Thursday, February 14, 2008

This, From Jaycee of Ventura County...

I’ve been wondering why so many people want to cling so tightly to this notion that Barack is all talk and no specifics, even though there is clearly little difference between the two candidates on policy proposals. It’s campaign spin, obviously, but it really seems to resonate with the uninformed for some reason.

It occurs to me that maybe people are just listening to snippets of their stump speeches, and they hear Hillary deliver her laundry list of proposals while Barack talks more in broad themes and soaring rhetoric. That’s just style, people; let’s not mistake style on the stump for a lack of substance. I suppose it’s just a question of taste, but when I listen to a stump speech I want to be inspired. I want to hear in broad terms where the candidate intends to lead us. If I want policy specifics I read books or policy papers.

The most that Hillary or Barack can say at this point anyway is what they want to do if elected. What they are actually able to do in office depends entirely on their ability to rally public support and play well with others. We aren’t choosing a dictator or CEO here. You can’t simply get elected and implement your wondrous plan. You have to convince a sizeable majority of legislators that it’s in their interest to work with you.

How many Republican legislators are going to think that it’s in their political interest to help Hillary Clinton score a major political triumph like a government mandated health care system? I can say with confidence that the number will be pretty close to zero. Their jobs depend on voters whose knees jerk in unison at the mere mention of Bill or Hillary Clinton. Government mandates aren’t wildly popular with this crowd either. What good is a plan that stays on paper?

Barack doesn’t start out with thirty five years worth of bad blood and a bunker mentality. He respects those he disagrees with and they know it.

We need to decide here what it is we really want.

Are we only interested in chalking one up for our side or are we serious about getting things done for the American people? With little to distinguish between them on policy proposals; the important question is not which candidate has more experience or the better plan. The real question is which candidate can best rally public support and enlist the cooperation of traditional political enemies to address the challenges faced by the American people?

I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious.

From FirstRead

1 comment:

Carl Rylander said...

I'm not sure how it works in America, Kristine, but I FEEL, though I can't prove,that politicians are not as powerful as they used to be. A lot of the policy is made by the civil service.

I know that Bush once said of somebody - 'I don't want a decision made, unless she's in the room'.

That's the president speaking!

That might be why Obama and Clnton are low on detail.