Commentary Magazine


Posts For: August 28, 2008

Nasty

Jen is right. This is without a doubt the nastiest acceptance speech I’ve heard in more than 50 years of watching conventions.

Jen is right. This is without a doubt the nastiest acceptance speech I’ve heard in more than 50 years of watching conventions.

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How Come He Didn’t Say Truman?

His hawkish section featured: “We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy.” Why didn’t he mention Truman, who did far more than Kennedy to keep America safe?

His hawkish section featured: “We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy.” Why didn’t he mention Truman, who did far more than Kennedy to keep America safe?

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Shameless

After challenging John McCain’s character for over 40 minutes he says it is something we should never do.

After challenging John McCain’s character for over 40 minutes he says it is something we should never do.

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Debate

Oh, so now he’s looking forward to debates.  That’s a new one.

Oh, so now he’s looking forward to debates.  That’s a new one.

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JFK and FDR

If they were on the ballot I’d feel a whole lot better.

If they were on the ballot I’d feel a whole lot better.

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Commander in Chief

His tone really changed here. He doesn’t even sound convinced himself. First stumbles in his speech.

His tone really changed here. He doesn’t even sound convinced himself. First stumbles in his speech.

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The New Message

Howard Dean said Obama would be unveiling a new message tonight, and I figured out what it is. Obama used to say average Americans had to choose between filling their gas tanks or buying medicine for their sick kids. He’s switched it to a choice between keeping your job or buying medicine for your sick kid. 

Howard Dean said Obama would be unveiling a new message tonight, and I figured out what it is. Obama used to say average Americans had to choose between filling their gas tanks or buying medicine for their sick kids. He’s switched it to a choice between keeping your job or buying medicine for your sick kid. 

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Bomb Pakistan

There he goes again. Let’s bomb Pakistan where Obama lives.  I think he just called John McCain a coward for not being willing to bomb an ally.

There he goes again. Let’s bomb Pakistan where Obama lives.  I think he just called John McCain a coward for not being willing to bomb an ally.

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Temperament

That’s what he says he wants to debate with John McCain. Right now the only angry, nasty politician in sight is Barack Obama. The yelling and personal quality of the attacks are entirely unbecoming. Shocking really.

That’s what he says he wants to debate with John McCain. Right now the only angry, nasty politician in sight is Barack Obama. The yelling and personal quality of the attacks are entirely unbecoming. Shocking really.

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Promises, Promises

Who is going to pay for all this? There just aren’t enough “rich people” no matter what the definition to pay for a quarter of this. Then he has the nerve to assure us it is all paid for and government isn’t going to do it all.

Who is going to pay for all this? There just aren’t enough “rich people” no matter what the definition to pay for a quarter of this. Then he has the nerve to assure us it is all paid for and government isn’t going to do it all.

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Line Item Veto

Did he just endorse the line-item veto?

Did he just endorse the line-item veto?

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Answering the “Doesn’t Get It” Charge

“John McCain doesn’t get it.” Of all the efforts to get McCain in this speech, this claim — which we will hear over and over again — is the one that sticks.  Tying McCain to Bush won’t really work with most voters who have been around for more than one election cycle.  But if McCain acts and sounds like a nostalgic old codger, he’s finished.  Bob Dole, in 1996, defended his age by describing himself as “a bridge to a time of tranquillity, faith, and confidence.” It was a beautiful line from Mark Helprin’s pen, but it was a defense of the past against the scourge of modernity.  Next week, the Republican convention can’t dwell on McCain’s remarkable record.  It has to focus  on the notion that McCain has always been ahead of the idea curve — even if it only half true.

“John McCain doesn’t get it.” Of all the efforts to get McCain in this speech, this claim — which we will hear over and over again — is the one that sticks.  Tying McCain to Bush won’t really work with most voters who have been around for more than one election cycle.  But if McCain acts and sounds like a nostalgic old codger, he’s finished.  Bob Dole, in 1996, defended his age by describing himself as “a bridge to a time of tranquillity, faith, and confidence.” It was a beautiful line from Mark Helprin’s pen, but it was a defense of the past against the scourge of modernity.  Next week, the Republican convention can’t dwell on McCain’s remarkable record.  It has to focus  on the notion that McCain has always been ahead of the idea curve — even if it only half true.

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Fantasy Island

I finally figured out who Obama reminds me of: Ricardo Montalban. This speech is pure Fantasy Island.  How is going to do all these things? I’m still waiting for something more than a pipe dream.

I finally figured out who Obama reminds me of: Ricardo Montalban. This speech is pure Fantasy Island.  How is going to do all these things? I’m still waiting for something more than a pipe dream.

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The Last Thing We Should Do. . .

is raise taxes on the middle class. But corporations and investors are fair game. It is economic mindlessness. But he’s on his roll — fiscal and economy sanity be damned.

is raise taxes on the middle class. But corporations and investors are fair game. It is economic mindlessness. But he’s on his roll — fiscal and economy sanity be damned.

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10 Years

He’ll make us energy independent in 10 years.  I guess that’s right after he stops the rise of the oceans.

He’ll make us energy independent in 10 years.  I guess that’s right after he stops the rise of the oceans.

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Nation of Whiners

Obama of course left out McCain’s sharp denunciation of Phil Gramm’s statement. McCain’s response:  “I think Senator Gramm would be in serious consideration for ambassador to Belarus, although I’m not sure the citizens of Minsk would welcome that.” This is the best he’s got? 

Obama of course left out McCain’s sharp denunciation of Phil Gramm’s statement. McCain’s response:  “I think Senator Gramm would be in serious consideration for ambassador to Belarus, although I’m not sure the citizens of Minsk would welcome that.” This is the best he’s got? 

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He Was Supposed To Be The Nice One

It is nearly 10:25 p.m. and we are still in the angry, attack, those “no good Repbulicans,” insulting mode. Whose idea was this?

It is nearly 10:25 p.m. and we are still in the angry, attack, those “no good Repbulicans,” insulting mode. Whose idea was this?

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Old Discredited Philosophy

Gee, I think it’s the Dems discredited policy of government will do it for you that is really coming through in this speech.

Gee, I think it’s the Dems discredited policy of government will do it for you that is really coming through in this speech.

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McCain Patronized

Barack Obama anticipates and attacks his opponent before saying anything about himself. At bottom, they still believe the winning formula is McCain=Bush=Obama victory. I don’t recall such a negative start to an acceptance speech. Ever.

Barack Obama anticipates and attacks his opponent before saying anything about himself. At bottom, they still believe the winning formula is McCain=Bush=Obama victory. I don’t recall such a negative start to an acceptance speech. Ever.

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Worn the uniform

John McCain did more than wear a uniform. 

John McCain did more than wear a uniform. 

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