A NY Times Editorial: Mr. Obama’s Moment

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now that others have helped set the stage, Mr. Obama must demonstrate his own passion and policy mastery. He needs to show that he has his own plan for solving this country’s many problems, from reviving the economy to rebuilding a broken military. That is especially true if Mr. Obama is to win the votes of moderate Republicans. Many recognize that President Bush’s terms have been a disaster but still see the Democrats the way Republicans have painted them: the party of a weak defense and economy-killing taxes.

This country certainly can use true bipartisanship — something it has not seen under Mr. Bush. But conventions, like elections, are partisan events, where candidates begin to define themselves for voters. At the 1932 Democratic convention, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised a “New Deal.” At the 1980 Republican convention, Ronald Reagan declared his revolution against “overgrown and overweight” government.

Without such clear choices, elections end up where they are now, wars of attack ads with voters focused on labels and minutiae.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

Posted August 28, 2008 at 10:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. William P. Sulik wrote:

I have great hopes for Sen. Obama, who I believe will be our next president (but not yet my vote), nevertheless, this one phrase, “...rebuilding a broken military…” is totally erroneous.  Our military is stretched and overworked, but not broken.  I believe it is strong and proud.

August 28, 11:48 am | [comment link]
2. Billy wrote:

What a horrendously one-sided biased editorial!  But what else is new from the NYT.  Funny how Mr. Clinton’s bombing of Libya, war in Serbia, utterly failed invasion of Somalia, were all unilateral endeavors, but NYT doesn’t even see them as failed policies.  I don’t see how NYT can be taken seriously as a “news” organ.  It is just a propaganda machine socialism.

August 28, 12:36 pm | [comment link]
3. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Ii have no hope at all for Obama.  Between his idiotic leftist politics, his associationa with unrepentant terrorists and the neo-fascism of his supporters wanting to silence his critics if not put them in jail, he will be, at best, the second Jimmy Carter and at worst, the single most disastrous president this country has ever seen.

August 28, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
4. Will B wrote:

Obama is about as empty a suit as we’ve had in many years and we’ve had quite a few.  He’s nothing more than a cardboard cutout for his handlers and part hacks.  Change?  no way; it’s business as usual!

August 28, 2:40 pm | [comment link]
5. adhunt wrote:

I believe in the ideals of Obama, and I believe that he is the right man for us.  I look forward to having him as our next President.  So does the rest of the world by the way.

August 28, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
6. Billy wrote:

#5, well hey, if the rest of the world wants him, then by all means, we should elect him!  What the rest of the world wants has always been in our best interest, ne c’est pas?  And you believe in his ideals?  Which ones?  The class warfare ones?  The negotiate with terrorist states ones?  The timetables for withdrawal from war zones, to allow the enemy to just wait until we leave ones?  The tax the rich and give to the poor ones?  The abortion on demand ones?  Give me some idea of what he has done, so we can know what he will do?  Or are you just for “change?”

August 28, 3:40 pm | [comment link]
7. adhunt wrote:

Hey thanks, I appreciate the tone.  smile

August 28, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
8. Billy wrote:

#7, hard questions make for difficult tone to hear, if one has no answers to give.

August 28, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
9. Alli B wrote:

The rest of the world wants him?  You mean the rest of the world that overwhelmingly says in polls that they think the US is too strong and needs to be weakened?  No wonder they want him.

August 28, 4:07 pm | [comment link]
10. adhunt wrote:

I believe overcoming the disparity between rich and poor by providing tax breaks to those who need it and increasing it on companies that make record breaking profits while I cannot pay my heating bill.  I believe in taxing the hell out of companies that bring jobs overseas, and ones that still want to burn fossil fuels.  I believe that a strong economy will come from renewing our energy practices.  I believe in breaking down class, racial, and sexist walls that do still exist in our society.  I believe in the cessation of a war that was never about our national security; how we spend billions on building bridges in Iraq while the 35W bridge in my backyard just fell is beyond my comprehension.  I believe that if we need to use our military forces it should be in areas that actually are in need of them (aka-Afganistan)  I believe that diplomacy is more Christ-like than nuking and war posturing.  I believe in making full health care available for even the poorest in this Nation is imperative.  Also to make a high quality education available for even the poorest immigrant.  I believe in raising the minimum wage to an actual living wage.  I believe that a first step towards eliminating abortions is to actually work with those we oppose in order to create working bill to drastically reduce all abortions.  As go abortions, I do very strongly disagree with the good Senator.  I believe in a man who has spend his adult life actively working to fix the social ills of our society and who continues to bring those ills to light despite some who find it to be “class warfare.”  I believe in allowing full civil rights to bound-gay couples and believe that the marriage issue is best left to the churches to decide.  Hopefully against.  I believe that listening to our ally’s is better than rampant American individualism.

