2 Responses to It's Only A Game!

Turkeys, Reporters and Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 22, AD 2008

Governor Palin is interviewed while turkeys meet their mortality in the background.  She pardoned one lucky turkey at the turkey farm.  This video has become a minor media sensation and I can understand why.  Most reporters do have a certain kinship with the victims.

 

Update:  We hear from the Turkey wrangler here.  My favorite quote: 

“Tomes has worked at the Triple D Turkey Farm in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska for the past nine years. He says Palin is being unfairly criticized over the video. “The only thing I can say is, ‘Don’t mess with my Governor!'””

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5 Responses to Turkeys, Reporters and Thanksgiving

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8 Responses to The National Money Hole?

  • I, for one, am willing to go on record as against the money hole. Also, I am against taking money from successful companies and giving it to poorly run companies (as long as the poorly-run companies are not a systemic risk).

  • I second that motion.

  • Part of the problem with the government dumping money wherever is that the whole point of the economic system we have is to try to increase capital. Businesses try to become successful so that they can provide a living for the owner and for any employees he hires. Part of being successful is expanding to provide more services, hire more employees, and so on. I just state that last because I don’t want to enrage anyone out there who will think I think capital is the only important thing.

    The thing is, failing businesses decrease capital. The government funneling money into to them to bail them out might salvage the business, but in many, many cases the result has been merely to prolong the collapse, and effectively sends that money into the void. Now, I won’t argue whether it is wise to offer bailout money in any particular case, but when a business is failing because of bad practices, myopic plans, and greed, offering money to bail them out is exactly like taking money and flushing it down the toilet. Above and beyond the capital lost in the failing business, the bailout money is even more potential destroyed.

    That might have been a tongue-in-cheek production, but there’s more than just a kernel of truth there.

  • I second that.

    Though if the government wants to bailout the Big-3, the U.A.W. needs to be disbanded or radically altered. My personal opinion is, besides poor management, the UAW is right up there for the cause of the Big-3’s problems. Not even Daimler from socialist heaven Germany wanted anything to do with them when they finally dumped Chrysler.

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  • The irony is that if the government were to throw tax dollars in a giant hole and set it on fire, this would probably be better than a lot of what they are doing with it now.

A Coalition For Me, But Not For Thee

Wednesday, November 12, AD 2008

Morning’s Minion over at Vox Nova, recently argued that the pro-life movement should disentangle itself from the Republican party. I think a fairly good argument can be made for this position, although I don’t find it entirely convincing. As anyone familiar with the blogosphere is aware, however, the fact that a good argument can be made for a position does not mean that a good argument currently is being made. Here’s the post:

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28 Responses to A Coalition For Me, But Not For Thee

  • “I must confess that (in certain moods) it occurs to me that the animating force for this particular argument from some quarters may have more to do with concern for the Democratic party than the pro-life movement.”

    Moods is the right word here.

  • The man who spouts opposition to the minimum wage and advocates unrestricted assault weapons possessions has always seemed the best poster boy for the pro-life movement.

    Such a credible spokesperson for the sanctity of life in all its stages.

  • Frankly, as I’ve commented before, the only reason that the minimum wage currently seems insufficient is because we Americans believe that everyone has to own their own home, live away from their families, and subsist without any local support. You’d be amazed what a couple of families sharing a single house can accomplish on minimum wage or even less. It is hard, yes, but it is livable. The Catholic Church calls for a livable wage, not a luxurious one.

    As for guns, it is the epitome of folly to believe that a gun automatically equates with an assault weapon. But I suppose it depends on what you see. When you live in the big city, surrounded by gangstas popping caps in some cracker cop, I’m sure you can’t see guns as anything but murder tools. But when you live in wide open spaces (with bears), and you gun hunting regularly for food (in bear country), a gun is not just handy tool, but a necessity.

    Perhaps, Mark, you’d care to make more that slogan-like comments, maybe provide us with a little meat as to why you would oppose gun rights? Perhaps you’d care to break things down across different gun categories, examine demographics, and point to where, either in the Bible or the Catechism, or some papal encyclical, that states that guns should be forbidden?

  • “You’d be amazed what a couple of families sharing a single house can accomplish on minimum wage or even less. It is hard, yes, but it is livable.”

    This is so preposterous that it doesn’t even deserve a further response.

