Monday, June 16, 2008

McCain Invites Obama to Town Hall Debates

Barack Obama did a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing was that Obama told his audience that African-American men needed to be there for their children. Obama said that the black community was most beset by "MIA" fathers. Obama's language these days is liberally spiced with military terminology, in case you hadn't noticed. Obama said African-American fathers were "AWOL" at parenting. It can't be said enough. A huge number of the screwed-up black kids in the school systems were raised without the support or presence of daddy. When Bill Cosby said the same thing, the liberal media stomped him. Nonetheless, Obama said the right thing, and should say it again and again. Black children shouldn't be abandoned, neither emotionally or financially, and neither should any other children.

The bad thing Obama did over the weekend was to position himself as the victim of a GOP attack machine. Cut me a break. Obama plays the victim too frequently. That's very ironic for a man of privilege who received generous scholarships at Harvard. Obama wants to engage the GOP and John McCain in a Kubuki style puppet show. If he really wants public theatre, he should take McCain up on his offer of Town Hall debates with no restrictions. Maybe that's too "street" for Obama, who seems lame when working without a prepared script and a backstop of campaign advisors.

Obama engages in quite a bit of puffery as he seeks to enlarge himself beyond a limited experience. In his use of military language, I'm sure someone is sure to note that Obama himself was "AWOL" on the single foreign policy opportunity he had as chairman of a foreign policy European committee. During the year of Obama's chairmanship, he didn't convene one single meeting. He could have helped secure European support for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He did nothing.

Obama's latest bit of failed puffery is when he used the too common cliche of "bringing a gun to a knife fight" in reference to political competition. That's an infantile and inappropriate hyperbole, suitable for an 6th grade audience perhaps. Perhaps if Senator Obama was willing to "bring a gun to a knife fight" in Afghanistan or Iraq, the trope might have some sustenance. But Obama uses the hyperbolic reference to engage a particularly effete element in American politics, those who blow and don't show when the whip comes down and the bullet hits the bone.

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