Was It Effective Demagoguery, Or Ineffective?

Fireworks! The perfect end to an evening of BS slinging of historic proportions. Barack Obama is a demagogue who will stoop to any lie or distortion; the question is how many people he can fool. On that, the jury is out. The answer will emerge between now and November.

It will take some time to dissect all of the foolishness we heard tonight, but here are a few observations:

Obama outlined, in the vaguest terms possible, countless billions or trillions of new federal spending. How would he pay for it? By “closing corporate loopholes”–like what? The idea that Obama’s orgy of spending can be funded by “closing corporate loopholes” is frankly childish. By increasing taxes on the top 5% of taxpayers, i.e., precisely those who are grossly over-taxed already. The top 5% already pay 60% of all federal income taxes. And by “eliminating programs that no longer work.” Really? Which ones? No one seriously imagines that Obama–let alone the Democratic Congress!–has any intention of eliminating any significant government programs.

Obama says he wants to become independent of foreign oil in ten years. How? By tapping natural gas reserves. I wonder whether Obama, unlike Nancy Pelosi, understands that natural gas is a fossil fuel for which we must drill offshore, in ANWR, etc. There was perhaps some news here: Obama also came out for developing nuclear energy, yet another flip-flop. But does anyone imagine that nuclear energy development would go forward in a Democratic Congress and White House? In one of his many cheap shots, Obama said that we import three times as much foreign oil as when John McCain went to Washington. That’s no doubt true, because the Democratic Party has enacted legislation that makes it illegal to develop our domestic resources.

Obama said he is happy to debate John McCain about who has the judgment and temperament to guide foreign policy. Of course, he has had many opportunities to do so, and has ducked them. Does this mean that Obama will now accept McCain’s challenge to a series of town hall appearances? But what about Obama’s foreign policy judgment? He barely mentioned Iraq–once, in the distant past, his signature issue–but never referred at all to the surge. Obama was dead wrong on the most important foreign policy issue that has arisen during his time in the Senate, and he failed even to mention it, let alone try to justify his error.

Rather weirdly, Obama attacked McCain for alleged unwillingness to “follow Osama bin Laden to the cave where he lives.” If this means anything, it means that Obama is still in favor of invading Pakistan. Again, no one really believes Obama will do this; it’s just another example of how he doesn’t feel any obligation to conform his words to reality.

He says we “don’t deter Iran by talking tough,” so how, then, do we deter Iran? Obama offers no clue. Likewise with Georgia; “talking tough” won’t stop the Russians. True enough; deterring the Russians requires military capability. Yet Obama has pledged to reduce our military capability. So how, exactly, are the Russians to be stopped?

Obama is utterly unreliable every time he recites a statistic. Examples could be multiplied endlessly; to take just one, he said tonight that “the average American family saw its income go down $2,000 under George Bush.” That is untrue. Here are the real median household income figures from the Census Bureau; click to enlarge:

Inflation-adjusted median income during the Bush administration is up, not “down $2,000″ since 2001, and it increased again last year.

Of course, Obama has no intention of appealing to the well-informed. Like other Democrats, he feeds on ignorance. Whether a majority of voters are ignorant enough to swallow Obama’s whoppers is, as yet, unknown.

One last thought: was there a single sentence in Obama’s speech that could not have come from Jimmy Carter?

To comment on this post, go here.

Responses