Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guest Column: Obama Double-Speak

Double-Speak We Shouldn’t Believe In

Andrew Genz
Sophomore, Marquette Universiy College of Engineering

To the editor:

Fans fainting. Crowds screaming. Girls crying. Sounds like a Hannah Montana concert, right? One would think so until Barack “Hope and Change” Obama steps on stage. Never in the history of American politics has a presidential candidate attracted so much appeal in so little time. How can a man with less than two years in the United States Senate (if you factor in all of the votes he’s missed) be the presidential frontrunner and not be scrutinized by citizens, the media, and his fans? (Obama doesn’t have supporters, he has fans. Similar to those you would find at a Hannah Montana concert.)

Recently, news broke out that Obama’s senior economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, had a meeting with the consul general of Canada. In the meeting Goolsbee told Georges Rioux that Obama’s speak on NAFTA “should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” As evident in the March 4 primaries, this “NAFTA-gate” incident hurt Obama and proved that, despite popular belief, Obama is human. But Obama fans reply, “This was a one time thing. He won’t do it again.” Wrong. Obama’s double-speak has occurred again, but this time nobody is covering it. Samantha Power, the Obama advisor who recently called Clinton a “monster,” had other comments in her BBC interview that has the potential to be even more damaging than “NAFTA-gate.” The interviewer, Stephen Sackur, asked Power, “So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out [of Iraq] in 16 months isn’t a commitment isn’t it?” She responded that pulling out one to two brigades a month, Obama’s 16-month plan, was a “best case scenario” implying that Obama’s strategy to pull out of Iraq would probably be longer than what he preaches to his supporters. When it comes to Iraq, Democrats tend to like Obama’s position a little better than Clinton’s because Obama has claimed to have a set deadline. According to Power, he doesn’t have a “set” deadline and is no better than Clinton on the issue.

As a college student, it seems like I’m expected to support Obama. However, before being a student, I am an American citizen and as a good citizen I’m going to scrutinize and question all of the candidate’s positions. Obama prides himself on change. But from what I’ve seen so far, he’s no different than any other double-speaking, rhetoric spewing politician.

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Anonymous Evan said...

haha, this is ridiculous.

You couldn't have misrepresented Samantha Power's comments on Iraq any more grievously.

Her quote, in full:
"You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009. He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. He will rely upon a plan – an operational plan – that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn’t have daily access now, as a result of not being the president. So to think – it would be the height of ideology to sort of say, 'Well, I said it, therefore I’m going to impose it on whatever reality greets me.'"

So, what about that position do you find so objectionable?

6:18 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

So, what about that position do you find so objectionable?

The fact that he promised the hard left that he was going to withdraw immediately, no ifs, ands or buts.

So now it seems he didn't mean that.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

I don't recall the "no ifs, ands or buts" part. I think his campaign line is, "We need to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in."

But I still don't see the problem here. Does Obama want to pull out of Iraq? Yes, I believe he’s been clear on that. But is he stupid or stubborn enough to ignore the realities on the ground, the new information he’ll have at his disposal as President, or the advice of his commanders? No, of course not.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

John -

Can you provide a source for that promise Obama allegedly made? No you can't, because he didn't. Best case scenarios have never been sooner than 10 months, and that's not making reference to any specific speech. Please share your wisdom with us.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous joe stalin said...

John, I tend to agree with Greg. I think you used a little literary license/hyperbole. I also agree with Evan. Both indicate that Obama has no idea what he will do. He doesn't know the situation on the ground in Iraq. He isn't very knowledgable about the intelligence in the run-up to the war, as he was a back bencher in Illinois Rezko politics at the time, and given 2 or 3 weeks of intel briefings from his Secretary of Defense Jeremiah Wright, he'll know what to do. He knows what he'll do already, he'll cut and run and bug out, but he's just not sure of the timetable yet.
As for Samantha Powers, it seems Mr.Wonderful no longer requires her services. Why is that?
Back to the Iraq surrender. Obama is on record as saying he opposed the war. He wasn't privy to the intel, he wasn't a U.S.Senator and his proclivity to vote PRESENT whenever a sticky issue confronts him is troubling.
Yet PRESENT is what he claims not to have been when Jeremiah "the bullfrog" Wright made his vile/racially divisive/anti-American and hateful comments.
Seems Mr.Obama is really quite a mystery. He took off his U.S. flag lapel pin, yet he had 8 OLD GLORY'S behind him yesterday as props. He is unifier, and an agent of hope and change, whose own chosen Pastor is a racially divisive bigot. His wife heretofore has not been proud of her country, despite 2 Ivy league educations and a 7 figure income last year.
Again, Mr.Obama knows what to say, but hasn't a clue what to do.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's why I have a plan that will bring the troops home by March 2008" Barack Obama


Also, see Iraq war deescalation act.

Man, look at the time. It's late!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Well here's the language regarding March 08 in the Iraq War Deescalation Act:

(2) SCOPE AND MANNER OF REDEPLOYMENT- The redeployment of the Armed Forces under this section shall be substantial, shall occur in a gradual manner, and shall be executed at a pace to achieve the goal of the complete redeployment of all United States combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, consistent with the expectation of the Iraq Study Group, if all the matters set forth in subsection (b)(1)(B) are not met by such date, subject to the exceptions for retention of forces for force protection, counter-terrorism operations, training of Iraqi forces, and other purposes as contemplated by subsection (g).

The second part is pretty important - exceptins for force protection, CTops, training, and possibly other things.

Also, if you read the whole bill, you'll see that the President can stop the redeployment if certain benchmarks, which are spelled out in great detail, are met - i.e., if IRaqi progress really IS dependent on high troop numbers (130000ish), then this bill would allow for those numbers to be maintained.

Ahh, the devil is in the details. Still not sure if this constitutes a promise to the "hard left" for immediate withdrawal though.

3:52 AM  

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