in polls showing a statistical dead heat. The reason that it's a dead heat is that there aren't enough data being collected. If someone wins by about the same number, day after day, week after week, it's pretty obvious that the difference is statistically significant (meaning that it's real) but it's minor (meaning that there's not a BIG difference.)

One has to ask why, and the answer is obvious. Iraq doesn't really matter. The losses will mount, and pressure will build on McCain to declare victory and bug out, or the losses will drop, and pressure will build on Obama to show extra caution in withdrawing. In either case, by November, the so-called "war" won't be an issue.

What will matter is the economy. McCain declared that he's no expert on economics, and the Democrats will continue to promote that, but the fact is, he's announced that he wants to drill off-shore, and that he's announced that he wants to give a prize for better battery technology. Barry, on the other hand, claims that government can do nothing useful that will get us prompt relief, which is probably true, but the fact is, it looks like he's throwing up his hands and giving up. Surrender is not an appealing campaign issue.

If Barack wants to win - and I suspect he does - then he really needs to go back to his original message. Instead of talking about policy, he needs to talk about process. Something like this:

"There's a tendency to stamp ideas Not Invented Here and dismiss them. It's usually a mistake for businesses to do that, and it's definitely a mistake for government to do that. We have to be willing to steal the ideas of the opposition party - something politicians have been doing for centuries - and make them our own. We have to be willing to work together to adopt the best ideas, no matter where they originated."

"Senator McCain wants off-shore drilling. It won't bring us any relief in the immediate future; it will take ten to twenty years to see any results. None the less, in ten or twenty years, we will need those results. I'm not sure that off-shore drilling is a good idea, but good ideas are good ideas, no matter where they come from, and if the House and Senate want off-shore drilling, I will sign the bill into law."

"Senator McCain wants to offer a prize, in order to stimulate research into better batteries. It won't bring us any relief in the immediate future; it will take ten to twenty years to see any results, or possibly longer. None the less, in ten or twenty years, having better batteries available when products are designed will be of great advantage. I'm not sure the size of the prize is correct, and I'm not sure we've nailed down exactly the right criteria for winning the prize, but it sounds like an intriguing idea. Good ideas are good ideas, no matter what they come from, and if the House and Senate agree on a prize like this, I will sign the bill into law."

"We are all of us smarter, together, than we are separately. That's why we have hundreds of Senators and Representatives in Congress to come up with good ideas, and to iron out the kinks, and produce legislation that everyone agrees makes sense. The change we need is not so much change in policies that the majority party rams down the throat of the minority party, but a change in politics in which both parties cooperate to get legislation everyone agrees is great. These two ideas are reasons we need men like Senator McCain in Congress - and I urge the voters of the other 49 states to keep him in the Senate where he will be of greater value to this country."

"You won't see me making many individual appearances in this election. The slogan isn't yes, he can, but yes, WE can. I will be making joint appearances with candidates for the House and for the Senate, appearances with candidates who have pledged to represent all the citizens of their constituency, rather than just those who vote for Democratic candidates."

When people ask him what his policy is on this, that, or the other, he should be saying, "What's YOUR idea on this?" and getting a response. He can say "I'm currently leaning towards a position of X, Y, Z, not because I think it's the best possible position, but because I think it's the best position we can all agree on. You know, the president doesn't introduce bills into Congress, he doesn't debate them there, and he doesn't vote on them there. For that, you need someone good to represent your interests - such as John Doe, who I'm appearing with today. He's pledged to represent YOUR interests, and to be loyal to the ENTIRE United States in his service. Can he count on your vote?"

By doing this cross-promotion, he has the candidates for house and senate promoting him, instead of him promoting himself. People don't like self-important candidates, and Obama runs a special risk of being thought "uppity".

If he does that, I think Obama can possibly make Lyndon Johnson's victory over Barry Goldwater look like a tight race, and I think Obama can make a significant change in the red/blue map. Not a huge change; rural folks are forced to be self-reliant because they are too widespread for government to effectively be their nannies, and city folks are packed so closely together that they're going to want the government keeping folks' elbows from getting in each others' way. But he can be as transformative a candidate for the Democrats that Ronald Reagan was for the Republicans.

And then he needs to work very hard at registering people to vote.

This election