Thursday, October 30, 2008

Answer the Question!!! (Part 1)

If you watched the Presidential debates, then you were probably as frustrated as I was when listening to our two Presidential candidates "answer" questions. It is almost as if they are allergic to answers. Just to give you an example, here was one of my favorite exchanges. The "answers" are long, so I will start with Obama's "answer" and then will post McCain's "answer". Also, I could not resist commenting on various paragraphs, so I put the "answers" in italics and my comments in plain font.


Since World War II, we have never been asked to sacrifice anything to help our country, except the blood of our heroic men and women. As president, what sacrifices -- sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we're now in?


You know, a lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11 and where you were on that day and, you know, how all of the country was ready to come together and make enormous changes to make us not only safer, but to make us a better country and a more unified country.”

You know when an "answer" starts like this, you are in for a very long, answer-free tangent.

“And President Bush did some smart things at the outset, but one of the opportunities that was missed was, when he spoke to the American people, he said, "Go out and shop."

“That wasn't the kind of call to service that I think the American people were looking for.”

Alright, straw man arguments. I love these. Is that what he said? Is that all he said? I'm pretty sure that was one of his suggestions about how to get the economy moving again. And actually, Bush said a lot of things around that time and had the highest approval rating (85%+) of any President ever. So, the straw man doesn't work here. But, I digress, because the question was about sacrifices and we haven't heard anything about that yet.

“And so it's important to understand that the -- I think the American people are hungry for the kind of leadership that is going to tackle these problems not just in government, but outside of government.”

Is that a sacrifice? Are we going to have to sacrifice our hunger for leadership for actual leadership that will give us the results that we crave? Wow. I don’t know about that. You ask hard things of us.

“And let's take the example of energy, which we already spoke about. There is going to be the need for each and every one of us to start thinking about how we use energy.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa…Do not bring up the “T” word. That is a huge sacrifice and I just don’t think Americans are ready to do it. What good ever came of "thinking"? But, as long as we only have to think about how we use energy, I might be okay with that. As long as I don’t have to do anything about it, I guess I could think about it a little bit. I'm fine with thinking about sacrifices as long as I don't have to make any.

“I believe in the need for increased oil production. We're going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they're not using, that either you use them or you lose them.”


“We're going to have to develop clean coal technology and safe ways to store nuclear energy.”

Please tell me there will be a sacrifice somewhere in here.

“But each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings. And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we're providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that's made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea, making sure that you are able to weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient.”

I'm glad he backed off of the "thinking" sacrifice so that now we only have to "start thinking". That means we get a little bit of pre-thinking time where we can warm our brains up a little bit before we do some actual thinking. At the same time, he mentioned Incentives, fuel efficiencies, and saving energy…these are the kinds of "sacrifices" I can live with.

“And that's going to require effort from each and every one of us.”

Effort? What effort? Is the effort in thinking about how we save energy in our homes? To be honest, that really doesn’t require much effort. I think it will come pretty easily. Now, it may require effort for energy companies to invent new ways of saving energy, but the question asked what Americans will have to do. I think that implied the general population.

And the last point I just want to make. I think the young people of America are especially interested in how they can serve, and that's one of the reasons why I'm interested in doubling the Peace Corps, making sure that we are creating a volunteer corps all across this country that can be involved in their community, involved in military service, so that military families and our troops are not the only ones bearing the burden of renewing America.

I think this is actually the first point you are making. And, in all honesty, it's not really a point. I’m not bashing the idea, but how does this have anything to do with the actual question? Doubling the Peace Corps – thus creating jobs – to help Americans is not a sacrifice to Americans. It could very well be a blessing.

“That's something that all of us have to be involved with and that requires some leadership from Washington."

Don’t try to tell me that we are all going to be down in the trenches doing this together. Politicians are going to be doing this and if their ability to answer questions has anything to do with their ability to work we are all in big trouble.

Did you hear a real sacrifice in there? Did you hear something like "Well, Americans are going to have to be realistic when applying for a home loan. And if they don't qualify for a loan, they are going to have to sacrifice home ownership until they can afford it." Or perhaps, "The rich are going to have to sacrifice some of their hard-earned money to help the poor."

There is nothing like that. Is this for real? This is really a guy who might be running our Country and he can't even answer a simple question? It just baffles me. For those who might think I am picking on Obama, wait until I post my rant against McCain's "answer".


Rachel said...

I think they send possible presidential candidates to a special training program where they teach them how to sound really cool not answering questions. Yeah that must be it, they can't all just be dumb!

Carrie Anne said...

james & i are loving your are you going to keep it up with law school taking up so much time? i keep checking for another post!! you are so hilarious & i felt the exact same way after the first debate so i didn't even bother watching again. i think you should re-post your family christmas card post from last year, too.:)