  • Living simply has its rewards. To many people have fallen for the lie that they have a right to a ‘tv’, an ‘suv’, and starbucks coffee at every corner. We here in America don’t know how good we have it. We live not above our means, but waaay above our means. An unsustainable lifestyle.

    We are seeing the repurcusions of this with the collapse of the Big 3 automakers among many other failures.

  • After the Democrats have been in control of Washington for a few years, I think a great many Americans will be lucky to be earning the minimum wage. The Bush administration has done a poor job obviously in its economic policy, but every bad job-destroying idea possible is just waiting to be enacted by the Democrats. The American people are about to learn a very costly lesson in what happens when the people in charge of Washington really believe they can legislate prosperity by government fiat through more regulation and control over private enterprise. A moderate recession is about to be made much worse.

  • It is so easy to extol the virtues of frugal living by others, as we communicate via our $1000 computers, is it not?

  • Mark, why does it not deserve a response? You do realize, don’t you, that many illegal immigrants that come to the states do exactly what I just mentioned? That fact that there are people who do that makes my statement far from absurd. We Americans would be better off if we weren’t so consumed with such pride that we’d rather have the government mandate high wages so we can earn a “respectable” living instead of banding together to help each other out.

    On a different note, obviously it did deserve a response, because you responded to it. Frankly, Mark, I’d really like to get an actual conversation going instead of trying to deal with endless non-starters. Please, instead of simply trying to shut conversation down, why not take a few minutes and give a reasonable response as to why it is absurd to suggest several families live together to help ends meet?

  • Mark,

    I got my computer at half that price after hunting for the cheapest PC I could find all day. Plus, I need it for work. I saved up for it after holding on to my five year old Toshiba until it was incapable of accomplishing the work I do on it.

    Simple living is one of the treasures I discovered these past few years. I hope the American people won’t have to learn the hard way as I had, but with the Dems in power, like Donald said, they will suffer greatly.

  • It would be such a nice change to have rational discourse with Mark and his friends, but when every argument reduces to “guns are evil, business is evil, money is evil,” there really isn’t much left to say.

    Seriously, are you guys Catholics or animists?

  • Ryan – How many other families have you welcomed into your home?

    Tito – Glad to hear that living simply is something you value. It’s something we seem to have in common. Probably the result of fantastic catechesis, eh?

  • Still trying to unravel MM’s logic. First he notes that Pro-Life Movement hooking up with NRA and U.S. Chamber of Commerce is negative. Then go Obama go who has promised to sign FOCA quick fast and in a hurry. Being slightly befuddled I go wha… This intellectual stretching by Catholic Obamaites makes my own noggin hurt. Don’t plan to think about it further. Things to do, life to lead. Let MM live in DreamWorld. I prefer Reality.

  • Catholic social teaching puts forth as an ideal, just wage that one person’s earning which could support a family, it’s healthy leisure, and a savings for possible unforeseeable difficulties.

    But we have Catholic commentators here saying a lowering of the minimum wage in America, way below CST’s proposal, would be somehow beneficial.

    Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    The ignorance about one’s faith is astounding with those who fashion themselves as lay spokespersons for the Catholic faith.

  • Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    For one, you’re assuming that all minimum wage earners are heads of households. The data don’t bear this out. Is it not reasonable to assume that there should be a wage lower than this ideal, just wage proposed by CST which is in effect a “bridge” to higher wages? Can’t people who are low-skilled for a period of time (recent immigrants, students, etc.) earn a wage that is not supporting a family, etc.? Presumably they’re acquiring skills and experience that will enable them to earn a higher wage later. You can argue no, that there is no reason for a bridge wage for lower-skilled workers, but then be prepared for the consequences of all that unemployment.

    The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with a reasonable minimum wage. It seems reasonable to say that there is a lower limit below which society will not allow workers to work, even voluntarily, because it is scarcely worth their labor. The problem is accurately determining what that minimum should be. It seems that a lot of people interpret it a little too expansively, though, not taking into consideration these other factors. They also don’t seem to take into consideration the fact that a minimum wage set too high would do tremendous injustice and violence to the poor… not exactly a cornerstone of CST, right?

