Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

In taking in and responding to a post at Phatic Communion (where Andrew Sullivan and myself are analyzed in similar fashion; I'm flattered at such comparative analysis) I read this:

Oddly enough, John McCain, like many conservative bloggers, has backed Clinton over Obama repeatedly. The most recent twist: McCain lavished praise on Clinton’s historic achievement while suggesting that “pundits and party elders have declared that Senator Obama will be” his opponent — but has singularly failed to acknowledge Barack Obama’s historic achievement.
Why on earth would John McCain toss fuel onto the political fire of his opponent by recognizing his opponents historical accomplishment? Had the tables been turned and Clinton been nominated, very likely McCain would have heaped lavish praise on a political genius, a well spoken prodigy for racial equality in the US. Remember this is politifare (political warfare) where logic is fleeting, consistency little more than a four syllable anachronism and fair play a dim memory of an imagined period when politics and fairness held hands, danced in jaunty fashion through fields of barley and basically never existed. McCains failure to recognize Obama's success is strategic and little else. Of course these observations may be symptoms of my own cynicism regarding the current state of American politics.

11 comments:

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

Seems odd when the rest of America knows the historical context of the Obama primary victory, McCain might hope that aspect gets overlooked.

Not terribly strategic but, as I think the author mentioned, tone-deaf.

He could be magnanimous as Obama, acknowledge achievements while "respectfully disagreeing" -- but for the cynic in you, I am certain you'll hear lots of smear coming form the McCain camp. (We already have after all.) So maybe you are right about this.

Dan tdaxp said...

To the extent that political speech is political: well, obviously.

To the extent that political speech is substantive: John McCain and Hillary Clinton have been bipartisan partners for years. [1,2] I'm sure when Obama has some policy accomplishments, he will start getting praised by those who care about policy.

[1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/01/27/good-politicians.html
[2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/06/05/good-politicians-ii.html

Ortho said...

Soob, I wouldn't be too flattered to be comparatively analyzed alongside of Andrew Sullivan. You should be flattered to be comparatively analyzed alongside of me. Maybe, someday, it will happen.

But seriously, maybe Senator McCain is a racist who has a crush on Senator Clinton. This possibility could shed new light upon Dan's claim that McCain and Clinton "have been bipartisan partners for years."

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

I'm confused by your first link Dan.

Clinton and McCain sent a letter of recommendation to the Nobel Institute for a Nobel Peace prize...and that's displaying what it takes to be Commander in Chief, President of the U.S., etc.? Sending recommendations to the Nobel committee is something waaaaaay beyond Barack Obama's capacity, due to inexperience?

What have McCain and Clinton actually accomplished in those long years of public service? We hear about the years as if the simple number of them means they were well-spent, each year equating to one year "well-done". Anything beyond 1 or 3 years in the Senate is thus exemplary leadership, rather than fixed congressional districts, politicking, campaign financing, etc.

The oddest thing: The people who will be deciding who becomes the President -- by which I mean, the American people -- have very little foreign policy or executive experience. I've wanted to blog about that subject for a long time but haven't. The American people will decide who's "qualified", most of whom have very little on-the-job experience governing the nation which they can use for making their judgements about the qualification of these candidates.

Purpleslog said...

Yikes:

"This possibility could shed new light upon Dan's claim that McCain and Clinton "have been bipartisan partners for years."

I could have done without that visual image!

Dan tdaxp said...

Curtis,

Hillary Clinton (as part of the Clinton machine that ran the executive branch of government between 1993 and 2001) and John Mccain (as a Senator) also worked to create WTO, NAFTA, to name two others. If Obama had done any of this work I'd be more open to him. But as you point out, his interests were provincial enough as of the Orange Revolution not to even bother writing a letter!

How low must we set the bar to see any accomplishments for Barack Obama when it comes to foreign policy?

The oddest thing: The people who will be deciding who becomes the President -- by which I mean, the American people -- have very little foreign policy or executive experience. I've wanted to blog about that subject for a long time but haven't. The American people will decide who's "qualified", most of whom have very little on-the-job experience governing the nation which they can use for making their judgements about the qualification of these candidates.

