Sunday, 24 August 2008

Too polite to fight?

It’s amusing to read Patrick Buchanan’s slashing attack on the paid lobbyists for Georgia who are also high-ups in the McCain campaign. Buchanan uses the overheated language of easy outrage you expect to hear from conservatives and Republicans, like ‘treason’ and ‘dual loyalties’.

That’s a little rich but certainly makes you think about McCain and not in a good way. My question is, Why don’t the Democratic candidates or their surrogates ever reach for the jugular that way? How many different ways could the Obama campaign have blasted the many disasters the Bush-McCain camp have caused when instead they settle for defanged, almost polite, objection?

They too could have made hay over the serious setback to U.S. interests caused by the Georgians’ foolishness. One can easily imagine how the narrative would have gone had Senator O been in the White House and the neocons sitting on well-deserved sidelines. They would have jumped all over the encouragement given to the trigger-happy former lawyer from Brooklyn that eventually backfired so disastrously. They would have called it amateurish, dangerous posturing carried out without a back-up plan—Who Lost Georgia? they could have shouted at the rooftops.

They would have said Obama and the Democrats can’t protect us, that the country needs strong, tough, and world-savvy leadership (flags waving in the breeze). And they wouldn’t have cared if their rhetoric made a bad situation worse—that’s the way the game is played on their side.

In fact, someone recently pointed out that the Republicans really don’t have a foreign policy; they have a set of domestic policy goals, and they use the world stage to carry them out. That would be going too far, but why doesn’t the ever-too-loyal opposition ever point it out? Politically speaking, the Dems have a arsenal that would make James Bond jealous, but it takes a wild man like Buchanan to let loose with any of the weapons.

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