Monday, September 22, 2008


Posted by Mark

Last night Obama and McCain were interviewed on 60 Minutes. For those who missed it, each candidate was interviewed for about a half-hour. As expected, Obama spoke authoritatively on the economy and McCain was jittery. And as expected, McCain came to life when talking about the Surge, and Obama, while strong, didn't radiate with the same confidence. Apparently, in the battleground states, McCain is running lots of surge ads, even in the face of the economic crisis. As Obama aptly put it, "he has nothing else to say". So, of course.

Which brings me to a point: Back in 2000, I have a very clear recollection of a moment during one of the town hall style Bush/Gore debates: Bush walked out in front of his lecturn to address the audience. He spoke in code. He said: "I want to get this country ready for 21st century warfare." I remember it well, and I remember knowing at that moment that if he got elected we were going to war. 9/11 - which hadn't happened yet - made it easy for him. The code he spoke was intended for the defense and oil industry...and his base. In that hawk-patriot "speak", he sent them a very clear message. I might add that it's a similar code to the one Republican candidates often speak when they refer to appointing judges to the Supreme Court: You'll often hear them say they'll appoint judges who will "execute law with a strict adherence to the language of the constitution." As if one couldn't interpret the constitution based on their ideological leanings!

Last night, McCain spoke his variation of the code. Toward the end of the interview, in the best of Reaganesque backdrops, he told the story of a mother he'd met on the campaign trail. She gave him her son's dog tag and asked Mccain to do the right thing. And as he told the story, he pulled the dog tag from the envelope, and with tears in his eyes, said," that's what being the president is all about." That was code...easy to spot. Loud and clear he announced to the defense and oil industry, and his base, that he would "lead" by keeping the country - and taking the country - to war. It was as clear as day. The fact is, much like Bush, he doesn't know any other way to lead.

So, if we've really had enough, if we really can't stand it for another day, if we really believe in peace.....then we all have to do something more than we're presently doing!

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