Category Archives: US Elections

Deenver: An Evaluation

Brian Appleyard’s take midway through the convention (early Wednesday) is amusing and not a little ironic.  The Democrats are squandering their natural advantages in that the media loves that narrative and will continue to run it at every opportunity.

I think this is the story of the Democratic convention: Buchanan’s assessment of Obama’s acceptance speech.  I found it very moving.

If you want to see any of the speeches from the Democratic convention then get it from the DNC—it is in a different class from any other internet video I have seen—the first high fidelity media I have ever seen on the internet.  The whole production is very, very classy.

Jeff and Gershom on Obama

Two of my favourite bloggers—Commander Huber of The Pen and Sword and Gershom Gorenberg of South Jerusalem—have written similar and different articles on Obama’s foreign policy.  The commander analyses the ducking and diving in Obama’s Iran policy from the perspective of the Pentagon while Gorenberg takes the foggy bottom angle of his Israel policy.  They agree on the difficulties he faces (you have to work with the political context you have rather than the the one you would like) and that while some of his tactical manoeuvres may have caused some dismay, it is quite possible (so they argue) to pick out a coherent strategy.  Needless to say we will need more data, but that reading seems defensible to me, and is consistent with his record, such as it is.

I am most curious to know whether Gershom Gorenberg agrees with Comander Huber’s analysis.

The Best Take on Clarkgate

Bryan Appleyard’s recent comments on the importance of literary tone came to mind reading Gail Collin’s article in the NYT today.  I have been reading Collins on and off for a while and not really getting it, until today.  She is writing on the brouha over Clark’s ‘swiftboating’ of McCain and deftly puts it into perspective while also dealing with the McCain campaign package and the way military service has played out in presidential election campaigns.  Obama being the skillful operator has no intention of impaling his candidacy on the issue, knowing that if the past is any guide it won’t do McCain any good—indeed it may be a lethal distraction for the McCain campaign.  They would do better to find something of substance—anything—that is going to appeal to the voters.

This column is really very good.

Clarke’s Statement

John Cole makes a good point; it is not as if you need to trawl through hours of debate to reconstruct the context.

SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn’t had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.

CLARK: I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.

That sure is a mean and vicious swiftboating.

Continue reading

Clark’s Recklessness?

Ambinder from the Atlantic reckons it better left unsaid and Lopez from the NRO the calls it a smear on McCain. We are of course talking about General Wesley Clark’s comments on Sunday.

“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

The hyperventilating is quite predictable and Obama will no doubt remind everyone of McCain’s proud and honourable service. But the problem is that Clark was careful to do this himself once you look at the context. Clark is no Wright! He has a much more distinguished military record himself even if it didn’t involve a tour of the Hanoi Hilton. The risk for McCain and the republicans in overreacting like this is that they will give Clark and Obama the opportunity to drive home the point that Clark is trying to get across. That ‘getting into a fighter plane and being shot down’ isn’t a qualification for becoming president, something that McCain supporters don’t seem to understand. To be sure it does no harm, but it isn’t a qualification, and to say so is not to smear McCain (unlike John Kerry’s swift-boating).

Continue reading

362 and the Price of Oil

Via Juan Cole, here is Ron Paul suggesting that the current price of oil may reflect Israeli/US threats to attack Iran.

The OPEC president agrees and forecasts that it may hit $170 before the year is out.

Continue reading

The Politics of Climate Change

In a comment on my Insanity article, Robert Duquette comments on George Monbiot’s critique of the climate change sceptics.

Monbiot should be careful about using an affinity of narrative to explain the global warming skeptics, because the same affinity can be used to explain the gw alarmists. Man-made global warming is the perfect, apolcalyptic morality tale. Monbiot also makes the mistake of questioning the motives of every scientists he disagrees with, while putting those who agree with him under no such scrutiny. Why not question the motives of scientists who work for governmental agencies, agencies that stand to increase in power and influence, and butgetwise, under any anti global warming regulatory scheme? When facts are not with you, question motives.

There has been a huge amount of tosh spouted by the environmental movement, with their own pathologies and a fondness for trying to persuade through fear and emotional manipulation. But these groups are distinct from government and climatologists.

Continue reading