My Impressions of the First Debate - Calling Obama's Bluff

| | Comments (0)

When I set the poll last night, I said I'd hold off on my comments until later. Here they are.

I can see why some people are saying Obama won. He sounded good. He seemed to make sense on a certain level. Unfortunately for him, this is the level of the people who pay attention to politics when there's something that twinges their conscience that they don't pay more attention. Because for the people who understand the facts and the history and how it all fits together, he got stomped.

He spent the whole debate running a very convincing bluff, that when you come right down to it, boiled down to his stump speech talking points. Senator Obama, your opponent is named "John McCain," not "George Bush," who is never running for anything else again. Furthermore, while trying to tie your opponent to a president that your party has been demonizing since the election of 2000 may be a winning strategy in certain instances (it did help George Bush in 2000, but not John Kerry in 2004), John McCain has separated himself very well from George Bush, at least to anyone who's been paying attention. Immigration, the surge in Iraq, fiscal policy on all levels, even the role of government (he being more of a conservative than George Bush ever was)

Senator Obama was woefully short not only on facts, but on truth, as well. Dr. Kissinger refuted Mr. Obama's contention about his position on talks with Iran before the talking heads were done. It wasn't George Bush's policies that caused the housing crisis, it was Bill Clinton's. When George Bush tried to reform the problem areas back in 2003, and John McCain in 2005, it was the Democratic party who made it clear they would kill the legislation in the Senate, making the whole thing pointless. The Democrats (including Barack Obama) demogogued the issue, claiming it was racial prejudice and class warfare, that those attempting reform didn't want poor people and minorities to be homeowners, using these as cover issues to prevent the change needed, which was simply to tighten the rules up so that there was some reason to believe that the folks buying and refinancing could really afford the payments. (This is remarkably similar to the way they have demogogued Social Security and Medicare reform). In short, George Bush inherited a system that he tried to change when he saw these problems five years ago, and he was prevented from changing it by the Democrats. Sure, he could have tried harder, but he only had so much political capital to spend, and the War on Terror has to be a higher priority for that. But this was not in any way, shape, or form George Bush's problem. It was Bill Clinton's, and George Bush tried to fix it and was prevented by the party that has been demonizing him for failing to fix it.

For those who pay attention (sadly, not as many as there should be, particularly among the young), John McCain more than held his own in the economic policy debate. He proposed specific ideas and concrete proposals. When Jim Lehrer asked Barack Obama what he would cut because of the bail-out, he segued into new program proposals straight off his stump speech. That's like being told it's a subtraction problem, and adding instead.

Senator McCain blew Senator Obama out of the water on foreign policy. From Georgia to Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and North Korea, it was obvious who was used to handling this stuff, and who wasn't. Who understands what is still The Great Game, and who does not. The difference in their grasp of international politics should have embarrassed Senator Obama. I'll give him credit for acting ability, though. He kept running a good bluff, and even had the grace to agree with Senator McCain in about half a dozen instances when he knew anything else he said would get him stomped so badly it would destroy his bluff.

Senator McCain did manage to partially call Obama's bluff on energy policy. You can't have nuclear power without storing spent fuel and reprocessing it. But if Yucca Mountain (which Obama has repeatedly opposed), which all of the experts have agreed is the best possible available location for those, is not a good site, then there are no sites available, which reduces to being against nuclear energy.

John McCain does need to work on delivery, and he did let several opportunities to further tear apart Obama. Thinking about it, though, it's probably just as well he let most of the opportunities pass that he did. He was so far ahead that anything more would have been piling on.

