Thursday, February 01, 2007

Obama's Gaffe Should Rule Him Out

Following hot on the heels of Ming Campbell, Barack Obama has set a date for US troops to pull out of Iraq - 31 March 2008. However, he's gone one step further and proposed legislation to force it to happen. In this one announcement he has proved himself unfit to hold the office of President of the United States.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfitness to hold the office has not presented a bar to several recent occupants.

Anonymous said...

Should but won't. It will probably make him more popular amongst some Democrats.

Anonymous said...

I have friend in AL and "her boys should not be out there" ,me I WANT OUR BOYS HOME ,pull up the drawbridge and shoot any illegals who try to get in,but being a nobody and only get somebody around when they want to put me a cross for them , well this time I want payin

Anonymous said...

This posting is almost as naff as 'Mr Bumptious' talking patronisingly to anti-war protesters, just because they don't get their clothes made by their Savile Row tailor. Never mind, he's wet behind the ears, and a couple of 'gaffes' on Doughty Street will soon teach him the ways of the world. Or maybe 'Party Animals' will plant the seeding of some cross-party shagging, and he will realise that we leftie liberals aren't all bad.

chatterbox said...

Iain, I too am against setting these kind of timetables with the dates advertised. But I bet that he has done his homework and having just got an email from a rabid Republican American relative who is now for the first time questioning the policy of American troops remaining in Iraq, this announcement does not surprise me.
He seems to be very astute about the mood in America, and I would not underestimate him because he is advocating a different policy from the neocon's.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Iain, Unfair of me to put a 'false dichotomy' before you, but then George Bush did with his facile 'You are either for us, or for the terrorists' tosh.

So, If the situation in Iraq comes down to doubling the number of troops, or quitting, what would you do ?

Neither is attractive, both have snags , and both could go horribly wrong. But what would you do, Iain,

Double or quits, Double or quits ??

Paul Linford said...

I want John McCain to win so I rather hope the Dems choose Obama over the rather more formidable Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, it could get him the job. There is likely to be an auction between Obama and Hil, each wanting to get the troops home quicker than the other. In power, it may well be a different story and I egt the impression Obama is very, very smart. Fox News smear tactics are building up his support.

Anonymous said...

Iain "new Tory" Dale, (or is that in fact "old Thatcherite reject Dale?) why don't you just come out and say it instead of weaseling - no negro boy should be president in our whitey US of A? Never mind Iain, the KKK will be backing your Man of Destiny on the neocon fanatic mongo right. Who will presumably be Guiliani or Mcain. Who will proceed to invade Iran or something and further fuck the world on behalf of a small number of already super-rich businessmen in the States who want to be even richer, and who gull the mindless christian hordes with a load of flannel and laugh through the long nights about their wizard skills at conning the masses.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous at 11.20, oh why don't you crawl back into your hole. I supported Colin Powell in 1996 so if you really think that's the reason I wouldn't support Obama you are mad. Untl this morning I had thought he would be a really serious contender and I had praised him. Just because he;s balck I can;t criticise him? Is that your world? Well it ain't mine.

Anonymous said...

one major atrocity involving US troops, The sight of hundreds of body bags coming home, Obama will win by a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Iain is underestimating the ignorance of the average US voter. Decades of a deliberately-planned junk food diet (to manage the population and keep them under control), vast quantities of medication (same reason), sub-moronic educational standards and a decayed public sector (neocons say "yes"!) have led to a collapse population with the brain power of a small mollusc. All that matters in the elections are therefore instant micro-bites of completely content-denunded trivialisations-ad-extremis. In that game, this is a good one, although it would help with the Christoid vote if Obama was to pray to "holy jesus" on live TV and declare his hatred of Charles Darwin. Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

11:09 AM
I agree you posting is naff , your text comes out as if it has been scripted

Anonymous said...

IAIN you said being black is not a reason not to criticise.
But I say being Gay you wont let us criticise.

Iain Dale said...

Absolute rubbish. I have never deleted a comment on this site on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:25 you are right. To finalise election, Obama should also kiss Arnie in a terminator uniform, declare he hates all foreigners, kick an English baby (they really loathe us!) and call Hill (accidentally on an open microphone) a "simpering bitch" - result, 51-state sweep!

marquee mark said...

Iain, I don't think you have yet grasped the sea-change going on in US politics. Iraq is a poison to electoral chances in 2008 and the growing number of senior Republicans distancing themselves from sending the extra 20,000 soldiers is evidence of that. Obama knows that Bush is such an awkward cuss that he will go in the opposite direction of what Obama and the Democrats suggest. It guarantees that large numbers of troops will still be in Iraq afer March 2008 - for the primaries and into the November election.

