Friday, May 16, 2008

Obama Comes Back Tough and Eloquent Today on Bush/McCain

Barack Obama came out swinging today in a South Dakotan town hall meeting and subsequent press conference - tough, eloquent, intelligent response to Bush and McCain's slurs about Democratic "appeasement".

Among the highlights of what Obama said -

.The Bush administration, supported by McCain, is responsible for the strengthening of Iran - a consequence of the U.S. destruction of Iran's enemy, Iraq, and on the basis of weapons of mass destruction which were never found.

.American Presidents ranging from Kennedy to Nixon to Reagan were unafraid to sit down and talk with our enemies, because they understood that talk is not at all the same as appeasement.

.Hamas was strengthened by the Bush administration's pushing of elections in the Palestinian territories before those places were ready. And - it was McCain, not Obama, who called for talks with Hamas several years ago, before McCain adopted the Bush agenda.

.Obama also made a good, clarifying statement about the Second Amendment: he supports it, but also supports regulation of guns, which he sees as not in conflict with the Second Amendment. (I agree. Unlike the First Amendment, which says "Congress shall make no law" restricting press and speech, the Second Amendment says "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". This means that regulation of guns is permissible under the Second Amendment, as long as that regulation does not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. In contrast, the First Amendment permits "no law" regulating speech of press. Obama didn't say all of this, but his position on the Second Amendment is consistent with it.)

.Obama challenged McCain to debate him about foreign policy, any time.

Such a debate will go a long way towards insuring Obama's substantial victory in November. Some parts of the world may indeed not yet be ready for Jeffersonian democracy, as Obama said today. But the United States surely is. Indeed, the time has never been better for presentation of rational arguments to counter the propaganda that has washed over our nation for nearly eight years - presentation of reason in response to distortion and misrepresentation, in response to McCain and Bush, as Obama did today.
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