Obama has trouble expressing the “fundamental” difference between himself and McCain, but McCain gets right to the point. In last week’s debate he said “Well, you know, I admire so much Senator Obama’s eloquence. And you really have to pay attention to words. He said, ‘we will look at offshore drilling’. Did you get that? ‘Look at’. We can offshore drill now. We’ve got to do it now.”
That’s the difference between the two. McCain wants to act swiftly and decisively and Obama wants to consider each and every situation to make sure he takes the most correct steps; later in the debate McCain puts an even finer point on it:
“Free trade with Colombia is something that’s a no-brainer.”
After we heard that, my wife and I look at each other in astonishment.
She immediately asks me “Are there any ‘no-brainers’ when it comes to national policy or international politics?”
I personally don’t want any president, no matter how intelligent or gifted, to make any decision about my life and my country without thinking first. McCain sees the word as black and white and never the two may meet, but luckily Obama was able to clearly show the shades of gray and why there should never be a decision made without careful consideration to the details.
On the Colombian Free Trade Agreement: “the trade agreement itself does have labor and environmental protections, but we have to stand for human rights and we have to make sure that violence isn’t being perpetrated against workers who are just trying to organize for their rights.”
Yes, free trade is generally a good thing, especially with all that Columbia has to offer, but to take it as a no-brainer is to ignore the violence in that country caused by our free trade. Perhaps we should enter into a free trade agreement with Columbia, but the recent unprosecuted assassination attempts kinda makes it not-so-much-of-a-no-brainer for me.
On the subject of offshore drilling: “I think that we should look at offshore drilling and implement it in a way that allows us to get some additional oil. But understand, we only have three to four percent of the world’s oil reserves and we use 25 percent of the world’s oil, which means that we can’t drill our way out of the problem.”
This is a simple act of McCain willfully ignoring the second half of the predicate of Obama’s sentence. Obama said he wants to “look at offshore drilling and implement it…” I would think that McCain would agree with looking at offshore drilling and implement it, but since he disagrees this must mean he wants to implement offshore drilling without looking at it first. If we are to implement offshore drilling, wouldn’t it be good to look at the thing first? Don’t you want to know exactly how it will be implemented, or is just implementing it “however, you know…who cares” good enough?
In regards to perhaps the most controversial topic: “With respect to partial-birth abortion, I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there’s an exception for the mother’s health and life.”
Obviously Obama is pro-life. He makes no bones about it, and that might prove to be a blot on his scutcheon. McCain loves to uses Obama voting against a band on the partial-birth abortion, the worst and most revolting, despicable type of abortion, to show how immoral a man Obama is, but even this very clear issue is not entirely black and white. Imagine if you are in the situation where your wife will die if your baby comes full term? Your wife is unconscious so the decision is yours. Do you let your wife die to save the baby? It’s gut-wrenching to even write that sentence because…it’s a terrible, terrible situation to be in that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m sure you have an opinion about what you would do in that situation, but really think about it. Having to choose between the life and death of your wife is hardly a situation that I would call a “no-brainer”.
The examples can go on and on, and I hesitated to even bring up Obama’s pro-choice stance because I know that’s a touchy subject that does turn people I know and respect away from him. I bring it up, though, to show that no subject…no matter how strongly you know in your heart and soul what is “right”…can be treated without thoughtful consideration to all parties involved, especially when the decisions affect every citizen in the country and at times the world. Even if Obama disagrees with me on one or two issues that I hold to be of utmost importance, I cannot support a candidate that goes into any situation considering it a no-brainer. How can we elect a president that spurns the value of talking to foreign leaders, looking at projects before implementing them, and considering every aspect of a bill before signing into law? I sincerely trust Obama to discuss, explore, and consider all the issues for my best interest.
Both candidates ended their remarks with “these are very difficult times”. They are indeed difficult times…too difficult to have a president that is proud of not using his brain when it comes to the biggest issues.
Amid everything that was said last night “no brainer” is the phrase that seems to describes McCain best.