A recent Gallup poll of registered voters now has Sen. John McCain leading Barack Obama by four percentage points. How is that possible? The country’s current Republican president is so unpopular that even Warren Harding is wiping sweat off his brow in relief.
Good old garden variety logic would lead one to believe that the Democrats would be in the White House in 2009 and quite possibly stay there over the course of multiple presidencies.
All the Democrats had to do in this election was not screw up. That’s it.
And yet, in typical Democratic fashion, they shot themselves in the foot. In fact, in this case they seem to have found a machine gun, pulled the trigger and duct-taped it in place.
So what mistakes did the Democrats make, exactly? Let’s start with the primaries, a shockingly undemocratic system, anyway. Once it had finally boiled down to Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama the campaign got ugly. Support bases blasted away at each other with charges of racism and sexism, showing that even in the party of “hope” and “change” everything was not running as smoothly as an episode of “Barney and Friends.”
Clinton led a loud and aggressive campaign backed by supporters who, even on this campus, exhibited a fanaticism and fervor that surprised even me.
The very nature of the Democratic primary brought to mind an episode of South Park in which a kindergarten class attempted to elect a class president and brought what should have been a fairly simple exercise down into a brutal legal battle full of recounts and accusations in such a parody that only Trey Parker and Matt Stone could master.
The near disaster that was the Democratic primary left Obama with the difficult and painful task of working backwards. He had to backtrack to unite the party before being able to move forward with an agenda, whereas McCain could go full steam ahead.
Granted, McCain lacked the enthusiastic support of the Christian right, historically a major voting bloc for Republicans. However, with Obama running into his own religious closet skeletons, the problem for McCain was not as substantial as Democrats should have made it.
The candidate’s stances on issues of policy emphasizes the vast chasm that separates McCain and Obama with regard to political experience.
First, let’s talk energy policy. Obama’s plan, according to his acceptance speech, is to have the country completely off of Middle East oil in 10 years, a time frame that is far too long-term and arbitrary. Even if Obama served two full terms, that leaves the remaining two years up in the air, conveniently leaving the responsibility (and the blame should it fail) to his successor.
McCain stated in his acceptance speech that it was time to solve the energy crisis now, not a decade from now. McCain’s plan involves temporarily drilling oil at home while new technologies are developed and new nuclear plants are built. This begins to ease us off Middle East oil now, rather than sometime down the road after the next president’s tenure is over.
We have massive resources here in the United States and it’s time we tapped them, rather than rely on others to do it for us. McCain’s plan is going to boost a lackluster economy by generating jobs. We need people to develop the technology, do the drilling, transport the oil, build and monitor the nuclear power plants and build and monitor the nuclear waste sites. McCain’s plan is going to start generating jobs now, rather than sometime in the future.
Obama’s national defense policy is startling and disturbing. Obama was quoted as saying that he wants to “slow down the production of future weapons.” That, paired with Democrats claiming that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were failures, leads me to believe the Democrats are waving a double standard.
I’m not sure how one can point out failures in the American military while at the same time refusing to seek military alternatives. Americans are innovative and ambitious by nature, and here we are only restraining ourselves by restricting our innovation of new technologies.
The Democrats’ opposition to the troop surge in Iraq is also disturbingly partisan and short-sighted. The surge was a great success and casualties are so low, in fact, that media attention turned back to Afghanistan, which had been sitting on the back burner for years. I’m convinced the Left doesn’t have a clue when it comes to military matters. Electing Obama as president puts a man in control of the United States military who has neither served nor been responsible for the lives of soldiers.
The McCain family has a long military tradition and John McCain himself has not only served and seen combat, but was also taken prisoner and tortured for years.
McCain has learned firsthand what services to country means. He has learned the horrors of war and will treat our veterans with the dignity they deserve while showing restraint in the use of military force and the cessation of the torturing of prisoners.
Miraculously, Congress has managed to secure a lower approval rating than President Bush, so you’d think that when selecting a Vice President, candidates would look elsewhere. Senator Obama was not deterred and selected Senator Joe Biden from that Congress no one likes. Now that’s not change; that’s more of the same!
Meanwhile, McCain’s choice of running mate was brilliant. At the same time, he picked up the religious right and justified his energy policies.
Gov. Sarah Palin is a woman who sticks to her guns and practices what she preaches evidenced in her anti-abortion stance. When it comes to issues of drilling for oil in Alaska, McCain determined that we should probably seek the advice of an actual Alaskan, rather than relying on the not-so-informed opinions of the residents of the lower 48 states.
In an election that Democrats should have won, the Republicans have not only fought back, but have actually pulled ahead. All the Democrats had to do was not make mistakes, and yet instead they’ve decided to walk into a dark cluttered room and stumble their way across to a sad but unavoidable November disappointment.