  • On MM’s argument: The reason why it makes sense, to a great extent, for the pro-life movement to ally itself with other conservative causes such as gun rights advocates and business advocates is in order to broaden the number of people who will actively vote pro-life. The idea being: If a business advocate is faced with two candidates who are both considered “pro business” by the Chamber of Commerce, but one of whom is pro-life and the other pro-choice, the business advocate will vote for the pro-lifer out of conservative solidarity and a general idea that that pro-life position makes that candidate “one of us”.

    I suppose the question would be: Is this successful? Does alliance with the “conservative movement” widen the number of people who are open to the pro-life message and who vote pro-life? My impression is that it does — in that I’ve seen a number of essentially secular conservative commentators become increasingly open to the pro-life message over the years.

    However, there is an opposite reaction, I am sure, among many progressives, who will be tempted to reflexively disagree with pro-life views because only “those conservatives” support that kind of thing.

    On Mark’s points:

    I’m not sure if anyone writing here necessarily wants to see the minimum wage abolished — and except in certain straw men I don’t believe that the Chamber of Commerce or any other major conservative organization MM could point to (except maybe some very libertarian ones) advocates that either.

    However, I for one don’t think that raising the minimum wage is very helpful to the poor in the long run, and I’m generally not in favor of raisting it.

    And I don’t think that your claim about CST requiring the US minimum wage, and indeed raising the US minimum wage, holds water when thought about calmly. Here’s why:

    The US is currently the richest country in the world. If you make the US minimum wage, you are far better off than most people in most places in the world. (Not that living minimum wage is great — but that living elsewhere in the world is really lousy.)

    I’d generally be against raising it even further because I’m more in favor of allowing increased immigration, including that of low-skill/no-skill workers, from countries with much lower wages. When we raise the minimum wage, we lower the demand for low-skill labor by increasing productivity, and in order to keep unemployment low, we’re heavily incented to keep low-skilled workers out.

    So I’d generally be much more in favor of keeping the minimum wage low and allowing low-skilled workers (for whom the US minimum would be a vast improvement) in rather than jacking up the minimum wage and leaving the rest of the world to take care of itself.

  • it occurs to me that the animating force for this particular argument from some quarters may have more to do with concern for the Democratic party than the pro-life movement.

    Obviously you’re right. The evidence that MM cares about the pro-life movement (which he never mentions except to ridicule) is zero. The evidence that his number one priority is electing Democrats is abundant; judging from what he writes about, he rarely thinks about anything else. His advice to the pro-life movement here — to join with him in taking a back seat to the “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries” crowd — is clearly an example of the fox advising the hens that they’d be better off sleeping outside.

  • And again, to repeat a point made on Vox Nova but that MM could never even attempt to answer, MM and his ilk have absolutely no standing to complain that pro-lifers are sullying themselves by being part of the Republican political coalition, given that they have proven that they are willing to shill for the Democratic political coalition (which most certainly includes some elements that are actively hostile to Catholic teaching).

    Of course, if MM and his ilk had led the way in abandoning the existing political coalitions in America and forming an independent party that would (by their lights) be consistent with Catholic teaching across the board, that would have been a different matter. But they didn’t do anything of the sort.

  • Mark, I understand the specifications of support of family, healthy leisure, and some savings. I don’t think I’ve seen an exact dollar amount, or a percentage, or any figure that states exactly what that is. And perhaps you should consider healthy leisure. Is leisure anything you have to pay for, it can it simply be the statement that a man shouldn’t have to work 20 hours a day to scrape together a living? If it is something you pay for from your wages, how much money do you need for that? Are we talking plasma TV, or a deck of cards? What is astounding is not ignorance of what various papal encyclicals have said, but the belief that somehow leisure has to be defined as a bunch of activities that all cost a fair amount of money, or that leisure cannot be attained even at minimum wage.

    It kind of goes back to prejudices we have of what leisure is, what it is about, and living frugally.

    Perhaps you’d care to state what CST explicitly states for the minimum wage, perhaps in exact dollar amounts? Hmmm… I think exact dollar amounts don’t actually come into the picture, do they? It comes down to understanding what is reasonable for supporting a family, without working oneself to death, and still having a little left over. There’s a lot of ways to accomplish that other than raising the minimum wage (and I, for one, cannot see how raising the minimum wage helps matters when every time we’ve done so, it has hurt job growth), and a lot of it comes down to lowering leisure expectations.

