More Debate Reax

Radley Balko has the best substantive analysis:

Obama’s answer on the “Obama Doctrine” sounded like it was written by Sarah Palin.  He clearly didn’t have an answer about what criteria he’d use in determining which humanitarian crises are worthy of U.S. military force.  He was all over the place.  What we’re left is, then, is, “Iraq never posed a threat to the security of the United States.  Which is why we should have sent troops to Darfur, instead.”


The most depressing part of the night for me was watching CNN’s real-time reaction from undecided Ohio voters.  When Obama promised health care for everyone, promised that you could also keep your employer-sponsored health-care, promised to do all of this and bring health care costs down (he really must be Jesus), and capped it all off with a pledge to maintain the current system of employer-sponsored health care, his ratings were off the charts.  The Ohio group gave McCain his strongest marks when he promised to buy up all the troubled mortgages.  Is there any way to pull off this “democracy” thing without using actual voters?

Kerry Howley has the best line on the aesthetics:

I like how Tom Brokaw keeps saying that questions “come from the internet.” I picture lolcats shoving bottled messages through a series of vacuum tubes.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Democracy, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. sam says:

    Well, look, if Obama’s answer was vague, it was not less so that McCain’s. Here’s what Obama said, in part:

    [W]hen genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.

    And so I do believe that we have to consider it as part of our interests, our national interests, in intervening where possible.

    But understand that there’s a lot of cruelty around the world. We’re not going to be able to be everywhere all the time. That’s why it’s so important for us to be able to work in concert with our allies.

    And here’s what McCain said, in part:

    The United States of America, Tom, is the greatest force for good, as I said. And we must do whatever we can to prevent genocide, whatever we can to prevent these terrible calamities that we have said never again [sic].

    But it also has to be tempered with our ability to beneficially affect the situation. That requires a cool hand at the tiller. This requires a person who understands what our — the limits of our capability are [sic].

    I don’t know if any of us could have answered that question any better. All anyone can say, in truth, is that we will (might) intervene when and if we determine it’s in our national interest to do so. Radly’s piece would have been more persuasive had he outlined what he thinks would be a good set of criteria. But Radly has a pretty pronounced isolationist/libertarian outlook on most things, so I really wouldn’t expect him to argue, in any way, for intervention…anywhere.

  2. Bithead says:

    Did anyone notice that Obama seems here to be arguing against his own position on Iraq?

    [W]hen genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us


    By definition, wasn’t that happening in Iraq?

  3. sam says:

    By definition, wasn’t that happening in Iraq?

    Before or after we got there?

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    Before or after we got there?


  5. Bithead says:

    YA know sam I figured someone would ask that question… just didn’t figured it’d be you, for reasons, in retrospect I never really quantified. Clearly, I under-estimated at least one aspect of you.

    Clue: Do a little research into the Kurds.

  6. sam says:

    You’re right, Bit, I should’ve done the research.