Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
Let us swing the door ajar and invite the elephant into the room. One big reason why Barack Obama is locked in a tight race, rather than easily outdistancing his opponent, is because he is black.
That factor is rarely discussed in polite political conversation. People tend to dance around it, talking instead about Obama’s perceived inexperience, or his youth, or his perceived airs, or his liberal voting record. And racist sentiment rarely shows up in the polls, because a lot of people don’t want to share their baser instincts with the pollsters; they’ll save that instead for the privacy of the voting booth.
But the incremental evidence - anecdotal and even statistical - has become impossible to ignore.-- DICK POLMAN
What we have learned about John McCain from his selection of Sarah Palin is that he is as impulsive and reckless a decision-maker as George W. Bush.
After eight years of obstinate stupidity in the White House, the change voters should want most is a combination of common sense and common decency.
"You can't beat brains," JFK used to say, but this year's debate has somehow been shifted to a mistrust of intelligence--at first by Hillary Clinton's attacks on Barack Obama as naïve, followed by John McCain's claims of wisdom only through suffering and now by Sarah Palin's salty assertion of hockey-mom shrewdness.
What will be at stake in the next two months is how Americans judge the qualities of mind they want in a president. The threat of terrorism, the woes of the economy, the endangered environment require more than a sound-bite mentality and a determination to, in the most frequently used word in McCain's acceptance speech, "fight" and respond to mindless chants of "drill, baby, drill."
In the campaign, Barack Obama's open-mindedness is being distorted into irresolution, but what he would bring, as conservative David Brooks noted almost two years ago, is "a deliberative style to the White House [that] will multiply his knowledge, not divide it."
-- ROBERT STEIN
There are two types of campaigns: Those that follow and those that lead. Thus far, the Clinton and McCain camps have done more following of Obama’s lead, and stealing of his tactics and strategy - all to Obama’s benefit.-- VSHAWNT
I don't buy the small-towns-are-inherently-superior argument that Republicans tried to shove down our throats from the RNC. It's nothing more than cynical pandering and identity politics. One of the central Republican arguments was that Obama is too "cosmopolitan" (a phrase uttered without irony by the former mayor of one of the biggest cities in the world), and as a result, different.
The fact is, small town communities tend to be pretty homogeneous, both in demographics and ideology. The slower-paced lifestyle and stronger sense of community is wonderful to experience, but if you're going to serve in the executive branch of one of the most diverse nations in the world, that shouldn't be your only perspective. The notion that small town Americans will, and should, vote for a candidate just because he/she understands "small-town values" is ridiculous and should be insulting.
Name me a single issue that affects your life — jobs, health care, education, energy — where McCain and Palin disagree with the president. If you liked the last eight years, you’ll like the next four years of a McCain-Palin administration, because there is no fundamental change.
-- JOE BIDEN
Apparently, Barack Obama is no fan of irony. CNN reports on John McCain’s strategy of attacking Obama on change, with his attack on Obama’s lack of track record on reform or legislation while arguing for his own. Obama, predictably, wonders how they can make that case:
Lord, please have Obama continue to use that Bridge to Nowhere line. It has progressed from a dumb attack almost all the way to a Big Lie. Obama voted for that bridge — twice! So did Joe Biden. Obama has requested almost a billion dollars in earmarks in just three years of being in the Senate; McCain doesn’t earmark at all.
Obama is flailing, because he’s getting exposed. All anyone has to ask Obama is this question: “what have you yourself done to effect change and reform at any political risk to yourself?” His only examples come from bills he co-sponsored that were so uncontroversial that they passed without roll-call votes.
-- ED MORRISSEY
Cartoon by Tony Auth/The Philadelphia Inquirer