Obviously, and this is a source of hope. The government comes equip with a very large and restricting bureaucracy that makes it difficult to push new measures through. This is especially true of inexperienced politicians like Obama, who has one year of experience in DC before he started running for President. Just as George W. Bush's first term accomplished little beyond what those who had his trust (and actual experience) wanted to accomplish, it's reassuring to think that Obama will be able to get little done beyond what his advisers allow.

Still, given the alternative between re-running 2001-2005 and having someone with a foreign policy I agreed with and the skills needed to implement with, I'd go with the latter.

subadei said...

Dan, do you believe McCain would have been as generous with his praise for Clinton had she won the primary?

"it's reassuring to think that Obama will be able to get little done beyond what his advisers allow."
That's a bit of a shot in the dark isn't it? Are you speaking only in terms of foreign policy?

subadei said...

Curtis:
"The people who will be deciding who becomes the President -- by which I mean, the American people -- have very little foreign policy or executive experience." I agree with this and look forward to where you go with it. Personally it's an acceptable facet of the democratic engine that drives our republic. I would ask, however, what comparative you would use in weighing the general FP knowledge of the American public? I think, to a degree, Americans are reactive enough that when an important foreign political event occurs, they do educate themselves about it to a degree, albeit mostly through media.

Are you as proponent of the Democratic parties Super Delegate "quality control?"

subadei said...

Ortho, Pslog,

Hang on while I gouge out my own eyeballs with an ice cream scoop.

Your presence here, Ortho, humbles me. I grovel before you, indeed dragging my awe-sprung mouth along the earthen paths you have walked upon and then chew the grit, eyelids fluttering with a euphoric satisfaction that can only be attributed to abject piety. In fact I've been given to falling to my knees and saying three "Hail Baudrillard's" every night before bed. All Hail Oooohhhhrrthoooo! :)

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

Soob,

On Super Delegates: No, I think they should be removed from the process altogether.

"I think, to a degree, Americans are reactive enough that when an important foreign political event occurs, they do educate themselves about it to a degree, albeit mostly through media."

My general thought, to which I alluded only vaguely earlier, is this:

Right now we see Obama's experience level being attacked by Republican partisans or even Hillary supporters, etc., but the irony is the fact that our system of Democracy ensures that the President will be selected by people with far less experience as executives. Sure, there are business owners/leaders, state federal and local elected leaders, who will be voting, but generally speaking people without Executive Experience ™ -- and Foreign Policy Experience ™ -- are considered qualified to judge the qualifications of all prospective job-seekers to the presidency.

If Joe Blow without a college degree, who hardly travels out of his home state for anything and rarely watches television (news) or reads a local or national paper has the authority to determine who will be president, and the qualifications for that office, then how can Obama or any other American citizen be considered too inexperienced? As an analogy, how will someone who has just inherited a nursing home, never having worked in the medical field, be able to do interviews for prospective nurses and nurses aids? (I imagine myself in that position....sheesh, wouldn't even want to do it.) But at the same time, if Americans really do educate themselves about the basic issues facing them, and are therefore able to make judgements about qualifications for the presidency, then Obama or anyone else who is also a citizen of America who has done that should be considered just as qualified.

Sorry for the long comment, lol, this has been brewing for a long time, long before Obama began his run for the presidency. I will say: what comes after the above is a consideration of exactly what measurements people use when deciding who gets their vote -- and what methods others use to convince the general electorate of relative Experience Levels ™.

Dan tdaxp said...

Subadei,

Dan, do you believe McCain would have been as generous with his praise for Clinton had she won the primary?

Yes.

McCain's burned through a lot of good will with the Republican base for prioritizing the priase of Democrats who agree with him over party loyalty.

"it's reassuring to think that Obama will be able to get little done beyond what his advisers allow."
That's a bit of a shot in the dark isn't it? Are you speaking only in terms of foreign policy?


Certainly it doesn't apply to the judiciary and the higher bureaucracy, where Obama would have a frightening degree of power.

Curtis' comment is odd. In the United States sovereignty rests with the people. There are no external criteria the People need to meet (such as competence) in order to select their government: the will of the people is the critereon itself.

Our government is a federal republic, not a technocracy.