Barack Obama got a big win tonight, but what is most striking is how many votes were cast in today’s Democratic primary. South Carolina has been a reliably red state, but compare the vote totals in the two parties’ primaries. Obama almost exactly doubled John McCain’s total in the Republican primary last week, and Hillary Clinton nearly equalled it. Overall, around 90,000 more votes were cast in the Democratic primary than the Republican. So the tide continues to flow strongly in the Democrats’ direction.
Barack Obama gave a victory speech tonight; the text is here. No doubt some will characterize it as eloquent, but I think a better term is vapid. If you strip away the vaguely high-minded generalities, only two policy positions are (more or less) clearly stated. Obama wants to fail in Iraq, and he wants government-run medicine here at home. It’s hard to see anything either noble or unifying in these goals.
Tonight, Obama indulged, as he often does, in a ritual denunciation of lobbyists. Since there is no pro-Iraq war lobby, one can only assume that he blames lobbyists for his party’s failure, so far, to follow most European countries down the path of socialized medicine. Actually, though, the barrier to total government control of health care in the United States has been that a great many Americans understand that it is a terrible idea. Whether that is still the case, we likely will find out in November.
PAUL agrees: Obama’s speech was virtually content free. Obama declared that “there are real differences between the candidates,” but then failed to cite even one policy disagreement between him and his Democratic rivals. Instead, he made statements like the following:
There are those who will continue to tell us we cannot do this. That we cannot have what we long for. That we are peddling false hopes. But here