Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama is the future

John McCain, campaigning last week, criticized the Democratic presidential candidates with that old "how-many-times-have-I-heard-it" Republican line: "They promise a new approach to governing but offer only ... a political orthodoxy that insists the solution to government's failures is to simply make it bigger."

Can't he at least come up with a criticism that has a fresh ring to it, a new insight perhaps into perceived Democratic failings? That line sounds like McCain has been on Mars during the last eight years of the Bush administration.

George W. Bush has brought us the bureaucratic nightmare of No Child Left Behind; the foot-soldier salaries for Big Brother wire-tapping, peeking into citizens' private records, extraordinary rendition and other violations of human rights; the public affairs apparatus to invent "news" stories and to squash scientific truths such as global warming. Not to mention a $1 trillion, trumped-up war in Iraq and a $9.2 trillion national debt, both of which McCain's policies would continue. Now that's what I call big government.

McCain is a member of the "been-around-too-long" political establishment. So is Hillary Clinton. They've got their handlers, their strategists who've been on the Hill forever and talk only to each other. They've got their strings attached here, there and who knows where else.

Barack Obama is inspiring because he's real. He says what he feels, thinks and believes—not what he thinks will win him the ultimate prize, eager as he is to have it. And, a true winner, he also has substance. His policies are developed, thoughtful and nuanced. He has led a brilliant campaign strategy and implemented it forcefully, indicating his choice of savvy advisors. He is growing every step of the way to the Democratic convention and people can see it.

Clinton versus McCain? Same as it ever was. Obama versus McCain? The future overtaking the stultified past.

Jima Rice

Blaine County

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