Thursday, January 31, 2008
I have to say tonight started out looking pretty good for both sides until the end when Iraq came up. I'll get to that later. Ovearll they both did pretty well and I, for the first time since this whole process started, felt good about the individuals on stage tonght even though I have major issues with both of them still using GOP framing and rhetoric.
Sen. Obama won in my estimation for three reasons: (1) his answers on immigration showed the compassion I'm looking for whenever we discuss immigrants even though Obama mouthed yet another GOP line they need help to learn english. They always seem to be framed as "them" and somehow not quite equal on a human scale with us and Hillary projected that tone, (2) on the issue of economics he mouthed nearly what I'm looking for when comparing economic policies with the GOP and saying fiscal responsibility comparisons are very welcome. Obama nearly, but not quite, used that dreaded "L" word, and finally (3) making sure that his Iraq positions were crystal clear - opposition from the outset gives him the strongrest credentials on national security.
Now that I've given my reasons why Sen. Obama won I am forced to address the issue of using, once again, GOP talking points and issue frames. I am refering to both Clinton and Obama's attitude toward the Iraqi's as something less than adult humans. A reminder here of just what has taken place is called for first:
WE invaded THIER country; WE gutted THEIR infrastucture; WE killed THEIR civilians; WE enabled sectarian strife to go critical mass into civil war; WE allowed the complete breakdown of civil authority and mass looting; WE dictated to THEM what Democracy was supposed to look like in our own image, WE imposed the CPA on THEM; WE are telling the Iraqi's they must do this and do that and modify their behavior to meet certain criteria for further relations.
I am struck that both candidates continue to adopt the GOP line and attitude towards the Iraqi's like they are children who need to be "guided" and we are the paternalistic wise ones who will show them the way. We keep telling them, repeating here - TELLING THEM you have to meet certain deadlines. At worst this sounds as racist as you can get and at best it makes us look like imperialist assholes. Can't you just feel the love? Obama and Clinton both telling the Iraqi's, "Hey, times up! We're leaving now so you need to do this and that and make sure this is happening by this time and act this way and be so damn thankful for us just being here and shedding our Americanism all over you." Obama saying we have to be honorable made me want to throw up. Hey, Barack, honorable left a long time ago my friend.
Look, here's a novel idea. Just get the hell out. Advise the Iraqi's Bush was NOT representative of American values. Advise them we are leaving NOW. Make sure we offer them help, economic packages and ADVICE only within the context of us LEAVING. And leaving NOW. No deadlines. No ultimatums. Just leave.
Oh, and btw, those "civilian contractors" as Hillary so kindly called them are nothing but god damned mercenaries. A pox on both of them for this crap. Especially Obama as well for not picking up on this in the first place. Those Bushian cowboys should be left on their own. I mean that's the conservative creed isn't it? Mavericks and we are only responsible and accountable to ourselves? Damn, I'd love to see them practice what they preach.