J-Fave Fred Kaplan of Slate rules in favor of Obama in last night's debate on foreign policy issues. He points out the fantastic -- fantastic in terms of being at utter odds with reality -- portions of McCain's statements and the relatively more informed statements of Sen. Obama. Of course, I still think it was a ridiculously boring debate lacking on important details of any kind, but Kaplan's assessment of McCain's utterly goofy ideas (a League of Democracies that not only might be by definition incapable of meeting its own objectives, but also is not backed by supposed members of a potential league) does show again, at least, that Obama would be the realistically better president (imho), even if he was as politically charmless and substance-free as McCain for the most part last night (again, imho).
Obama avoided any boldness, anything showing how he would fundamentally (not cosmetically) change course (a tax cut for the middle class and under is fine and dandy but hardly revolutionary), and gave a lot of non-answers. I think, at this point, I actually prefer John Kerry's debate performances, purely in terms of content. I often agreed with Kerry, once I deciphered what he meant to say it seemed like a great or challenging idea. When you boil down Obama's "nuanced" responses, they usually came out to something like "we should follow my plan, which is specified in detail elsewhere," or "McCain is wrong about this and I have the vision and ability to be right." That's not all he said, but it's the majority; nuance and substance is one thing, nuance and blather is another. I expected more of him -- though everyone seems to agree, he is a remarkably poor debater simply by dint of how his debating pales in comparison to his oration.
Oh, well. What can you expect from a nation that complains of elitism and punishes people for being or sounding too educated, even among our supposed leaders?
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