Rainbows have been a sign of hope in fable from the Bible to legends of magic and leprechauns. There is always a hope that the person we elect will make a difference, and that the achievements of these great men will touch and benefit us all as a nation.
What was clearly evident in this debate was that McCain is not good at projecting that rainbow. Obama painted one with dozens of colors, and McCain painted reality in a somber brown. McCain has the inherent trait that he does not want to promise what he cannot deliver. Obama has the inherent trait that he will promise anything whether he can deliver it or not. There are many more colors in Obama’s palette, but that is because he makes you imagine the paint instead of actually having to apply any of it.
The latter technique wins debates, because it paints that colored arch of promise. It leads Americans, especially those less educated, to believe that there is a pot of gold to be found at the end of the election.
Here is the reality. At the end of Obama’s rainbow, there is no pot of gold. All there is at the end of Obama’s rainbow is an inexperienced man that would be President.
When Obama speaks of health care, he speaks of covering people with pre-existing conditions, but he does not say how he will pay for it. He challenges McCain on his tax cuts. But anyone with third grade math skills can easily understand that 300 billion in tax cuts is only 1/3 of the government spending that Obama incorporates into his plan. The questions that had to be asked by McCain weren’t. McCain just plain was not aggressive enough. It may have to do with the platform, which did not allow enough challenge of the other’s positions, but these are the questions that McCain missed.
1. If Obama is going to cover pre-existing conditions for health care, where does that money come from? Does it come from those that are healthy in America? You bet. Will people with health problems just be able to jump on the train now at everyone else’s expense? How could that possibly be paid for? Get some numbers and pin the man down.
2. Senator Obama, you say Republican tax cuts will total 300 billion dollars, but you are also offering tax cuts. How much will those cost and how could you possibly believe that will be made up by only taxing people that earn over $250,000 without destroying small enterprises. Someone has to pin this man down on the costs of his programs. Where does the money come from?
3. On every topic Obama speaks to, he talks of spending. We will need money for education, health care, Social Security, Medicare, foreign aid, energy independence, blah blah blah. But he has no way to pay for any of it other than some absurd idea that taxing people making more than $250,000 will make any difference at all. He sounds like he has his wallet open to help America, but what he has open is America’s wallet, and it is empty.
On the McCain Front:
McCain is easy to debate. He is just too much of a straight shooter. He doesn’t want to tell you there is a rainbow if there isn’t one. He doesn’t speak of spending for everything in creation while promising a pot of gold.
Problem is, if you don’t promise the pot of gold, and your opponent is, you have to challenge the other man’s pot by calling his bluff. McCain was challenged on how he would fund his tax cut, but didn’t take the opportunity to drill Obama on his tax cut or his spending programs. A simple response, “You promise a tax cut plus all 900 billion dollars in new spending. Specifically how much will your tax cut cost, then add on your 900 billion dollars in spending and tell America how you will pay for that? Here is a piece of graph paper and a pencil, show us.”
It is sad to see McCain being weak in the debates because we have no faith in Obama. We believe he is the same hollow promise campaigner we have seen many, many times in our past. And we also believe that if he wins this election, all we will hear for years as his policies fail, is that the Republicans made it worse than he thought. He has built up the perfect excuse and continues to make promises he knows he can never hope to meet.
We believe that America wants that pot of gold. They will follow the candidate that calmly promises it to them. And for that reason, we believe Obama won this debate. He won it with false promises and false hopes that Americans want to hear. And McCain failed to challenge him appropriately to bust the concept of the Obama Fantasy Island.
While McCain is a poor debater, we also believe the formats being chosen for these debates, especially this debate, clearly favor Obama. He overstays his welcome, overruns his time frequently, and leaves little time for the other side. He also gets to answer questions from people that have no chance to challenge him on his response. They ask a question, he answers and it is done.
We would prefer a face to face debate. One in which each man confronts the other, one in which the promises of one can be clearly challenged by the other. This debate clearly did not cater to that and we do not think that an accident.
Obama comes across as confident and cool. McCain comes across as uncomfortable and stressed. As long as that is true, it is like listening to a story at bedtime. As you doze off to sleep, there is just the story. It takes you over as you gradually doze off to your slumber. It wishes you happy dreams as you hear of the characters of the story (in this case us) living happily ever after. Obama tells that story well, but we believe that under Obama’s leadership, our cradle will rock, the bow will break, and down will come America, cradle and all.