August 28, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
11. Chris Molter wrote:

It’s going to be a huge disappointment after the swearing in when we discover that he’s just another lousy lying politician from Chicago.

August 28, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
12. adhunt wrote:

I do not share your skepticism.  But, even if you are right, how is McCain not just another ‘lying politician?’  Perhaps you will vote for Nader?

August 28, 4:34 pm | [comment link]
13. drjoan wrote:

The one thing Obama is crystal clear on is his position on abortion.  And that scares the *%$(@ out of me!
He claims that knowing when babies deserve basic civil rights was an issue above his “pay grade.”  At the same time he is specific about denying 8 1/2 month old aborted but alive “fetuses” (human babies) the right to be kept alive or to receive even basic “end of life care.”  He would allow his daughter to have an abortion if she “made a mistake.” 
Obama has many gifts including swaying a crowd in a “messianic” manner.  He proposes many things including CHANGE.  But he will NOT change his position on abortion and for that he will not get my vote.
And if, God forbid, he is elected, he will have the support of two Roman Catholics as abortion is continued.  Both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi weigh in on the side of “choice” (as does that Mormon Harry Reid!) 
May God forgive them.

August 28, 4:40 pm | [comment link]
14. Billy wrote:

#10, why does disparity between rich and poor have to be overcome, and who decides who is rich and who is poor - why does BO get to decide that $250K is all someone gets to make without having over 60% income taxes put on him, when other people don’t pay any income taxes but require more of the government services:  that’s the class warfare I’m talking about.  What’s wrong with companies burning fossil fuels - how else to get energy when the entire industrial world is built on the internal combustion engine.  And if you do get your power from wind or solar, how do you get it to the consumers, since the power grids aren’t set up for them or to handle them and the eco-terrorists won’t allow building new power grids or drilling new wells for oil anywhere.  Show me the class, racist and sexist walls you are talking about and I’ll show you almost always that such walls are economic walls that can be overcome by hard work and perseverance.  Tell me how our mililtary should be used ... take the advice of a man who has never served, who served a few years in the ILL Senate, a few years in the U.S. Senate (both without passing any legislation of his own origination) who has no foreign policy experience, who has taken a political trip to Iraq to shore up his campaign on how to use our military - enough said.  I think diplomacy is best, too, always, unless it weakens you, which his kind would, as Chamberlain found out (and “nuking” - who’s done that?).  I believe in high quality health care and education, also - but who pays for it?  Just because someone has worked hard, gotten an education, and makes a certain amount of money doesn’t mean they have to pay for someone else’s health care or education beyond the same percentage of taxes everyone else pays.  If the person that makes more money wants to give it to charity for such purposes, that is a noble and good thing to do, and it is what we are called to do by our Lord.  But it is not BO, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid’s place to take it from someone, just because they have the power of government force behind them.  And to try to raise minimum wage to support a family of four is absurd.  It was never so intended, and it will destroy the economy, as persons making minimum wage are laid off and small businesses go broke. Basic economics tells you this.  Now what has BO done all his “adult life” to fix the “social ills of our society,” and what are those social ills?  He has been a politician (again with no originated legislation of his own anywhere), and before that he was community organizer - but to do what?  Has he taught anyone to fish, or has he only given people fish to eat?  I think the latter, just like most of his liberal politician friends.  “Bound gay couples” already have full civil rights - they can have civil papers drawn up that give each other any right they want to have - full medical visitation and powers of attorney, full survivor rights under wills, whatever they want - no denying it.  Marriage is a sacrament of our church - are we to change it to satisfy the secular leanings of our culture?  Finally - listening to our allies?  We had more allies going into Iraq and into Afghanistan (each time) than we had going into Kuwait in 1990.  The only difference was Germany and France were opposed to Iraq (and we found out later why - France had violated the UN ban on trade with Iraq and France knew it would be found out).  Note that France provides no troops to NATO and Germany provides very few and has very few troops, since WWII.  And if you talk with any American soldier about working with the French, they will generally tell you that it is not worth the trouble the French cause.  All l’m asking you to do with all of this is to examine the formulaic words you are using, like “ills of society,” the “poor,” the “rich,” “class walls,”  etc. and see if they really mean anything.  BO’s main claim to fame in his campaign are high-sounding words for “change.”  And he is clearly very elegant sounding, in a prepared speech (not so good off the cuff or on his feet).  But what is his “change” really “from” and really “to?”  That is hard to answer; and if you can answer it, how is he going to pay for it?  And if his payment is going to come from those mean old corporations, what happens to all the people who have built their retirement accounts on those mean old corporations’ stocks or the employees of them who get laid off?  Or if it is to come from those making over $250K, is that right or just and what happens to the economy when those people decide working isn’t worth it anymore, and they decide to take early social security.  (And by the way, they fire their lawn service and their once a week maid, who are now added to the unemployment roles - these are small business people who are dependent on those with extra income - and yes, this is trickle-down economics, but it cannot be dismissed, because it is true and real.)  There are real consequences to Mr. BO’s idealism that he hopes no one concentrates on too much - he hopes people like you only concentrate on the idealistic principles before you vote.