And then Obama can point to the extra dead US soldiers and say they would still be alive if he were President. Corny and crass perhaps, but it jives with the mood in the US today. So when did a correct reading of the public mood qualify as a gaffe?

He is only a few months ahead of Hilary in his timing anyway. She wants all troops out by the time Bush leaves office - so by January 2009. Expect it to be the clarion of all the Democratic Party candidates - they will all demand an end to Bush's War before the next President takes office. Who wants to inherit a $3-4 billion a week tab for a war you don't believe in?

John McCain is looking more and more isolated as a champion of the war. I think his appearence at the Tory conference last year was a bad call by the organisers. He probably won't even be the candidate, let alone POTUS.

Obama's bigger problem is not his pronouncements, but his colour and his name - a great boon for the legions of slightly racist Islamaphobes who are already painting him as a "halfrican with a name too close to Osama to git ma vote". Fox TV even ran a piece claiming he was educated in a madrassa in Indonesia...

For all those who can no longer get their fix of bloodsports, don't be down-hearted - let US Presidential politics fill the void.

And worthy of note, if Hilary were to get elected and then win a second term, the US presidency would have been in the hands of just two families for 28 years -from 1988 to 2016. Democracy - it's too good for the people!

griswold said...

Obama is stating the bleeding obvious but it seems we don't like the truth up us. US has no role in Iraq and its presence acts as a catalyst to forces intent on creating complete anarchy. A civil war between Suni and Shia is raging. Saudi Arabia is bankrolling Suni and Iran is the power behind the Shia. US is an ignorant pig in the middle. When in a hole stop digging. But our false pride refuses to allow us to acknowledge the reality of the disaster created by the hubris of Bush/Blair.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is ridiculous, Iain and anyone else is allowed to criticise Barack Obama without being branded racist. I'm sure Obama himself would rather his ideas could be discussed without the colour of his skin being mentioned - especially by those who claim to defend him.

Anonymous said...

I think Obama's taken an astute risk - obviously bringing all the troops out on that date wouldn't be a helpful solution but he is more than in tune with a country that is rapidly swinging towards a more isolationist mood after it feels its been burned in Iraq. If Cameron was running in the US no doubt he'd do the same.

Gus Abraham said...

In this one announcement he has proved himself braver than Hilary and saner than George.

Gus Abraham said...

In this one announcement he has proved himself braver than Hilary and saner than George.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you may be right, who knows, neither of us, as far as I know, is Amer'can. But an unreasoned throwaway one-liner like "In this one announcement he has proved himself unfit to hold the office of President of the United States." comes over as petulant and, just possibly, racist.

Andy D said...

Nice to see the local idiots have managed to get their hands on a keyboard this morning....

Priam said...

Holy cow I've never witnessed such an incredible amount of stupidity gravitating to one place before with such speed.

If Iain were a racist I'd find the nearest hat and eat it on on the spot. Most of you seem completely clueless that while you stir up false accusations of racism, you then go on and talk about how all Americans are dumb?

If that were a fact I'd wonder why all the evidence points the other way? Americans invent all the best kit, get more Nobel prizes than any other nation, 18 out of the top 20 universities in the world are american, you're likely reading this using American software (Windows, Mac, IE, Firefox etc..), and lets not forget that America provides more foreign aid than Europe, I could go on.

I think it is you anti-americans who are the real bigots.

Alan said...

having been a supporter of Obama, believing him to stand for a new direction for America and a new confidence, this has shaken my support somewhat.
i am against a timetabled departure date for all the same reasons given above.
i think it smacks of political opportunism rather than what's best for the long-term stability of Iraq, the region and the world.

on the other hand, i don't feel like I have a firm enoguh grasp of the American public's attitude and feelings towards this to know how it'll affect the polls and his support. The November election and the public opposition to the "surge" showed that Americans want something different and a new direction, so it may well be electorally succesful.

Anonymous said...

Have to say that 'In this one announcement...' is unsufferably pompous.
But while this seems to be the mood, the sooner someone buys B Appleyard a grammar book, the more quickly he will discover the difference between adjectives and adverbs - what does he do for a living?

verity said...

Well said, Priam! The small-minded, bigotted, preachy anti-Americanism on this thread is nauseating. America excels at everything it essays. Live with it.

