Another conservative for Obama

Monday, October 20, 2008

While not as big as Powell, Michael Smerconish is still fairly well known.  Powell doesn't seem to want to say much, but Smerconish isn't holding back:

"The candidates disagree as to where to prosecute the war against Islamic fundamentalists. Barack Obama is correct in saying the front line in that battle is not Iraq, it's the Afghan-Pakistan border. Osama bin Laden crossed that border from Tora Bora in December 2001, and we stopped pursuit. The Bush administration outsourced the hunt for bin Laden and instead invaded Iraq.

No one in Iraq caused the death of 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Our invasion was based on a false predicate, so we have no business being there, regardless of whether the surge is working. Our focus must be the tribal-ruled FATA region in Pakistan. Only recently has our military engaged al-Qaeda there in operations that mirror those Obama was ridiculed for recommending in August 2007.

Last spring, Obama told me: "It's not that I was opposed to war [in Iraq]. It's that I felt we had a war that we had not finished." Even Sen. Joe Lieberman conceded to me last Friday that "the headquarters of our opposition, our enemies today" is the FATA."

He raises some other good points, but this is the one that, IMO, puts Obama way ahead of McCain and is his most appealing position.  I still have a fair amount of problems with Obama on some of his policies and past acquaintances, but in some areas, he really stands out.  

14 comments:

Bob 4:11 PM  

Smerconish:
"My conclusion comes after reading the candidates' memoirs and campaign platforms, attending both party conventions, interviewing both men multiple times, and watching all primary and general-election debates."

Wow. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had this type of access and choose to be this informed about their vote?

Smitty 10:57 PM  

I'm just glad that there are people who normally wouldn't vote for a Democrat, who do indeed have that level of access, who then publish their thoughts. Those people have an audience.

"It's not that I was opposed to war [in Iraq]. It's that I felt we had a war that we had not finished."

And as we know today, it's that region; not Iran or Iraq, but Afghanistan and Pakistan where the shit is really hitting the fan...where we can actually "win" this thing (if such a thing is winnable).

I still have a fair amount of problems with Obama on some of his ... past acquaintances

Wait..wait...this is new. PLEASE tell me this Ayers shit isn't holding sway over you. I swear several posts ago you even said this "connections" stuff was bullshit. We know, per lastweek's posts, that you have justifyable problems with some of his positions.

Bob 10:08 AM  

The one thing I cannot undertsand is why some of these endorsers support Bush? Is McCain really worse than Bush? I'd say no.

steves 6:38 AM  

Wait..wait...this is new. PLEASE tell me this Ayers shit isn't holding sway over you.

I should have said minor problem. It isn't enough to really influence my decision, so don't worry. I don't think it was fair to say that Obama was "palin' around with terrorists," but I don't think Obama was up front about his past relationship with Ayers. I don't think they were best friends, but I don't buy that they hardly knew each other.

I would like to know what Obama thinks about Ayers' educational theories and I think that is a legitimate question. Suggesting that Obama may share Ayers' anarchist or marxist leanings is just silly.

Smitty 7:43 AM  

would like to know what Obama thinks about Ayers' educational theories and I think that is a legitimate question

Absolutely, I buy that. They did sit on a board that gave money for educaitonal purposes. The Republicans have their attack wrong,though. It's not that he hung out with a terrorist. It's that he shares strange educational beliefs with a fringe thinker, and is thus Wrong on Education(tm).

If, of course, he absolutely shares Ayers' beliefs.

steves 9:18 AM  

Kooky theories on education doesn't have the same impact as terrorist. The Republicans prefer fearmongering and name calling.

FWIW, I am not even all that familiar with the theories of Ayers. Most of Obama's ideas on education seem pretty reasonable, with the exception of having a service requirement for students.

Smitty 10:59 AM  

service requirement for students

I...kinda like having a service requirement for students. I was a boy scout, and it was my choice to do so. But there are plenty of people who, in high school, may have really benefitted from having to do something other than sit in the dugout after school and smoke weed.

Smitty 2:49 PM  

Let me kinda deepen what I meant above.

Sometimes, you need to take an action "for someone's own good." After a time, that "something" may become a habit, because people are used to having that "something" in their life.

Would it be so bad to create a compulsory community service requirement as, say, a requirement to graduating high school? The Michigan legislature came within a scant handful of votes from doing just that last session (2006, I believe...).

Compulsory military service is one thing; it's a lot to ask to force a citizen to die for his or her country, and a "volunteer" military is a better fighting machine.

But to make a stoner, geek, nerd, bandfag, jock, preppie or burnout work in a soup kitchen once a month as a requirement for graduation...is that really so bad?

steves 3:36 PM  

I was a Boy Scout, too. I think that kids should be active in some kind of volunteer service and I have no problems with parents telling their kids it is for their own good. I just have my doubts about a gov't program that mandates this. How would it be administered? What would be approved? How about volunteering at church, mosque, etc.? I just doubt that it could be administered succesfully.

FWIW, I have supervised people in comminuty service and it can be a royal pain in the ass.

Smitty 3:43 PM  

Michigan's attempt at it last year would be administered through school counselors. Sure, a kid could lie or get a push-over parent to sign-off on what constituted community service...

The attempted statute included any community service, including religious institutions.

The fact that school counselors would administer it left-out home-schooled kids. But the home school parents insisted in committee that they make their kids do shit like this anyway. Nobody argued the point.

Bob 4:00 PM  

"But the home school parents insisted in committee that they make their kids do shit like this anyway. Nobody argued the point."

You kidding me? Have you seen those kids wandering through the Capitol? Those kids are so pale and scared, it is clear they never see the light of day, let alone actually interact with the community.

steves 5:17 PM  

Michigan's attempt at it last year would be administered through school counselors.

This would require some serious cash. School counselors are stretched pretty thin. When I worked for CMH, many of the local schools contracted with us to provide services that they didn't have the manpower for. Most schools are also hurting, so I don't see this as workable.

You kidding me? Have you seen those kids wandering through the Capitol? Those kids are so pale and scared, it is clear they never see the light of day, let alone actually interact with the community.

I say BS. I used to believe this, but most of the HS kids I have met have been pretty normal, if not a little on the geeky side. Do you have kids in school? I do and I must say that there are some that are just plain scary.

steves 5:24 PM  

Bob, occasional poster and friend of mine, Tony, homeschools his kids. I am sure his kids aren't pale and scared and unable to interact with the community.

Smitty 6:41 PM  

School counselors are stretched pretty thin.

School counselors are one of my clients. They were neutral on the bill. They felt like they could administer it but that it would be impossible to enforce. Ultimately, good idea, but waste of resources better used elsewhere.

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