That will fill the Democratic Party ticket for POTUS with two U.S. senators who, in hindsight, demonstrated very poor judgement how to resolve the sectarian conflict in Iraq: Obama didn't care and wanted out in 16 months whilst Biden wanted Iraq federalised and carved up into three sectarian states. Obama's position on Iraq could be summarised (in his own words) as "opposed from the start". Biden tabled a bill that would require George Bush to have exhausted all diplomatic options before launching the war only to have his proposal shot down.
In contrast, GOP presidential hopeful, John McCain urged for a change in strategy once the insurgency and sectarian strife became apparent. McCain criticised the Administration's steady-as-she-goes approach and pushed for the surge. Eventually, the President came around and adopted General Petraeus' counter-insurgency strategy. Result? Well, when was the last time you heard about a car bomb killing and maiming scores in Iraq? Oh yeah, that's right. Not for some time...
On a more recent foreign policy issue? Obama blames the U.S. for Russia's invasion of Georgia saying it should be a better example. At the time when Russia was bombing the crap out of Georgian targets, Obama urged Georgia and Russia to show restraint (because Georgia was also invading Russian territory right?). What about slow Joe Biden? Well on 7 August 2008, Biden called for Russia to "immediately...restore calm" (as if Russia wasn't a belligerent). Then after his trip to Tblisi last week, Biden stated that:
I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism...The continuing presence of Russian forces in the country has severe implications for the broader region. The war that began in Georgia is no longer about that country alone. It has become a question of whether and how the West will stand up for the rights of free people throughout the region. The outcome there will determine whether we realize the grand ambition of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.
Much better than Obama, but still slow. McCain on the other hand, from the outset of Russia's aggressive and unprovoked action called for Russia to "immediately and unconditionally...withdraw...from sovereign Georgian territory".
Guess which presidential ticket I think is the better one? Oh yeah, the one that still hasn't announced a running mate. That's who.
I have no idea how these people got my email address, but here's a short "citizen journalist" account of the 2008 U.S. elections that was sent to me earlier this morning. "The media is controlling everything". "Manchurian candidate", "cult", "orator of Germany that rose in 1930" are words and phrases that are used to describe Barack Obama in this clip. In my opinion the way that this clip is put together kind smacks of borderline trutherism applied to Democratic politics.
In order then that the social compact may not be an empty formula, it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone can give force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body.
And thus were sowed the seeds of the modern welfare state. FDR revived it under the banner of the "The New Deal". Australia's only sacked Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, sold "It's Time" for universal welfare to the Australian public. And now Kevin Rudd, a man known for his control freak tendencies, is peddling Mussolini-lite feel-good, nanny-state policies. Examples here, here, here, here, here, here, here and of course here (almost within the first six months of a three year term). Anyone feel like a Change?
Well, Messers Sauders, Humphreys, Dubossarsky and Samild ride to the rescue and provide us a contemporary revision of Rousseau's old dictum: choose to be free. Through a confluence of classic liberal and obscure libertarian ideas, they succeed in fashioning a prototype post modern welfare state. Their suggestions are well reasoned albeit controversial.
Rudd blunders his way through his first interview on Insiders for some time. Bad bad performance. Does anyone else think that Rudd is looking haggard and flustered?
Chris Uhlmann shines a bright light on the Gaia Worship. My goodness. I couldn't believe my ears. I can't wait for the transcript of this to be released. Here's the relevant quote (my transcription):
What strikes me most strongly about this debate is its theological nature. And that's essentially: that we have sinned against the environment; that we are now being punished; and that the only way we can escape that punishment is to wear a hair shirt for the rest of our lives. And hope that in the next life, and our children's lives and our children's children's lives, that things will get better. Now I am willing to sign up on that caravan. But there are many lunatics attached at the end of it. I do not believe every proposition that's being put. When the weather department can tell me what the weather's going to be like next Friday with any certainty and Treasury can get within a million dollars of the [Federal Government budget] surplus is going to be next year, I'll believe an economic model that marries those two things and casts them out a hundred years. I'll make one prediction: whatever number Garnaut [Australia's Nicholas Stern] puts on 2100, will be at least a trillion dollars either way wrong.
Andrew Bolt will be impressed. Has alternative transcription.
Update 6/7/08 11:30AM AEST:Bolt is impressed. Also, here's a prognostication on my part: Uhlmann's clip is going to be an internet sensation. Political blogs across the world are going to carry this one prominently.
And some context for our non-Australian readers: Uhlmann is a senior political editor for the ABC, Australia's government-owned media organisation. The ABC is a notorious leftist hangout. This was broadcast on the ABC's flagship political TV show. He was a seminarian. He knows religion when he sees it. I wonder how long Uhlmann is going to keep his job with the likes of "100-metres"Robyn Williams almost surely drafting up a huffy email to the ABC Managing Director.
Update 6/7/08 4:00PM AEST:Video is up and on right side of page link. Will have YouTube up shortly.
Update 6/7/08 4:15PM AEST: Uploaded this to YouTube with the help of reader, Tapir. As of time of update, YouTube is still processing this file. The still should be up in the next half hour or so. If you press play, the video will load. Relevant bit starts at about the 3 minute mark.
Courtesy of Lounge Lizard and from the keyboard of Richard @ Belmont Club in comments at about 8:41am on 2 July 2008:
The Left is the Mr. Hyde of Western civilization, and as such probably ineradicable for as long as the civilization itself exists. As practical matter, it has to be treated as a golf handicap. There’s no use railing against it. All that anyone can do is make allowances for their inevitable input.
Good suggestion. In fact was talking to some Young Libs tonight about this particular issue. The Liberal Party has no "Big Idea". Think "Change We Can Believe In". Or "Kevin '07". Yes those are empty. But precisely what do conservatives / libertarians believe in? In the first instance it is individual freedom. But for most people with a mortgage and a stressful job, this is an abstract concept. How to sell it to them? Perhaps Richard's suggestion could unlock a solution?
Self respecting conservatives could clearly not campaign on a platform of "Change". John McCain is trying "Change We Can Trust In" (amongst others). But really, what most people want IS change. Change from the run of the mill stuff: working hard to pay a mortgage, raise a family, or for the young amongst us, drink themselves silly, go to lots of concerts and get laid. Precisely how do conservatives pitch their principles of individual freedom in this political climate?
In a way its surprising that this has all come out. Neal is a nobody in terms of political clout. Even after she labelled a parliamentary colleague's unborn child a demon, little was reported about her behaviour. It was only after the Iguana incident that the media smelt blood. And went after her. And all those nasty stories that had been buried or that nobody cared to report because Neal is a nobody, suddenly became interesting. And I'm sure that there will be a few more reams written of her conduct and behaviour. She appears to be a very troubled soul. Maybe counselling isn't such a bad idea after all. Kudos Kevin.
I am now getting desperate. I want to be able to praise Rudd for something to show my bona fides as a commentator who can praise a good idea even from a bad leader, but Rudd’s eratic [sic] performance has me seriously worried.
He's the PM of Australia. How is he going to get the U.S., Russia, China, &c to disarm exactly?
And I think most Australians with half a mind would agree. Rudd is going downhill fast. I am beginning to put higher odds (albeit small, but non-zero) on a Labor Party leadership spill before the next election.
Conservative Lion, George Will, enters the liberal Colbert Den, with surprising results (H/T:Hot Air):
One thing I would like to say is that whilst Will is right about freedom, humanity being hewn of crooked timber and whilst his delivery is decisive, it is cold. This is something conservatives (and libertarians) have to fix if we would like to have a political future.