Re Obama, I cannot stand him. For one thing, this was an absolutely ignorant and simplistic comment to make. Who knows what is going to happen in the tinderbox that is the ME before March 2008? Certainly not Obama. And he wants a retreat written into law, having no idea what the picture will look like a year from now? What if Iran launches a nuclear device? How unutterably stupid.

I find him opportunistic in a sleazy, Blairesque way. For one thing, why is he running as a "black" when he is 50% white?

And frankly, I find his past a little too exciting and incident-ridden to think he capable of the steadiness of purpose needed to head up the most powerful country in the world.

And I don't like that three years in a madrassa, either.

Fortunately, besides being "black" (50%), he's very green and Hillary and all the pols with many years experience in the political front lines will eat his lunch. Hillary's probably oiling up the tank even as we blog.

I absolutely cannot abide this man.

presidentmonkeon said...

march 2008 is hardly soon is it iain? seems to me this fits with the current plan anyway.

Anonymous said...

Dons Tin Foil Hat, laves the Democratic Underground, gets into hate filled lefty mode, and says.....

Iain "new Tory" Dale, (or is that in fact "old Thatcherite reject Dale?) why don't you just come out and say it instead of weaseling - no negro boy should be president in our whitey US of A? Never mind Iain, the KKK will be backing your Man of Destiny on the neocon fanatic mongo right. Who will presumably be Guiliani or Mcain. Who will proceed to invade Iran or something and further fuck the world on behalf of a small number of already super-rich businessmen in the States who want to be even richer, and who gull the mindless christian hordes with a load of flannel and laugh through the long nights about their wizard skills at conning the masses.

Takes deep breath, removes tin foil hat.........

Yak40 said...

Priam, wellsaid.
Looks like Obama is starting to believe his own press.

Anonymous said...

Verity, you need to get your information from sources other than Fox News. Obama went to a school in Indonesia, it was not a madrassa.

Anonymous said...

Not until 2008? No, now! The top brass should just issue the order, and let Bush and Blair find out from the television like everyone else. Here and in the US, the returning forces thus shown would be cheered through the streets as heroes, and rightly so.

If the choice is between the draft-dodging Bomber of Belgrade's "Co-President" and a man who (like the wonded and decorated Jacques Chirac) has actually seen active service, then I hope that, in the absence of Jim Webb, war-weary Americans will vote for John McCain; again like Chirac these days, he might look dreadful on television, but he is extremely unlikely to go shooting up the world.

Og said...

I agree with the post completely. President also means Commander-in-Chief and no general worth his hard tack biscuits ever told his enemy or anyone else what dates to circle in their diaries.

Obama seems to be too callow a politician to have a realistic chance this time round. Keeping his powder dry is my suggestion. The prospect of a Kenyan goat-herder's lad becoming leader of the free world is too great an idea to bugger it up by rushing at it.

As for the king-sized prat who accused Iain Dale of racism, you should have your sensitive parts lopped off and sewn into your mouth.

Cornwallis said...

I didn't figure Obama as sufficiently anti-war liberal to do something as stupid as suggesting legislating a military manoeuvre. Pity, he seemed fairly decent otherwise.

verity said...

Anonymous 3:36 - You need to get your facts straight. It was a Madrassa. I don't watch Fox News, but only because I keep forgetting about it and I'm not that rivetted by American domestic news - except if it's about Texas.

Yes, it was Indonesia, and it was a madrassa.

As I said, Obama's life is a little bit too filled with incident for me. Even if I liked him. Which I do not.

He is marketing himself as America's "first black president", but he wouldn't be, because he is the result of a union between a black person and a white person. He could style himself "white" with as much legitimacy. It reminds me of Blair talking Mockney. He's a phony.

Anonymous said...

Verity, Americans operate on the one-drop principle: one drop of balck blood (i.e., one black ancestor) makes you black. Otherwise all the blacks in America, who all have some white ancestry (well, just look at a lot of them), would be white.

Which brings me to my main point. I suspect that there is something about Obama which has yet to be mentioned, and might never quite be said out loud, but which will matter a very great deal: he is not in fact a member of the highly distinctive mixed-race, primarily West African slave-descended people that was concentrated heavily in the South until the middle of the twentieth century, and then spread throughout the United States. In that technical sense, he is not an "African-American" at all.

Whether or not that was what an insider like Joe Biden meant when he implictly described Obama as more acceptable than past black contenders (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al), nevertheless that is what a lot of people will have heard, and I suspect are going to keep on hearing.

Yak40 said...

"Madrassa" just means "school".

