Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Biden & Powell Show

The presidential campaigns, otherwise known as silly seasons, have entered the home stretch, this fact alone cause for one to breathe a deep sigh of relief. Both camps have bent so far over backwards to accommodate every whim and fancy of the public – real or by them imagined – that they are now insulting the intelligence of the body politic, which instinctively and on the basis of history knows that the rhetoric is just that – rhetoric, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The inanity (that approaches insanity) reached a new intensity on the 19th in Seattle when democrat veep contender Biden promised – that’s PROMISED – that within six months after the election there will be a crisis. His words: "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy." He probably meant the "Cuban Missile Crisis" of October 1962, which did not come within six months of Kennedy's administration that began in January 1961 but nearly two years later. Nor did the world try Kennedy's resolve, just Nikita Khrushchev and the Russians.

The proper analogy, of course (what did Biden know and when did he know it?), had to do with the disastrous "Bay of Pigs" episode in April 1961, a mere three months after Kennedy took office. With Kennedy's approval and expected full-support, the Cuban freedom-fighters took on Fidel Castro and his murderous communist army but did not receive the expected support and were thoroughly and bloodily defeated. This was Kennedy's "world" challenge during the first six months and he failed miserably. One's eyes glaze over at the thought of what Cuba might be today if Kennedy had acted differently, but one thing is certain – there would have been no missile crisis in 1962, with the whole world wondering at the possible devastation caused by a "hot war" instead of the "cold war" that was in place between the USA and Russia at the time.

Biden, obviously without realizing it, was making the point that there needs to be a seasoned statesman at the helm if a threat actually does take place within six months…or any number of months. John McCain would fit that role, notwithstanding that Biden called Obama a "brilliant 47-year-old senator." Indeed, his comparative youth and grossly apparent inexperience vis-à-vis those of McCain prove the point. Biden's foot rests – whether comfortably or uncomfortably – in his mouth much of the time…like the time in a democrat debate (conducted by ABC's Stephanopoulos) when he said, concerning Obama, that the presidency is no place for on-the-job training.

Colin Powell got into the silliness act, also on the 19th, when he indicated on NBC's Meet the Press that Sarah Palin would not be ready to be president if called upon. That may or may not be true, but the fact is that Palin has run and is running the government of the largest and most strategically located state in the Union. Her executive government experience is more extensive than that of Obama, Biden, and McCain. Powell also has never run a government, so he seemed a bit silly. The fact that she has far more experience than the man in the top spot on the democrat ticket, considerably inferior in experience to his own veep choice, simply proves that Powell has an agenda, perhaps already including a "trade-off" position in an Obama administration in exchange for an endorsement.

The Powell-position in that interview that rankles the most, however, was his glib position that it would be okay for even a Muslim to aspire to be president of this country. His statement: "Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?" That question went away beyond the pale, and he should apologize for making it, especially to all those who have lost family members and loved ones at the hands of states whose governments are actually run by Muslims. Either Powell is totally ignorant of the spiritual demands of Islam, one of which is that the infidel (translated American) must be killed whenever possible, or he was trying to offer an apologetic for an African American to be president – a purely racial thing, in which case he was playing the "race card" and should apologize for that, also. He's had all the best of it with respect to opportunity and had no business being that divisive.

Powell is entitled to support Obama but can't escape the disloyalty involved, especially being given the positions by Bush 43 and Bush 41, respectively, to hold the State Secretary and Joint Chiefs offices. One got the idea in watching his performance that he was maybe indulging in a bit of "payback" time. It was Bush 43 who actually was the mover and shaker in Desert Storm and Powell probably blames Bush 41 – instead of himself – for what he now probably considers a mistake vis-a-vis his speech at the United Nations prior to the Iraq Conflict. He was his own man and if he didn't feel comfortable with his job he should have resigned. On Meet the Press, he was forced to defend that speech, but allowed, in typical buck-passing mode, that the Congress had already voted Bush authority to conduct a war.

Actually, one can't laugh at the silliness…times are too volatile for that, militarily and otherwise. When adding a feckless Congress, the actual reason for the current financial crisis, to the campaign madness/silliness, one totals up misery. One thing is sure, to wit, the candidates, media, and public are so self-centered right now that there's no mention/concern much for those in the hellholes of Iraq and Afghanistan, another way of saying that treasure trumps blood and national security is secondary to personal greed. Sad.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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