Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saddleback reaction

A reader writes:
[A]fter Obama's "nuanced" showing with Rick Warren last night, as opposed to McCain's strictly black-and-white answers which brought down the house, [it] makes me very nervous about Obama's chances come November. Obama's position on "marriage" also didn't make any points with the gay community, but that is another story. I believe he's sold out to the right, trying to get votes.
What I saw last night told me that the American public has been so dumbed down by the jackass who currently occupies the White House that McCain will almost certainly get in should he choose Ridge to be his VP. together they will play the fear card and we'll have another four years wherein the United States will be an also-ran power and China will take its place as a world leader.
Another reaction can be found here. Money quote:
It's said by people smarter than me that all Obama has to do in a room like [Rick] Warren's made-for-TV sanctuary is to survive, be not scary, and earn respect. If that's true, he surely did that last night, and among some of the younger evangelicals, he may actually win a vote or two. But with Warren's claim to a kinder, gentler biblical imperative than is found by elders such as [Pat] Robertson's, it was profoundly disheartening to see an almost knee-jerk response in favor of unbridled, war-mongering jingoism, advanced by a guy who probably doesn't even like them.
First of all, I think it's way too early to count Obama out among evangelicals. Sure, some will vote for him but many will not. But let's not panic about this: evangelicals are not nearly as powerful as they were. Their multitudes have saddled us with the worst president in U.S. history, and they got precious little for it in return. Their biggest achievements were Roberts and Alito. Mostly, though, Bush ignored them completely.

Obama's own reaction to last night:
McCain says, "Here's my plan, I'm going to drill here, drill now," which is something he only came up with two months ago when he started looking at polling.
I didn't even see this "event." I sat it out in favor of hanging out with my family. But I'll say this: It's just one meeting. At this point in the election, neither candidate's message looks too focused to me. They are all over the map, pandering here, tailoring there. McCan't has absolutely nothing to offer except rehashed Bush/Cheney talking points. Having a few Christianist soldiers roar in approval (ironically, their biggest cheer was apparently about offshore oil drilling, a most secular topic if I ever heard one) doesn't mean the end for Obama.

Obama, however, needs to get back to "Change" and outline in a clear way what he will change and how he plans to do it. Big, visionary change. Get us out of Iraq change. Economic stimulus change. Alternative energy change. No more partisan sniping change.

This country is experiencing serious growing pains. Judging by this last primary season, the Democrats had a woman and an African-American man battling it out for the nomination. None of the old white guys had a chance. On the Republican side, there were more old white guys, no money, no vision, and no clear-cut choice except to be another version of George W. Bush.

He has to be the president who starts the ball rolling toward a New America, an America that looks totally different from the way it looks now. when the Boomer Generation gets its real first president.

Think about it: Obama needs to hit hard with statements like this:

"Pay attention to how much more the other side wants us to endure: More economic hardship except for the wealthiest Americans. More spying on Americans. More assaults on our Constitution. More war. More torture. More dead American soldiers. More enemies who want to harm us. More dependence on foreign oil. More and more Bush failure. More Cheney secrecy. More Tom DeLay power-grabbing and more lobbyists. And, if control of the Congress rests with the Democratic Party, more partisanship. And let's face it: George W. Bush is the most unpopular president we've ever had. And he's their #1 role model. So, if that's what you really want, if you really think that you've got it better now than you did in 2000, if you really want to gamble away another four years on more of George W. Bush's failed domestic and foriegn policies, then go ahead, drink that Kool-Aid and vote for the other guy. But if you're just a little bit tired of sitting at what feels like a roulette table, waiting for your number to come up, if you're a little tired of wishing your son or daughter or husband or wife or father or mother could just get out of Iraq and get back home, if you're just a little tired of being lied to about how to solve our energy issues, if you're tired of wondering if your job will be there next year or if you'll still have your house, and if deep down you think that more of the same probably isn't what you need right now, then there's a place you can go to be a part of changing what we can and will do. And while I'm just one man, all it really takes is one to get things started."

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