I don't care what he did at that age but now he's to the left of Hillary, Edwards etc tho' he tries to hide it.

At present the media is pumping him up - just as long as he remembers they can just as quickly tear him to shreds when the next favourite appears.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm Iain Dal, Barak Obama.

Which of these is more skilled and truted to make life-and-death decisions about the fate of the free world?

LORD it's SUCH a toughie!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

However much the Tories try to reinvent themselves, there's a pompous reactionary duffer just below the surface, as Iain's post here underlines.

Iain Dale said...

Inamicus, just what exactly is pompous or reactionary about what I wrote?

Anonymous said...

The sentence "In this one announcement he has proved himself unfit to hold the office of the President of the United States". is exceedingly pompous. I'd also question whether this can really be called a "gaffe". It's a serious contribution to addressing the biggest issue facing America and the world at the moment. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it a "gaffe". The Tories have no credibility at all on Iraq.

verity said...

Yak 40 - In my experience, with the little Bahasa Indonesia that I speak, school is sekolah. Madrassa, I believe, refers to a muslim school. And I do care what he did at that age, because it is young minds that are the easiest to indoctrinate. So I care.

David Lindsay - I thought his grandfather, or perhaps it was his father - his history seems to be very confused - was a Kenyan goatherd?

Biden didn't say Obama was more acceptable than other black contenders. He said Obama's the first articulate black American. He has since apologised, quite rightly, as that was a foolish statement and I don't know what came over him.

Anyone who has ever heard Jesse Jackson speak knows that Jackson is a great orator of any colour. He's also a greedy lefty arsehole, but as a speaker, he is up there with the best. There have been plenty of other very articulate black Americans, including one of my favourite columnists, Thomas Sowell. I don't know what possessed Biden to say something so silly. I'm sure he could have kicked himself the split second after he said it.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, he's shownhimself to be the right man for the job. The failed strategies have been given long enough.

Anonymous said...

I think it's clear that race is, and will be, an issue with this Primary regardles of any views we have about that being a good thing or not. Probably a good airing of Obama's background is a good thing, but the Fox and Hounds of the far-right will be in full war cry with every slander they can find, of which Iain's is just a mild example - Barack Obama did not just make the statement he is purported to. I quote now from the website "American Patriot", hardly a bastion of the left:

"The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, a date that is consistent with the expectation of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group"

In other words, Obama is proposing legislation that sets an outer goal of 31 March 08 with the ISG proposal in mind. But that doesn't make quite such a good off the cuff anti-Obama remark does it?

Andy said...

I think you've misjudged the mood Iain. US politics right now on Iraq is very polarised. You either support the War and the President or you don't and you want to bring the troops home.

I suspect this is a response to Bush declaring yesterday that his successor will be the one who has to deal with Iraq. By making this statement, Barack is saying 'no they won't this is your problem.'

And of course, it's putting clear blue water between himself and Hillary, who is way ahead in the polls. ;-)

andy said...

And for the record, Barack is not running as 'the black candidate'. If he's running as any kind of niche, it's as the Washington outsider.

His skin colour has just not been mentioned. Even by those grubby little people at Fox.

verity said...

There's something about Obama that just doesn't gib. I am very suspicious of this fellow.

But his making decisions about when the war should end is clearly ridiculous. He doesn't have access to any classified information information - and I am guessing President Bush has failed to take Obama into his confidence ... What a jerk!

He will get a large percentage of the black vote - although maybe not as large as you think. There is a huge black middle class in the United States and they are going to vote for capitalism and liberty.

The blue collars won't vote for him at all because blue collar families are where most of the military come from and these folks are proud of their sons and daughters. That includes black blue collars, btw.

Hillary will eat his lunch. She is a barracuda. Depending on who the Reps run and how the economy is doing, it is perfectly possible to have another Republican victory.

andy said...

Fair enough Verity, but this is all about taking a position that differentiates you from the next candidate.

I think you're probably right about Hillary, she is an animal. She's well ahead of any other candidate in early polls, that's why I think Obama's taking this stance now. He's got nothing to lose by it, while she stands to look a little too close to the President's position.

Remember it was the War that won the Dems Congress, and it will be the war that wins them the Presidency. GOP are lining up to disavow Bush.

verity said...

Andy - the Dems barely squeezed in. It was hardly a landslide.

