Watched Obama’s speech

I didn’t really want to watch, I wanted to see the Cubs game but my father and step mother wanted to, so… I hear people raving about his speech, and it was a pretty good one. I did notice a few bones thrown towards those of us with more libertarian outlooks. He talked about personal responsibility, parental responsibility, the importance of reducing parts of the government that don’t work, and the freedom to work towards our own goals.

I read a Cato thingy about how the Democrats might be in a position to appeal to libertarians. According to their polling, up to 25% of people in the US have what would be considered libertarian tendencies (defined as wanting smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and strong civil liberties) even if they don’t consider themselves as such. That could make for a significant swing vote. Traditionally, libertarians have voted republican. Truth be told, there really hasn’t been a libertarian republican since Goldwater. The republicans have held onto the “smaller government” mantra for a while. They did, that is, until this president. I think W. has actually added more to the government than LBJ did, and that’s something. Add to that the ongoing social conservatism, and the absolute trampling of the constitution and civil liberties, and it’s not hard to to come up with reasons libertarians are a little dissatisfied with the republicans. The Democrats have held the high ground on so called social liberties (especially with gay rights), but have an awful record with other civil liberties like issues of gun control and other, more mundane liberties like what you’re allowed to eat (see the NYC ban on transfats and the busting of street vendors in San Jose for selling bacon hot dogs against city ordinance..). I do think those things have been overshadowed by little things like the denial of habeus corpus. So the dems reaching out to that group is, I think, significant. It isn’t just trying to look more centrist, they are actively courting the libertarian-minded voters.

I think it will be fun to watch McCain throw W. under the bus in the upcoming convention. It’s really his only chance as far as I can see. I’m not sure how the democrats can screw up this election, but we should never underestimate the incompetence of the democratic party…

Just remember this. As good as Obama’s speech was, it had no more significance than any other soliloquy given by any actor. Anybody can say anything. Anyone can promise anything. Talk is cheap, talk from politicians is worthless. I think the comparisons to Abe Lincoln are a little premature. Obama has yet to actually do anything, Abe has a pretty significant legacy. The appropriate response to Obama’s speech is, “Prove it.” He has promised the moon, with no downsides. He has laid out ideas with absolute certainty that he knows what is best and has taken all contingencies into account. In short, he made a very good POLITICAL speech, we should take his ability to do any of this stuff with many heaps of salt. Right now, he is saying what he needs to say in order to get elected, nothing more. Why would you trust him more than any other politician? He is what he is…

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2 Comments

  1. Quoted freely from “2010: The Year We Make Contact”:

    “In his speech, he quoted Lincoln; you always know a politician is going to get us into trouble when they start quoting Lincoln”

  2. Also, he hasn’t done anything Lincoln did:
    No terrible war ended;
    No sorely divided country reunited;
    Nobody made free.

    Another quote coming on, this time from “1776”:

    “Incredible! We’re free and he hasn’t even left yet!”
    -John Adams, referring to Richard Henry Lee.

    Pity that Obama/Biden is so much better than the alternative, which isn’t saying much.

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