If nothing else, it’s been very amusing to watch how gender, race, religion and the war are affecting the primaries this year. For example:
John Edwards, speaking at a black Baptist church, lined up alongside Obama when Clinton clumsily tried to bring up the civil rights movement and suggest that Lyndon Johnson had as much to do with it as Dr. King.
A selected Edwards quote: “Those who believe that real change starts with Washington politicians have been in Washington too long and are living in a fairy tale.”
The fairy tale reference goes to Bill Clinton’s comment, about Obama getting a free ride on Iraq and other issues from the press. Speaking of which: I heard a good reminder on Stephanie Miller’s radio show yesterday that when the Iraq vote to allow force took place in 2004, Obama was working on his keynote convention address in support of Kerry/Edwards — and since Kerry was in favor of using force, the demonstrably anti-war Obama probably chose not to vote so as not to embarrass the candidate. (So now Obama, the good Democratic party soldier, gets thrown under the bus by his former president, who’s suddenly playing “tough guy” to defend his woman. Figures…)
With the above comment, I think the slowly-sinking Edwards is subtly positioning himself to potentially have a place in the Obama administration. He’d make a pretty good Secretary of Health & Human Services, for example, if not a V.P. Let’s see how long it takes Edwards to drop out and throw support to Barack after his mediocre showing in South Carolina…
On a less amusing note, there was a big reminder yesterday that Afghanistan is not and never has been the New American Disneyland of the Middle East (“It’s a Small World, Let’s Bomb It All”… sing it with me, people!) A Taliban bombing of Kabul’s top hotel killed an American civilian along with other Westerners and Afghanis — but just as importantly, it reminds those too focused on Iraq that similar violence and a slide back into chaos has already been happening for months outside of Kabul.
So… let’s make a Bush foreign policy checklist, shall we?
Upset balance of power in Afghanistan and make friends with duplicitous drug warlords, some of whom align themselves with second-string Taliban, all to push out the Westerners.
Destabilize Iraq and let friends-of-friends (Sunnis aligned with Saudi Arabia) fight it out with friends-of-enemies (Shi ‘ites aligned with Iran).
Stay out of the Israel/Palestine conflict entirely, in fact don’t even visit the region, until it’s already too late to do anything substantial about it. When nothing comes together, leave your successor to clean up the mess. (Did y’all see the cute Israeli pre-teen girl on video singing a translated version of “Over the Rainbow”? Who says $30 billion dollars can’t get you a good ticket to a show nowadays?)
Persist in believing General Musharraf of Pakistan when he pays lip service to battling terrorism, all while he puts genuine democratic voices under house arrest, or puts them to death. With friends like this…
Borrow money, mostly from China, to keep the American economy propped up. Then stand idly by while China’s unregulated and deadly-for-workers industries sell us unsafe products (including cars, starting this year)… products that managed to slip by unfunded and understaffed U.S. government agencies which Bush’s policies gutted in the first place.
That’s some list. Anything left? Oh yeah… South America, Africa, Antarctica — heck they’ve got whole continents where they still have a chance to make things worse than they already did the past seven years.
Uh-oh. I better start building my ark.