Friday, May 23, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

[I]t's rather un-American to have an election that focuses on the "big issues."

It helps to remember that this is the nation that chose in 1884 between the competing slogans of "Ma, ma, where’s my Pa?" (attacking Grover Cleveland for fathering an illegitimate child) and "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine." (When Cleveland won, his supporters sang, "Hurray for Maria! Hurray for the kid! I voted for Cleveland and I'm damned glad I did.")

. . . Why can’t we have a "civilized" discussion of the issues? Part of it is because the voters are smarter than that. They know that politicians will say pretty much anything to get elected, and they also know that no one can foresee the issues a president will have to confront. So, they focus on what some critics might call "small issues" but others might define as the key issue of "character," since in the end, that’s what really counts.

I can't think of a recent presidential campaign that's been characterized by as many terrible historical analogies as this one. From Obama's evocations of Ronald Reagan, to McCain's addled nonsense about appeasement, to Clinton's suggestion that the woman suffrage and black voting rights campaigns provide some sort of model for protesting the "disenfranchisement" of Florida and Michigan voters -- it's been a brutal mess. And we haven't even gotten to the general election campaign yet.

-- D

Why is McCain allowing himself to be dragged into a debate about presidential-level diplomacy, when the more important question — and the question whose answer is more politically favorable to McCain — is whether diplomatic engagement will actually get anything accomplished? McCain should be asking Obama what concessions he realistically thinks he’s going to get from the Iranians upon going hat in hand to Tehran. UN Security Council sanctions have done virtually nothing to impede Iran, nor have EU diplomacy or IAEA reports. Russia and China continue to stand as the major impediments to the kind of UN sanctions that might so cripple Iran that it would give up its nuclear development.


"Cult of Obama?" No such thing. No sir. A figment of the corporate press’s imagination. A Rethuglican dirty trick. A Karl Rove plot. A Hillary Clinton smear.

. . . there is a very large segment of Obama supporters who view their man as a savior of sorts. I wrote recently about the pause it should give those of us who are enamored of republican principles when examining this Obama phenomenon. There is the smell of danger to some of his rallies – out of control citizens who swoon in his presence or lose themselves in his well modulated but ultimately empty words.

Not recognizing the danger or denying that it exists has been the standard operating procedure of Obama supporters on the left for the better part of a year. Individual citizens making informed decisions is one thing. A mindless mob being manipulated by a politician is quite another.

Cartoon by Glenn McCoy/Universal Press Syndicate

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