Melanie Phillips has done one of the best jobs I have seen in laying out the serious foreign policy differences between the two Presidential contenders. And I do mean policy differences! They are huge, and frightening, especially as far as Barack Obama is concerned. My emphases do not do justice to her article. Read it carefully. . . word for word... and shudder. She rightly titles her article, "Is America Really Going To Do This?"
The impact of the financial crisis on the American presidential
election has somewhat obscured the most important reason why the
prospect of an Obama presidency is giving so many people nightmares.
This is the fear that, if he wins, US defences will be emasculated at a
time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America
and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west. . .
To anyone wavering between Obama and McCain, Krauthammer's important column today should make the choice easy. It is must reading. After chastising fair-weather Republicans for
abandoning ship, and after noting Obama's many negatives, Krauthammer lays out a positive case for McCain as follows:
The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis
has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out
there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An
apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger
of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism.
Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.
do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming
on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive
decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign
policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous
multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious
Yuval Levin of National Review's Corner blog writes:
My colleague James Capretta, one of the great conservative health care mavens, offers on his superb health policy blog Diagnosis
a very helpful example to illustrate the logic of the McCain health
care proposal, and to help explain why Biden’s criticism of it last
night makes no sense. If you want a clear sense of how the plan would
work in practice, read this.
Me: The Obama/Biden ticket seems committed to dissemble and foist deceptions on a gullible public.
Amir Tahiri explains how differently McCain and Obama see the world. This issue alone would be grounds for choosing McCain over Obama. Think I'm exaggerating? Read the article for yourself and come to your own judgement. Here are the concluding paragraphs:
. . . McCain believes that America is at war; Obama doesn't. McCain
believes the United States can win on the battlefield; Obama doesn't.
For Obama, the problem is one of effective law enforcement. His
model is the way Clinton handled the first attack on World Trade Center
in 1993. Obama says: "We are able to arrest those responsible, put them
on trial." This means the United States reacting after being attacked.
McCain, however, doesn't fear the politically incorrect term "pre-emption" - hitting the enemy before he hits you.
When all is said and done, this election may well have only one big
issue: the existential threat that Islamist terrorism poses to
America's safety. Since McCain and Obama offer radically different
policies for facing that threat, American voters do have a real choice. [more . . .]
The Hot Air website
is just unbeatable. Ed Morissey deals with the news (including handling
accusations against McCain/Palin) with numerous posts every day (and throughout the day!) -- and there's lots of video, too!
"McCain must convince voters that Obama's complacent confidence in the
taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism's scary
sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction,
"the community of nations." - George F. Will
Update #2 -- 8/17/08 - For an example of MSNBC's biased print coverage, click here. Update 8/17/08 - My reservations and concerns about the dialog at Saddleback Church proved unwarranted. The contrast between Obama and McCain in both demeanor, verbal acuity, and philosophical substance on major issues could not have been more dramatic. The transcripts of the interviews can be accessed here. Byron York of National Review has provided an excellent summary of the evening's answers and significance. I think Rick Warren did a truly estimable job, evidenced, to cite but one example, by his probing question, “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”
What I am waiting for is an enterprising person to splice together each person's answer to the same question and put it on YouTube for the world to see and hear. Maybe it's already been done.
What many viewers don't realize is the troubling slipperiness demonstrated by Obama. See Hugh Hewitt's post here.
- A friend has sent me a link to a Christian Science Monitor article on this weekend's event.
The event, back-to-back one-hour interviews at Mr. Warren's
California megachurch, will be broadcast live on CNN and streamed on
the Web [8-10:00 pm Sat.]. It also represents the emergence of a new style of evangelical
leadership on the national stage, which is not tied to a single party
and has broadened its social agenda beyond that of the religious right.
"This is absolutely a changing of the guard, and
it suggests that the new guard of the evangelical movement is able to
generate the attention and focus of both parties," says D. Michael
Lindsay, a sociologist at Rice University and author of "Faith in the
Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite." [more . . .]
I am not enthusiastic about this excursion by Warren into American politics. I hope it will prove better than I anticipate. Hard questions need to be asked, and it remains to be seen whether Rick Warren will ask them. I fear he won't. Without the hard questions, the evening could turn out to be an opportunity for candidates to mislead the American people.
Thomas Sowell is seriously depressed, or at least feeling mighty glum about the outlook for the United States, given the intelligentsia's vacation from reality. (For what it's worth, I agree with his assessment and my feelings mirror his.)
The terrorists have given us as clear a picture of what they are all
about as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did during the 1930s — and our
“leaders” and intelligentsia have ignored the warning signs as
resolutely as the “leaders” and intelligentsia of the 1930s downplayed
the dangers of Hitler.
We are much like people drifting down the
Niagara River, oblivious to the waterfalls up ahead. Once we go over
those falls, we cannot come back up again.
Sowell sees the horrors of being confronted with both Iran and terrorists equipped with nuclear devices and then,
All the things we are preoccupied with today, from the price of
gasoline to health care to global warming, will suddenly no longer
He considers both presidential candidates painfully inadequate, but between the two, there can be only one choice: McCain.
At a time like this, we do not have the luxury of waiting for our ideal
candidate . . . Senator John McCain
has been criticized in this column many times. But, when all is said
and done, Senator McCain has not spent decades aiding and abetting
people who hate America.
On the contrary, he has paid a huge
price for resisting our enemies, even when they held him prisoner and
tortured him. The choice between him and Barack Obama should be a
no-brainer. [more . . .]