August 28, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
15. libraryjim wrote:

Hey, adhunt, a lot of what you suggest should not be the government’s job at all. It is the duty of the private sector, and most importantly, the CHURCH.  so, we have to ask, since you are so fired-up about these issues:

What are you doing to solve these issues? Are you volunteering in your church’s soup kitchen and rescue mission? Are you donating time and money to charitable causes such as the Boy Scouts and Second Harvest and Habitat for Humanity? Are you giving time to alternative crisis-preganancy centers and centers for assiting unwed mothers? Are you helping set up charter and magnet and private schools in poor areas?

We shouldn’t expect the government to do these things for us.  It is the job of the PEOPLE of a society to care for each other, not schlep it off on the government. 

As to taxes:

Taxes won’t bring businesses back to the US, they will only a) drive more jobs overseas and b) drive up the prices here at home.

All Obama’s policies will do is drive the US further into debt and possibly a new depression.

Jim Elliott <><

August 28, 5:15 pm | [comment link]
16. St. Cuervo wrote:

Obama makes me sad.  He’s like one of the ancient Kings of Israel: capable, talented, devoted to to God, but he won’t lift a finger to bring down the “high places” (abortion mills) throughout the land.  It’s a modern tragedy really…

August 28, 5:20 pm | [comment link]
17. Chris Hathaway wrote:

Obama on bombing:
He is friends with Ayers an admitted terrorist who still is proud of his bombing and wishes he had bombed America more. Obama started his politcal career with a fundraiser at Ayers’ house, and he has served with him on the board of the Woods fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers is much more than “a guy who lives in my neighborhood”, as Obama has claimed. When a private group, American issues Group, funded by Harold Simmons, put out a political ad bringing light to this matter Obama’s camp tries to get the Justice Department to prosecute them, writing

We reiterate our request that the Department of Justice fulfill its commitment to take prompt action to investigate and to prosecute the American issues Project, and we further request that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute Howard (sic) Simmons for a knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits

But suppression of basic first ammendment rights are not the only tactic used by Obama and his party hacks. They also seem willing to arrest ABC reporters taking pictures of Democratic politicians going to private corporate fundraisers in Denver at the convention.

I forget, when did Bush have reporters arrested for filming in public, or for any matter?

I’d say this man was hollow, but I believe that there definitely is something behind the mask. We’ve seen it before.

August 28, 5:26 pm | [comment link]
18. libraryjim wrote:

As I understand it, very little reporting is going on of the protests and demonstrations being held outside of the DNC site. 

From what I heard on the radio today, a reporter on the scene (Rick Flagg, a local Clear Channel reporter) said the security is so tight to get INTO the convention, that once in, they don’t want to risk going outside again until they have to because there is no guarantee they will get back in.

August 28, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
19. adhunt wrote:

I wonder if there is a Solomonic way through.  If I respond you will only disagree with me more, if I don’t your post ‘wins the day.’  You simply wanted to know which ideals I believed in, not a systematic defense of a Democratic platform.  This I gave and it is good enough for me. 

A few corrections though.  You’re reinforcing the fact that marriage is a church Sacrament is a strange thing to bring up, as I made clear in my original post that I do not approve of the church blessing any such union; and so I did not suggest that the church take its lead from the society.  I also found your ending comment about “people like me” to be rather, inappropriate.  You do not in fact know anything about be except what you may have gleaned from the responses on a couple posts.  It may do you well to remember that before making blanket judgements.  Oh, I forget, to say “don’t judge” on this website automatically makes you a target.

And Jim,
I found your post even more strange.  Did I ever imply that I am just going to vote form Obama and sit on my couch and do nothing?”  How do you know what I simply wish to “schlep it off on the government.”  I actually have not been very ‘fired up’ rather I have clearly responded to what were fired up challenges to me.  Again you do not know me, what I do, how I act etc….We have a fundamental disagreement about “What the governments job is.”  Isn’t that the fundamental difference between the two parties?  Big government vs little government? 

There is no reason to defend myself against such outlandish overgeneralizations.  This site was pitched to me as a conservative Anglican website that was much more controlled than some others.  I have found that to be repeatedly wrong.  Most of you are old enough to be my father, and you need to get a grip on your tongue.

