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Obama's Ideological Discipline

11:45 PM, Aug 28, 2008 • By RICHARD STARR
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Well, that was certainly a spectacular show. And the speech was beautifully delivered, wonderful to listen to--if you could refrain from thinking about what he was saying.

If you couldn't turn off your brain, alas, the speech was full of baloney, not that a lot of people don't like a good baloney sandwich.

I was reading the text as he delivered it, wondering if he would ad lib at all. He departed very little from the text. I was especially curious to see if he might change his rhetoric about the war on terror and promise, just this once, to "win" that war. He didn't. The only thing he promised to "win" was the election. As he has done all along, he said only that he would "finish the fight." This is impressive ideological discipline. Obama's most ardent followers don't want to see America, or America's allies "win" the war. They only want it to be over. He indulged them twice:

When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 . . .

And then again:

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. [emphasis added]

People will criticize Obama's slander of John McCain, his claiming that McCain "won't even go to the cave where [Osama bin Laden] lives" when we all know that McCain would crawl on his belly into that cave under fire if you gave him the chance. But the real slander was Obama's associating himself with "the party of Roosevelt" and "the party of Kennedy." Those men would never have shied away from winning--not finishing, but winning--a fight against our mortal enemies.