    Michael, I fail to see how my “failure” to invite families into my apartment has anything to do with the discussion. My wife and I live quite comfortably on $1500 a month from our graduate stipends. We’re fortunate enough to have an opportunity to live above total squalor. But if we had to live off of $800 a month (roughly minimum wage with only one of us working), it would be fiscally prudent to find a place we could share with others so that we can make ends meet. Moreover, it would be a bit more prudent to pick up a second job part time. 60 hours a week still leaves time for leisure, and being responsible by teaming up with someone else (who is probably in just as dire straights) leaves a little money left over in case of emergency.

    So, are we worried that there must be some amount of hypocrisy involved when I say “poor families can band together to help each other out”, but haven’t banded together with some poor family myself? Or have we, instead, lost focus on the point that there are more options available than raising the minimum wage (and depriving even more people of jobs), but that we fail to notice them because of issues of pride?

    Frankly, I like the idea of, say, three or families (friends that know each other well enough so there aren’t issues of abuse) living together, with work hours staggered so that someone is always home for the kids or in case of emergency, and enough parents pooling together to keep the place well maintained. I’d be willing to try it with some of my friends. I’d be a little more cautious when it comes to strangers, because of particular issues.

  • Anyway, MM isn’t making these arguments seriously. By criticizing 1) pro-lifers, 2) Rove, 3) Delay, or any conservative who is out of power and irrelevant, he’s just trying to do anything to avoid talking about Obama’s initial priorities on assuming office.

  • And MM’s lashing out at me (on VN) is a sign that deep down he feels some shame for the way he’s behaving. For heaven’s sake, if I had recommended voting for McCain on the specific grounds that McCain was the better anti-war candidate, and if McCain had announced (right now) that his first plan on taking office was to attack Iran, I hope I’d have the honesty and decency to say, “As a McCain supporter, I’m deeply disappointed and hope that McCain backs down from such a bad decision.”

  • About leisure: Scroll down to the section of this BLS report on leisure activity in the U.S. Some interesting data points there.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf

  • “Moods is the right word here.”

    Touche. However, unless I am mistaken, hypocrisy is also the right word.

    “The man who spouts opposition to the minimum wage and advocates unrestricted assault weapons possessions has always seemed the best poster boy for the pro-life movement.”

    Well, this raises questions about the common good and proportionality which the other commentators have ably addressed. Is it better for there to be less jobs paying a higher wage, or more jobs paying a lower wage? That, I think, is a complex question without a clear right or wrong answer. Similarly, ‘unrestricted assault weapons possession’ could be very bad depending on what the weapons were used for, but it hardly seems to threaten the common good in the same way as abortion.

    I can understand a principled position (e.g. Policraticus, Henry), holding that voting for either party involves unacceptable compromises. I can even understand (but disagree) with the idea that the Democrats are the lesser of two evils. What I find untenable is MM’s position that Republican pro-lifers must separate from their party because it has unacceptable coalition members, while he remains a card-carrying (or, less charitably, water-carrying) Democrat. IMO, the type of hypocritical partisanship on display in MM’s post is (or should be) embarrassing.

  • Well said. I’d be more impressed with MM’s gag-reflex post (because that’s essentially what it was–NRA bad, Chamber of Commerce bad) if he had something to offer on making the Democrats a more hospitable environment for pro-lifers. Yes, the GOP had Abramoff. And the Dems have George Tiller, lovingly tongue-bathed by Obama surrogate Kathleen Sebelius. Say what you will, but at least Abramoff’s in jail.

  • “Catholic social teaching puts forth as an ideal, just wage that one person’s earning which could support a family, it’s healthy leisure, and a savings for possible unforeseeable difficulties.

    But we have Catholic commentators here saying a lowering of the minimum wage in America, way below CST’s proposal, would be somehow beneficial.

    Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    The ignorance about one’s faith is astounding with those who fashion themselves as lay spokespersons for the Catholic faith.”

    Mark is absolutely right on this count. As an ideal, we should indeed strive to provide everyone with the opportunity for a life of leisure. Such a lifestyle fosters the kind of contemplation that is vital to both a renewal of civilization and the attainment of individual salvation.

    Having read the Church’s compendium on social doctrine, I too have concerns that associating with organizations such as the NRA, which in all honesty support a few things inconsistent with unabridged Christianity.

    In my personal experience, I have seen a lot of passive-aggressiveness and even flat-out bitterness and rage among both Democrats and Republicans.