I told you yesterday about John McCain’s plans to speak to the National Council of La Raza (The Race)
in July. Here are the top 10 reasons he should repudiate the radical
open borders, speech-squelching group that he has long embraced:
Peggy Noonan doesn't think so, or at least she hasn't yet seen any evidence of it. I have to agree. Excerpts:
One always wonders with Mr. McCain: What exactly does he feel
passionately about, what great question? Or rather, what does he stand
for, really? For he often shows passion, but he rarely speaks of
meaning. The issues that summon his full engagement are issues on which
he's been challenged by his party and others. McCain, to McCain, is
defined by his maverickness. That's who he is. . .
He has positions, but a series of separate, discrete and seemingly
unconnected stands do not coherence make. Mr. McCain, in public, does
not dig down to the meaning of things, to why he stands where he
stands, to what understanding of life drives his political decisions.
But voters hunger for coherence, for a philosophical thread that holds
all the positions together. . .
What overall view of the world, of strategy, of
American meaning, is being expressed in Iraq? Who are we in the world?
What do we mean to do in the 21st century? And in what way does this
connect to a philosophical view of life, of the meaning of being here
on earth as Americans?
In the most successful political careers there is a
purpose, a guiding philosophy. Not an ideology—ideology is something
imposed from above, something abstract dreamed up by an intellectual.
Philosophy isn't imposed from above, it bubbles up from the ground,
from life. And its expression is missing with Mr. McCain.
Bozell has written a genuinely useful column, offering an historical review of Republican establishment miscalculations. They are about to do it again unless they change course dramatically.
For 20 years, the moderate establishment of the Republican Party has
told conservatives to sit down, shut up and do as we're told. History
shows that sometimes we bite the bullet. But not always. I absolutely
guarantee that this year we cannot be taken for granted. This is a
movement fed up with betrayals, and they've come one after the other.
Bozell points out that through his surrogates, McCain is attacking Republican leaders in talk radio and elsewhere. Bozell says, This is beyond folly. It is political suicide. (more. . .)
Read by Laura Ingraham today (via Hugh Hewitt, with my emphases):
"I'm deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select
a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the
institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to
kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage
penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized
the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and
often uses foul and obscene language.
Update 10/26/08- Mark R. Levin now fears for the nation if Obama is elected President. Before deciding between Obama and McCain, do read Levin's article. Remember he is the one who initially had reservations about McCain. Now he considers those reservations trivial compared to electing Obama.
Update 10/24/08 - Anyone wavering between McCain and Obama, should read Charles Krauthammer's article today. It is genuinely must reading. I implore you to read it. Krauthammer outlines why it would be the height of folly to vote for Obama. Yes, McCain has negatives, but they are almost microscopic versus the alternative of voting for Obama.
Update 9/4/08 - I need to update this post. Over recent months many people have googled "McCain's negatives" and have come to this post. While I disagree with McCain on many of his positions as outlined below in my original posts, in my mind there is no contest between him and Barack Obama. For Obama's negatives, click here (and especially here for a list of all my posts dealing with Obama and his positions). With the addition of Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket, I am soundly convinced that the two of them would be infinitely better for America than Obama and Biden. - Mark Levin has also come out in support of McCain/Palin. Click here.
This morning Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) endorsed John McCain for President of the United States. So did the Manchester (NH) Union Leader.
McCain has many virtues. Mark Levin lists his negatives: (Update: Drew Cline of the Union Leader responds to Levin's critique at the end of this post; Further update 12/18/07 - Andy McCarthy responds to Drew Cline, and so does Mark Levin)
In sum, John McCain has been weak on homeland security, joining with
numerous liberal Democrats to argue for closing Guantanamo Bay,
applying the Geneva Conventions to unlawful enemy combatants, extending
certain constitutional rights to detainees, limiting tried and true
interrogation techniques, and conferring amnesty on illegal aliens
(which would include OTMs; that fact that Bush supported the same thing
is no defense). He aggressively opposed the Bush tax cuts, even after
they were scaled back. He is behind the McCain-Lieberman Stewardship
Act, which is a
I thought these comments of yours to be particularly striking:
I would never say this
publicly, but some of these talk-show hosts—and I'm not saying they
should be taken off the air; they have the right to do what they want
to do—I don't think they're good for America....I urge my friends who
complain about the influence of the religious Right, get out there and
get busy. That's what they do! Now, if we believe in the Republican
party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, the big-tent party,
then we have to get out there and show that. The fact is, some of us
have sat idly by while those very active people have basically set the
agenda for our party. I get attacked every day because I'm working with
Ted Kennedy. How can I work with Kennedy? Because I want to get
Senator, I have said this on the air
and in print many times: You are a great American, a lousy senator, and
a terrible Republican.
You are a great American, and I will
stand up in any room you enter, and applaud as long as anyone because
of the service you have rendered and sacrifices you have made.
you are a lousy senator, and I offer up McCain-Feingold,
McCain-Kennedy, the Gang of 14 and your vote on the Marriage Amendment
as four evidences for my judgment. The legislation was not bad because
you worked with Senator Kennedy, by the way, but because it was lousy
You are a terrible Republican because of personal
attacks on your opponents like this latest one on talk radio hosts and
the "religious Right." You repeatedly refuse to debate your Republican
critics or answer their questions. You are a regular on Hardball where
only softballs are pitched underhand, but you are as rare as rain in
California in August when it comes to appearing on center-right
programs. While I understand your reluctance to engage anyone who has
made personal attacks on you, most of the criticism you receive --and
all of it when it comes from me-- is about your policy choices and your
political decisions. You confuse such criticisms with personal
attacks, and lash out at other Republicans . . . (More)