August 28, 6:17 pm | [comment link]
20. Billy wrote:

#19, with my tongue firmly gripped, I respond that I’m not interested in “winning the day.”  I’m interested in people who are idealistic getting a handle on the practicalities of their ideals.  You are correct that my comment about changing the sacrament of marriage was a non sequitur for your earlier exchange.  I stand by my comment about “people like you.”  My comment was not a judgment of you as a person, as you rightfully point out that I do not know you personally.  It was a comment based on your prior entries to this thread as a person full of idealism of good sounding things.  Mr. Obama is a good-sounding person.  If he is elected, I look forward to hearing his speeches for the next four years, much more than I will any other candidate who is running or has run against him.  He is eloquent in a prepared speech.  But the substance of his speeches and the practical application of them is my concern and my concern for persons of ideals like you.  Yes, undoubtedly I am older than you, and that may be from where my questioning of what these ideals mean, how they are to be accomplished, and what collateral effect their accomplishment may have.  As a young person, I didn’t think beyond many of the ideals of most liberal politicians I heard.  As an older person, I’ve seen too much to not raise the questions above.  So I’m asking you to do the same.

August 28, 6:32 pm | [comment link]
21. Dee in Iowa wrote:

You know, I’m going to vote for Obama.  But.  If John McCain should win, I will support him as my president until if and/or when he steps out of line, whether that be personally or in governing.  I read all the posts and quite truthfully, they are a little upsetting.  As a boss I used to have would say; “they’d bitch if you hung them with a new rope.”  Now folks, no matter which one gets elected, we have a new rope.  Let’s give the winner a chance before we hang him…...and please, no comments about “he’s not ready” or “just 4 more years of Bush”......try something original please.

August 28, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
22. adhunt wrote:

I was in my youth, as all Christians are (tongue stuck to cheek), a political conservative.  I didn’t think beyond many of the ideals of most conservative politicians I heard.  It was after finally looking beyond my held ideals that I came to be a left-leaning person.  I have asked and been asked the same questions you have raised before, I have come to different conclusions.

August 28, 7:07 pm | [comment link]
23. Alli B wrote:

“Maybe we should just call them Neandercons rather than Neocons.”
Charming.  What a loss for the Republican party to lose you as a constituent.  Your post is rife with generalizations which I seriously doubt you can back up.  The rest of the world has more faith in Democrats perhaps because the countries to which you refer are either Communist or Socialist.  And by the way, a recent survey done by a college professor showed, to his great dismay and surprise, that conservatives give much, much more to charities than liberals.  Another recent study showed that conservatives are substantially more honest than liberals.  You can easily Google these surveys.  And if you’re going to compare the present Republican party with Goldwater, you might as well compare the present Democrat party to JFK, who in no way resembles today’s democrats.  Pity, too.

August 28, 8:59 pm | [comment link]
24. Dee in Iowa wrote:

“a recent survey done by a college professor showed, to his great dismay and surprise, that conservatives give much, much more to charities than liberals.”  Probably true.  Now let’s have a survey of who is in the trenches when there is a need.  Bet the liberals win.
In the flood of 93, the conservatives gave money.  The liberals bagged the sand…...

August 28, 9:29 pm | [comment link]
25. Alli B wrote:

I actually doubt that more liberals are in the trenches either.  Christians and church groups, who are politically more conservative, are usually first and foremost in the trenches.  Also, the survey I cited surveyed San Francisco and Sioux Falls, Iowa.  The folks in Sioux Falls probably equate dollars with sweat, which I happen to agree with.  Here’s a llink, by the way:  http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2006/12/06/who_gives_to_charity

August 28, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
26. libraryjim wrote:


You are mistaken.  Here in Florida, conservatives and liberals both worked their tails off to help evacuate those trapped by flood waters. 

The conservatives—the fishermen, the hunters, the NRA-types - had the boats and 4x4’s needed to get into areas where the rising waters had cut off most access to even the most able emergency vehicles.

In cities where large inner-city missions exist, it’s often the conservative Christians who do the most staffing of the volunteer positions.

so, I challenge you assertion.

Jim Elliott <><

August 29, 10:36 am | [comment link]
27. libraryjim wrote:

By the way, this is from the ‘crawl’ on CNN news during the convention:

Frederick Douglass was the first African-American to receive a vote for president at a major party’s convention.  Douglass received one vote at the 1888 GOP convention.

Washington minister Channing Phillips was the first African-American to receive a vote for president at a Democratic convention.  Phillips received 67.5 votes at the Democrats’ 1968 convention.

The first African-American delegates to a Democratic national convention were seated in 1936:  The first African-American delegates to a Republican national convention were seated in 1868.

The first woman delegate to a Democratic national convention was seated in 1908. She was from Colorado.  The first woman delegate to a Republican national convention was seated in 1900. She was from Utah.

Republicans were first on all these issues.

August 29, 5:12 pm | [comment link]
28. rob k wrote:

No. 29 - America is not well liked by the Left in other countries, and never has been.

August 31, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
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