    I suspect the reality is that all these warring ideologies we keep hearing from don’t really have the simple solutions to our problems they’re always claiming to have.

    Everybody knows the wheels are coming off the buggy, so to speak, but nobody honestly has the slightest idea why. Sure, some people say it is because we turned away from God. Very well then, why did we turn away, how do we turn back, and how do we prevent our children from making the same mistakes?

  • -It is so easy to extol the virtues of frugal living by others, as we communicate via our $1000 computers, is it not?-

    Please. Even my dirt-poor in-laws in Honduras have a computer. (And it’s better than mine, which kind of pisses me off…)

  • …which kind of ticks me off…

    Remember to sanitize your comments my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

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  • Re Mark DeFrancisis’ remark on co-family living:
    You do realize that multiple generations of a family sharing a house is commonplace throughout much of the world? It can be an extremely practical arrangement not only for fiscal reasons but because there is almost always someone at home (often grandparents) to mind the children if both parents work. I grew up in a multi-gen household, and was half raised by my grandparents.

    For the record, my computer’s a Dell that retailed, if memory serves, at about $300 for the works. Not all Americans are spendthrifts.

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  • Donald,

    Both you and Joe Biden may be correct. Some U.S. adversary might underestimate the conciliatory Obama and make some threating move (think Krushchev and the Cuban Missiles). Obama, needing to prove to the country that he is not a pushover, overreacts.

    They say that only Nixon could have gone to China, because he did not have to prove his anti-Communist credentials. Obama will not have that luxury, either in ideology or “toughness.”

    Either event, of course, is not a foregone conclusion, but it does give one pause . . . .

  • I share the same line of thinking, Don. I suspect we are more likely to find ourselves fighting another war(s) over the next four years under an Obama administration than a McCain administration.

  • I’m curious about your comment Darwin. I guess it depends on the baseline probabilities (.5% v. 5%, or 5% v. 15%), but it doesn’t seem very plausible to me that the U.S. will be eager to engage in any significant military commitments apart from Iraq or Afghanistan over the next 4 years. Also, I think that the idea that Obama will need to prove he’s not a pushover could mean a variety of things.

    In its more modest forms (e.g. Russian aggression in areas that are not of significant strategic interest to the U.S.), I may agree that there will be some attempt to get a read on Obama, but the likelihood of a large-scale conflict seem very remote to me. However, if it means a significant international challenge to our strategic interests, I think that is unlikely, as foreign governments are aware that the U.S. sometimes has a tendency to over-react to perceived threats, a lesson the Iraq war illustrates.

    Also, I don’t know how likely it is that Obama would overreact. He is very inexperienced, but he seems to surround himself with talented people (cf. Bush, McCain). Also, he is unlikely to feel a need to respond decisively out of insecurity, given that he likely will enjoy a convincing electoral victory, both houses of Congress, and exceptionally favorable media treatment.

  • Fair points, fus01.

    I’d tend to lean away from expecting a large scale conflict, expecting instead more of the “small vicious wars” of the Clinton era. The big possible exception to that being if Iran and Israel end up in a war, which would almost certainly end up drawing the US in to one extent or another — especially since Iran is placed right between the two theatres of operation we’re already involved in.

    The issue as I see it is that although Obama is certainly popular in the rest of the world, I get the sense one of the reasons he’s popular is that people are seeing him as a promise for the US to become more like the EU on the international scene. And no one really feels all that shy about defying the EU.

    The likely situations I would see are:

    -The Obama administration decides to attempt a humanitarian intervention in some African country (such as Sudan) and gets in way over its head — think a somewhat more drawn our corrollary to Somalia.

    -The Obama administration explicitly takes a slow track approach to letting Ukraine and George into NATO, and Russia decides to take that as license to invade one of them. My guess would be that with Georgia we’d probably leave them out to dry — with Ukraine there’d be the possibility of supporting air strikes or selling them arms. A true worst case scenario would be if the Russians attacked Poland in which case we would unquestionably have a war on our hands. But I’m thinking that unless Obama was truly imploding on the international scene, that would be unlikely.

    -Through a combination of supporting democratic elements in Pakistan (which are generally not pro-US) and agressively “rooting out” bin Ladin, we manage to involve ourselves peripherally in a Pakistani civil war. This becomes a worst case scenario if India gets sucked in because of Kashmir.