I think there's everything to play for in the next election. Hillary's machine will flatten Obama and leave him for roadkill, but if she gets the Dem nomination, she will alienate more voters than she'll win. If the Reps run someone charismatic (and someone who is not called Jeb Bush), they stand a chance of their candidate beating Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Verity, we are in complete agreement. I think Barack stands a much greater chance of winning the presidency than Hillary, but he won't beat her in the primaries. The Dems still haven't identified that factor that made Clinton electorally successful i.e. he appeals to non-Democratic voters.

Same goes for the Republicans though. Giuliani is hugely popular but won't get through the primaries because of his position on abortion, stem cells, gun control etc. Mind you I can't think of a single other Republican with any national profile, other than McCain, and he slides further down the pole every time he opens his mouth.

verity said...

Anonymous 8:46 Yes, it's the Republican candidate that's worrying me. I wouldn't count Guiliani out. (BTW, is he pro-gun control or pro-gun ownership? Haven't read that bit.) Jeb Bush cannot run this time. I don't think McCain, worthy as he is, will appeal to young voters.

Hillary should be a walk-over and I don't want the Reps to screw it up. I'm trying to think whether there are any charismatic Rep governors. Schwartzenegger wasn't born in the US. Hmmmm ... bit of a worry. I'll ask my friends in Houston what the buzz is. If any.

Yak40 said...

verity
If the Hildebeast wins it'll be time for Texas to declare independence :)

verity said...

Yak40 - It wouldn't be the first time. Texas has twice been an independent country. And it still retains its own airforce.

no longer anonymous said...

Are any candidates running for smaller government?

verity said...

The Reps usually have smaller government in their programme.

Personally, I'd like to see a Rep governor run. In general, they are more competent and better administrators than Democrats. Also, a governor has experience of being a CEO. (Mind you, it certainly didn't help in the case of Jimmuh Cahduh or Bill Clinton.) But Mr Bush's two terms as governor of Texas helped him develop a steady hand on the tiller.

Yak40 said...

verity
Think CAF a bit outdated !
Things are going to the dogs, we even had a gun control spot on a local rock station, message was "Use both hands", LOL.

Anonymous said...

makes no difference if he's running against that crazy c*nt Hilary Rodham. good luck to anyone opposing that byatch, i'D rather have a Republican again!

verity said...

Yak40 - I like it!

What about Chuck Hagel, by the way? Is he well enough known? Does he have a following?

Yak40 said...

Verity
Hagel ? Don't know much about him but don't like his attutude of late. I think he's just another ego. Must be a Senate thing, so many either already are or turn into, pompous asses. Some of the biggest being multimillionaire Democrats looking out for the regular Joe, e.g. Kerry, ha ha ha.

verity said...

Yak40 - So who are you looking at for the Reps? Looks as though McCain's going to be in a one-horse race? Surely not!

Any dark horses? Given Hillary, I think the Reps can win this. Not a cakewalk, but I think they can win.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick response to Verity about whether or not Obama is "African-American", a term invented by Jesse Jackson to describe people like himself: primarily descended from West African slaves (though with quite a bit of plantation-owner thrown in), found overwhemingly in the South until the twentieth century, and with a distinctive culture in terms of music, food, dress, speech, &c, not least including politics which are economically well to the left by American standards, but socially quite conservative (as demonstrated by the recent campaign for the Marriage Amendment), both for profound and very specific religious reasons.

Obama simply is not one of those people, and he appears to be acceptable to the Democratic high command precisely because, although he is black, he is not black like Jesse Jackson, or black like Al Sharpton. People who are black like Jackson and Sharpton, not to mention Jackson and Sharpton themselves, are going to notice this, and have nop doubt already done so.

Yes, Obama's father was originally a Kenyan gotherd. By American standards, that makes him simply black and simply not white at all, regardless of the fact that his mother is white; the same would be true if his great-great-great-great-gradfather had been black and his every other ancestor white. That's just how they do it over there. But it doesn't make him "African-American". And that is going to matter. A lot.

verity said...

David Lindsay - There's something about Obama I just do not like. How did a Kenyan goatherder make it to Hawaii? There would have been no demand in Hawaii for goatherders, and American immigration is tough. If they don't need your skill, you don't get a Green Card. How did he get in?

What was Obama doing in Indonesia in a madrassa?

You are correct. He is not the profile of an African-American. How this will play with African-Americans, I can't guess. They may regard him as an outsider. Added to which, he fulminates against the war, but a lot of African American families have a member of the military in them, and they are proud of them - as are their white counterparts.

So, I don't know. He's getting a lot of face time because he's a novelty, but I don't see him as having any substance. There's something flimsy about him.