Obama was throwing out stuff left and right. "I will lower taxes on...." "I will fight for...." "I will lift up my hands to the heavens, and fix...." "If you have enough faith, you can touch the hem of my garment and the tumors will be gone...." Et cetera. Etc. Etc. et freakin' cetera.
These issues are the Democrats' draft picks for the 2008 election: Change, lower taxes for people like us, getting out of Iraq, Change, cutting out corruption, punishing people who aren't like us with higher taxes, Change, and a charismatic black guy. Most of this stuff won't stick, despite being Focus Grouped, Mall Tested, Photoshopped, and Field Surveyed. And if, for instance, the Democrats' official objection to drilling for oil in Alaska fails to resonate with voters? That proposal will be cut from the team quicker than a 12th round draft pick.
Obama could've come out strong on gay and lesbian marriage, he could've proposed reforming our idiotic drug laws, and he could've said something about bringing the troops home from the 45 nations where we're currently paying them to sit. He didn't mention them, despite those issues being "owned" by the Democrats.
This week, McCain and his new draft pick from Alaska might advocate Free Trade, genuine Free Market agreements, school choice/vouchers, getting the insurance companies and lawyers out of my doctor's office, breaking the lobbyist stranglehold, and cutting the size of government by about 50%. He might mention those issues, but if elected he won't do anything about them, despite those issues being "owned" by the Republicans.
The main reason?
They don't have to.
They can get by with just talking about it. As long as these problems remain out there, unresolved, they're effective wedge issues. What would happen if, for instance, "Morning After" contraception was suddenly available from vending machines? What would that do to our carefully defined political dividing lines if the abortion issue was taken off the table? Can you imagine the chaos? Voters would wander off into different herds.
We've gotten very good at fighting over abortion, and would miss it terribly.
The Dems and Reps know you won't "waste" a vote on anyone else. They want you to think that you have no other choice. (I've stopped using the term "3rd party". I'm now calling the Libertarians a 2nd party. Rep's and Dem's are the first party.)
You're being told that there's a battle going on for the soul of the nation, that all of this is very significant, and that this matters more than who wins American Idol.
That's total horsecrap. This election makes the Cowboys/Vikings preseason game look like The Battle of Thermopylae.
The only battle is for driver's seat. Neither of these groups will change the direction of the car.
The main differences between Thursday's Cowboy's/Vikings preseason game and the Democratic and Republican Conventions?
The football game really did have two different teams on the field.
Go Bob Barr !
Cowboys/Vikings photos from ladybugbkt on Flickr. McCain/Palin from Castro News Network. Obama/Biden from The Holy New York Times.