Saturday, August 16, 2008

McCain Obama; first Presidential Debate

I know this poor timing, but more than likely not a coincidence, that the last Saturday night of the Olympics is the first time Barack Obama and John McCain will meet in a Presidential Debate, excuse me, Civil Forum. The Forum will be hosted by Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in So. Cal.

Saddleback is a megachurch, and for those on the far left or those suspicious of any and all things religious, let me assure you, there will be no snake handling or speaking in tongues in tonight's forum.

I really like Rick Warren. Here is a guy as real as it gets when it comes to a public face of evangelical Christianity. His book, A Purpose Driven Life, is a bestseller and has made an impact on both the American church and non believers looking for life's answers. Rick is not a pop star, you will not find a video of him in a John Edwards style, two minute hair brushing and primping session. In fact, he looks more like John Madden than a slick televangelist. As a rather chubby guy who dresses in Hawaiian shirts and Dockers, the message Rick teaches is far more important than the messenger giving it.

So what is going to happen in tonight's forum? Will this be an evangelical ambush on Barack Obama? Will it be a conservative love fest for John McCain? No on both counts. Obama will have to show evangelicals that while he sat in the pews of Trinity United Church of Christ for twenty years, listening to his pastor and friend Jeremiah Wright preach his message of black liberation theology, he is still one of them. McCain has a hard row to hoe as well. McCain is not as open about his faith as Obama and he also has the baggage of Reverend Hagee to tote around. As much as the left likes to tie the anvil of Hagee to McCain, I believe Obama has a millstone shackled to him in the form of Wright. It will be interesting to see if either of these weights will sink their candidates in the general election.

I hope tonight's forum will do two things, get each candidate's world view out in the open and answer the question as to who they look upon to solve our nation's problems. I really don't care who comes across as the 'better Christian'. I want people to see how each candidate sees the world.

One of the core principles that concerns me about Senator Obama is his rather juvenile view of the world. If we could just all get along, if we could learn more about one another, if we could find common ground, we could live in peace. Now, who could be against that? I'm not against it, but this view is very dangerous to have as the basis of your foreign policy. The Palestinians and the Jews know all about each other, they do live together in Israel, where Palestinians have full rights and citizenship, yet there are good portions of the Palestinian population who want nothing more than to spill the blood of every Jew and drive them into the sea.

I'd like to buy the world a Coke is a catchy song, is just falls flat in the face of reality. Vladamir Putin can have all the Coca-Cola he wants, he'll just invade other countries to get get it. Oh, and by the Senator Obama, the UN won't do anything to stop it because Russia has a permanent seat on the security council with full veto power. He should know that if he wants to be President.

The other issue I have is Obama's idea of who should be fixing our problems. As the Senator with the most liberal voting record in the Senate, it is an unquestionable fact he think the government should right all the wrongs, make everything 'fair' and is ultimately responsible for our success and happiness. That is not the role I would chose for my government. The people who run the DVM and Medicare are the same people who are going to fix all my problems? Yikes.

McCain has issues of his own. His foray with open borders and the absolute failure of McCain/Feingold to reform money in politics are just the first in a series of thumbing the eyes of conservatives and republicans. He is right on the big issues, the absolute necessity of defeating radical Islamic terrorists where ever they are, and I could live with his brand of middle of the road justices he would nominate to the Supreme Court. He has a solid pro-life voting record, although he is not standing on the tables and shouting it to the rooftops, which is fine with me.
McCain seems to fall in the middle when it comes to self reliance and government omniscience. He looks to the government to fix a lot of problems, but he doesn't hold socialist ideals of Obama that the reason the 'poor' are poor is because the 'rich' have stolen it from them.

So what will we learn in tonight's forum? In the end, not too much.

Obama is a master of crafting an answer in vague terms and generalities, but tonight he will not have a teleprompter. When he speaks from his head and not from his prepared text, all kinds of crazy things can come out. McCain will more than likely get caught in a tongue twist or two, mistaking places or people, and I'm sure the press will take this as fact that he is rounding the bend and is too old to be President. I will have the DVR recording tonight, it should be fun.

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