"For the most part, the Republican Party is the only outlet where conservatives have a voice, so we have to use it. But it functions like a rusty knife we use only because we can't cut our steaks with a spoon."- Matthew Rathel

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obama: Changing the Way Policy is Made

The political banter of the 2008 election has been more partisan that any I have heard in my short tenure on this earth, and I think that as the country uses the next 3 months to decide who will lead our country, we will find that the tone will only sharpen, and the views expressed will continue to narrow. But in the process appearing to be a centrist, Mr. Obama has finally chartered new territory the way that the New York Times has given him credit with all along: he has found a way to push national security issues as social issues.

Today’s edition of the Washington Times outlines Obama’s current push to gain the political high ground on security by promoting service (which is a term the Post uses loosely.) But without missing a step, Obama quickly frames his policy by contrasting it to that of George W. Bush by describing the 2001 response to the terrorist attacks:

"Instead of a call to service, we were asked to shop," he said. "Instead of a call for shared sacrifice, we saw tax cuts go to the wealthiest Americans in a time of war for the very first time in our history."

Of Course Mr. Obama’s rhetoric continues along the lines that his focus groups have told him will win votes: he doesn’t take the time to discuss the actual call to service. He simply uses the whole topic to segway into his ongoing promotion of class warfare. Obama’s assertion that the most important direct consequences of the World Trade Center bombings were a tax cut and an economic stimulus package shows a blatant disregard for the graveness of the situation Americans faced at that crucial point in our history, and I can’t help but feel that his weakness on national security leads him to try to connect unrelated events in hopes of drowning out the criticisms of his inexperience on security matters.

Again, I call this approach new because I have never seen such an open and untactful attempt to dilute a policy statement with slander of a standing second-term president. Obama isn’t running against Bush as far as I know, and instead of fighting McCain on issues where Obama is strong; the Illinois senator seems intent on running against Bush security policy with his social policy.

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