    -And the true worst case scenario: Through some combination of Iran thinking it has more latitude under an Obama presidency and Israel thinking it has to act first because it will have less explicit support, war (possibly dirty bomb or nuclear bomb) breaks out between Iran and Israel. Of all those options, that’s the one I’d see as being most likely to involve us in a large scale war.

    The big questions here are probably how competant an Obama administration turns out to be. We’ve all been told that he surrounds himself with competant people, but that was very much the wisdom about Clinton as well, and yet many of these talented people turned out to be highly inexperienced and at odds with each other (though very educated) once they actually got to Washington and tried to set up rule.

    As for whether he’d think he had to prove himself — we’ll have to see. I suspect his administration will be trying hard to retain its campaign season popularity and will find it hard to do once they hit the realities of Washington. We’ll see.

  • I think a lot of those scenarios are plausible, although I would be very surprised by full-scale hostilities between Iran and Israel, given the imbalance in nuclear capability. I am not convinced that an Obama administration would be the type of causal factor which would make it more likely that the U.S. would go to war. Unfortunately, I am as skeptical about McCain’s judgment as Obama’s. He has more experience, but I have been very unimpressed by his campaign.

    I certainly hope both that Obama will respond appropriately to international crises (if elected) and that he finds it hard to maintain his popularity once in the White House. It is hard for me to imagine the media treating him any more favorably.

  • While I’ve often been unimpressed with McCain’s campaign — I don’t think my lack of confidence in him as a campaigner spills over at all into lack of confidence in him as a potential president.

    But then, one of the things that strikes me watching McCain campaign is that he’s much more comfortable just serving the country than telling people why he ought to be elected. Obama, on the other had, seems to exist to campaign — I’m not sure what happens if he actually gets into office and has to focus on his current job rather than running for the next one.

  • Well, I think that a candidate’s campaign organization tells us something about he candidate. Bush had a very efficient, tightly-controlled organization. His presidency was fairly controlled also, and that was one of the major problems with his administration – it became insular and inflexible.

    McCain’s campaign has seemed fairly unfocused to me and uninterested in (domestic) policy. That doesn’t seem like a flaw that would disappear once McCain was in office. I agree that McCain is an awkward campaigner, but I am not sure that his rather idiosyncratic record (e.g. McCain-Feingold, his petulant swing left after W.’s election etc.) can be described as an interest in ‘serving the country’, or in self-promotion.

    I agree that we know much more about Obama’s ability to campaign (tremendous) than his ability to do anything else, but it should be acknowledged that he has run a well-disciplined, focused campaign. My worries about Obama (aside from him being the worst candidate I could imagine as a pro-lifer), are that his campaign is too insular (which stifles dissent), that he has a certain hubris or overconfidence about him which can lead to serious mistakes, and, of course, that we have no idea whether he can lead a country. Furthermore, I find the unwillingness of the press to present his background fairly, or to fact check beyond a brief call to Obama’s campaign manager very worrisome (although that could just be election-year paranoia on my part).

  • I worry about Obama’s lack of any military experience. He lacks the knowledge and the experience to weigh adequately military options presented to him by his advisors. His determination that the Surge would fail puts an exclamation mark on my lack of confidence in Obama’s ability to make good decisions in this area.

  • Well, a lot of people thought the surge would fail, and Obama had to oppose it in order to have any shot at the Democratic nomination. While I think Obama has received far too much praise for initially opposing the Iraq War (it would have been more difficult for him to support the War in his district), I think criticism of him on initially opposing the surge has been overblown.

  • “Well, a lot of people thought the surge would fail”

    Agreed, and a lot of people were wrong, unlike McCain who had been calling for a Surge strategy for years. Obama looked at the Surge as a political issue and not a military problem. However, he flatly said the Surge would fail and thereby either was making a military judgment or was simply saying it would it would fail for political purposes. My guess is that Obama was honestly giving his best opinion based upon the evidence that the Surge would fail and that concerns me.

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The Lighter Side

Friday, October 17, AD 2008

I have always admired Al Smith, the Democrat who was the first Catholic to run for President on a major party ticket in 1928.  Each year the Al Smith dinner is held in New York to raise funds for Catholic Charities.  It is traditional each Presidential election year for the major party candidates to appear and give humorous speeches.  Senators McCain and Obama observed the tradition last night and I thought both their speeches were well done.

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