The more I know about Barack Obama and his policies, the less impressive his substance becomes. He's got style, he's smooth, and he's got beautiful oration - a lot like Ronald Reagan in those respects. But underneath all that, Ronald Reagan had substance - more substance in a hangnail than Barack Obama has in his whole body. Last night, Barack Obama ran a good, coherent bluff - but John McCain had the winning hand, and didn't fold. It may not be obvious now, especially to committed Obamaphiles (When I visited the conservative websites last night, they were talking specifics, and the comments were jubilant. When I visited progressive ones, they were directing their audience to the polls they had to manipulate, and the comments were bitter), but Obama gave the McCain campaign so much ammunition for campaign commercials that those quotes which are going to come back to haunt him all the way through November 4th. There is material for about fifty ads on a theme of, "What does Barack Obama really stand for?" What he said in the debate, versus what he said in front of partisan audiences. Put about fifty of them out there, and even some of the nutroots will start to wonder.


Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!
Please be civil. Avoid profanity - I will delete the vast majority of it, usually by deleting the entire comment. To avoid comment spam, a comments account is required. They are freely available, and you can post comments immediately. Alternatively, you may use your Type Key registration, or sign up for one (They work at most Movable Type sites) All comments made are licensed to the site, but the fact that a comment has been allowed to remain should not be taken as an endorsement from me or the site. There is no point in attempting to foster discussion if only my own viewpoint is to be permitted. If you believe you see something damaging to you or some third party, I will most likely delete it upon request.
Logical failures (straw man, ad hominem, red herring, etcetera) will be pointed out - and I hope you'll point out any such errors I make as well. If there's something you don't understand, ask.
Nonetheless, the idea of comments should be constructive. Aim them at the issue, not the individual. Consider it a challenge to make your criticism constructive. Try to be respectful. Those who make a habit of trollish behavior will be banned.

Leave a comment

Copyright 2005-2020 Dan Melson All Rights Reserved

Search my sites or the web!

The Book on Mortgages Everyone Should Have
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages Cover

The Book on Buying Real Estate Everyone Should Have
What Consumers Need To Know About Buying Real Estate
What Consumers Need To Know About Buying Real Estate Cover

Buy My Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels!
Dan Melson Amazon Author Page
Dan Melson Author Page Books2Read

The Man From Empire
Man From Empire Cover
Man From Empire Books2Read link

A Guardian From Earth
Guardian From Earth Cover
Guardian From Earth Books2Read link

Empire and Earth
Empire and Earth Cover
Empire and Earth Books2Read link

Working The Trenches
Working The Trenches Cover
Working the Trenches Books2Read link

Rediscovery 4 novel set
Rediscovery set cover
Rediscovery 4 novel set Books2Read link

Preparing The Ground
Preparing the Ground Cover
Preparing the Ground Books2Read link

Building the People
Building the People Cover
Building the People Books2Read link
Setting The Board

Setting The Board Cover

Setting The Board Books2Read link

The Invention of Motherhood
Invention of Motherhood Cover
Invention of Motherhood Books2Read link

The Price of Power
Price of Power Cover
Price of Power Books2Read link

The Fountains of Aescalon
Fountains of Aescalon Cover
The Fountains of Aescalon Books2Read link

The Monad Trap
Monad Trap Cover
The Monad Trap Books2Read link

The Gates To Faerie
Gates To Faerie cover
The Gates To Faerie Books2Read link

C'mon! I need to pay for this website! If you want to buy or sell Real Estate in San Diego County, or get a loan anywhere in California, contact me! I cover San Diego County in person and all of California via internet, phone, fax, and overnight mail. If you want a loan or need a real estate agent
Professional Contact Information

Questions regarding this website:
Contact me!
dm (at) searchlight crusade (dot) net

(Eliminate the spaces and change parentheticals to the symbols, of course)

Essay Requests

Yes, I do topic requests and questions!

If you don't see an answer to your question, please consider asking me via email. I'll bet money you're not the only one who wants to know!

Requests for reprint rights, same email: dm (at) searchlight crusade (dot) net!
Learn something that will save you money?
Want to motivate me to write more articles?
Just want to say "Thank You"?


Add this site to Technorati Favorites
Blogroll Me!
Subscribe with Bloglines

Powered by FeedBlitz

Most Recent Posts
Subscribe to Searchlight Crusade

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on September 27, 2008 11:00 AM.

2008 Presidential Debate 1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Second Trust Deeds: Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


My Links