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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not Appeasing McCain’s B.S., Anyway

posted by on May 20 at 12:48 PM

Obama’s rapid response to the “talk to Iran/talk to Hamas flap” was smart stuff. If you missed it, yesterday Obama asked what McCain was so scared of, given, for example, that Presidents Reagan and Nixon et al talked to the fully nuked up Soviets.

This is fine-tuned campaigning from a Democrat. Obama actually reframed the traditionally-doesn’t-read-well softy-lib position of talking to your enemies—as the macho position.

O is like: I’m not scared to talk to Iran or Hamas. (And by extension: I’ve got something to say to Iran and Hamas.)

Amazingly, the “sensitive male” position becomes bad ass in contrast to McCain’s ostensibly more macho “I’m not talking to them” pose. O reframed McCain’s tough act as a sissy cop out.

Well played.

And p.s. Pop quiz for McCain: Hamas. Sunni or Shiite?


RSS icon Comments


OMG, all of the "Where is Josh Feit" crowd is going to be having spasms of bliss over this...

Posted by DanFan | May 20, 2008 12:50 PM

Josh, shouldn't you be knocking back Mojitos and mumbling with Clark Humphrey about your glory days with the Stranger and how big your book is going to be?
Or at least filing resumes with the Tacoma Weekly?

Posted by Scott Dow | May 20, 2008 12:55 PM

I'm not sure the Kennedy thing helps him though. We talked to Khrushchev and APPEASED the hell out of him (see Turkey)because he had us over the nuclear barrel. It was the right thing to do but we're not in that position yet with respect to Iran and we should avoid that at any cost.

Posted by daniel | May 20, 2008 1:22 PM

important to remember that it was HILLARY who started this line of attack against Barack in the early primaries, trying to make him look young and naive.

but then barack turned the criticism on its head in a masterstroke of political ju-jitsu that could end up being one of the defining themes of his campaign. (i.e. hope & change, strength thru intelligence & diplomacy)

another example of why it's good that hillary's time is over.

Posted by brett | May 20, 2008 1:47 PM

I am so looking forward to the Middle East being a Last Century issue once the Bush and Clinton dynasties are over.


Oil is so last century.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 20, 2008 2:07 PM

@4 Quite true. The Clinton campaign did two things:

1. Robbed the McCain campaign of the opportunity to present many attacks on Obama (such as this one) as "original". Now, it just looks like he's recycling her old attacks that she started using months ago.

2. Gave the Obama campaign the chance to formulate a response strategy to these attacks relatively early on, so that he's now better-prepared when McCain starts making similar accusations.

Posted by Hernandez | May 20, 2008 2:21 PM

Obama can't keep playing defense. Here's a free tip. Label McCain "the most expensive Senator in America's history" Between the savings and lone scandal and the Iraq invasion scandal, he should be labeled "The two trillion dollar Senator" That should make the working class take notice.

Posted by Vince | May 20, 2008 2:50 PM

@7 brilliant point.

Josh is right, too.

But let's get used to having power -- is it really so "machoThey are the traitors, they are violating the constitution they are making us weaker we should be the ones calling them names they richly deserve.

Dems need to stop being wimps.

Posted by PC | May 20, 2008 3:16 PM

Kennedy wasn't appeasing USSR when he ordered the US NAvy to quarantine Cuba and said he would stop any ships that refused to be inspected. He used force and diplomacy (giving up missiles in Turkey).

Posted by PC | May 20, 2008 3:18 PM

The missiles in Turkey were obsolete at that point, anyhow (if Missiles of October is to be believed....)

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 20, 2008 4:24 PM

dont' think of an elephant is the playbook BHO is using to hit back. every response to an attack is a reframing. dems can't win fighting inside GOP frames. so don't.

he's going to smoke mccain in november. its going to feel really really good.

Posted by maxsolomon@home | May 20, 2008 5:10 PM

Appease was the wrong word. I can't believe I used that word when it's been so abused lately.

Still I think Bush / McCain's point about Hamas / Iran is to not talk to them to prove that they don't have any leverage on us. Obama says well let's talk and stop posturing about how you can't make us do anything because talking isn't a concession.

Dealing with the soviets was a bit different. Everyone knew the soviets had leverage... those thousands of nukes. So bringing that up in this conversation suggests that maybe they do have leverage on us.

Anyway I'm not going to claim that this is that brilliant of a point.

Posted by daniel | May 20, 2008 5:36 PM

Josh is back!
Be still my heart.

Now Josh, what happened. You were fired. Said sorry. Then what?

Posted by DanFan is right | May 20, 2008 7:01 PM

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