[digg-reddit-me]In February, John McCain observed that:
He has repeatedly criticized Senator Barack Obama for looking at the world with rose-colored lenses, for being naive, and for promising more than he could deliver
Let’s look McCain’s pie-in-the-sky projections released today:
After four years of a McCain administration, America will be more secure and working with its allies and partners around the world to make us safer. In 2013:
The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, violence is much reduced, and America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure.
There is a functioning League of Democracies that has effectively applied pressure on Sudan to agree to a multinational peacekeeping force to stop the genocide.
There is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven. An increase in actionable intelligence leads to the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants.
After four years of a McCain administration, the economy is stronger, Americans once again have confidence in their economic future and businesses are empowered to thrive. In 2013:
The economy is growing and Americans again have confidence in their economic future…
A top to bottom review of government and reforms yield great reductions in spending.
Public education is much improved due to measures that lead to increased competition, higher quality teachers, a revolution in teaching methods, higher graduation rates and higher test scores.
Health care is more accessible to more Americans than at any other time in history.
Medicare’s solvency has been extended and both parties have worked together to fix Social Security without reducing benefits to those near retirement.
The United States is on its way to independence from foreign sources of oil
Border state governors have certified and the American people recognize that after tremendous improvements, our southern border is now secure. Illegal immigration is under control, and the American people accept the practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely with illegal immigrants. [My emphases.]
McCain’s speech in Ohio is here. I’m not sure what the appropriate response is to this. All of these are fine goals, although most of them are significantly outside the control of the president. What McCain doesn’t do here is get into the specifics he so harshly criticized Obama for avoiding (unfairly I might add.)
McCain’s rosy projections are the very model of misleading rhetoric. Why else mention capturing or killing Bin Laden? Does he think that George W. Bush hasn’t tried? Or is he just assuring us that he will get lucky? And does he really think it will be that easy to “win” Iraq? Does “winning” require Iraq to become a democracy as he suggests once again here? Does he really think he’ll be able to stop the genocide in Darfur, secure the Mexican-American border, solve America’s entitlement crises, revolutionize education, and democratize Iraq all at the same time?
Barack Obama – for all of his soaring rhetoric – focuses on what he will do, and what we together can do. To his credit, Obama focuses on how he will change the processes and he promises to address the serious issues we face. But Obama has not shown that he has a messiah complex that would lead him to believe that, with his election, all the world’s problems would be fixed within four years.
And isn’t it planning for the best-case scenario that got us into the whole Iraq fiasco in the first place?
This whole episode reminds me of Al Gore’s SNL skit, except Gore was being ironic:
McCain clearly was not promising to accomplish all of these things. And we all know he (and the rest of the Right) would be attacking Obama for being naive and having a messiah complex if Obama had had the poor judgment to give a speech like this.
But the real problem is that he is making the case for his presidency here by assuming the best-case scenario in every single area of policy. That’s irresponsible. That’s naive. That’s empty rhetoric.