Results tagged “John F. Kennedy” from onegoodmove

Voting for Obama: It Just Feels Right

Barack Obama is a superb public speaker. He is often compared to John F. Kennedy and he has received Ted Kennedy's endorsement. He has inspired many and brought new people into the political process. I voted for Obama in the primary because I believe his ability to speak well among other things makes him more electable than Hillary Clinton.

But, lets take the comparison to JFK seriously. I think JFK was a great president, but I also think he is quite overrated. He is often considered to be in the same league as Lincoln, Washington, and FDR. What is it that he accomplished as president? What major legislative achievements did he have? It's easy to find some mistakes he made. The Bay of Pigs was a disaster. JFK agreed to the use of free-fire zones, napalm, and defoliants in Vietnam. He also escalated U.S. involvement in that mistake. In 1963, the Kennedy administration backed a coup against the government of Iraq. The CIA helped the Baath Party government by providing them with a list of suspected leftists and Communists. The Iraqi government used that list to murder untold numbers of Iraq's educated elite. Saddam Hussein is thought to have participated in those killings. These are all some pretty big policy mistakes that any good progressive would oppose. Kennedy was a great speaker and very inspirational. That was a good thing. I also think it explains why JFK is over-rated. I just listened to Kennedy's Inaugural Address again, and again I was stirred when he said, "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country..", but we should not confuse that feeling with real accomplishments that make a real difference. That feeling should not make us think that JFK was on a par with FDR or Lincoln.

Stop. Think. Are you feeling angry now? Do you want to wrap your fingers around my neck and squeeze? Are you ready to snap off a snide comment? This is the reaction that I want you to be aware of. Your anger at me clouds your judgment. Do you think I just said JFK was a bad president? If you think that is true go back a read the paragraph above again. That's not what I said.

Obama's speeches are inspiring as well, but what evidence do we have that he can actually achieve something meaningful like universal health care. He is starting from a weaker position than Hillary by not supporting mandates. We can look at his voting record in the Senate. It's not that impressive. Lets not confuse the good feelings we have listening to Obama speak with evidence that he is actually going to make a difference. Just having a feeling about him isn't evidence. Obama's supporters sometimes act as though he can do no wrong. The level of hostility toward Charles Lemos and others who have criticized Obama is telling. We should not allow our emotional reactions to Obama's speeches cloud our ability to think critically about his candidacy. And so I say, ask not does Obama feel right for our country; ask if Obama is right for our country.

Please note: this post is not by Norm I didn't vote for Obama in the primary. I wasted my vote on Edwards, as a protest. This post is from my errant son Chris who is supporting Obama.

Links With Your Coffee - Friday

  • Huckabee Claims He’s Ready to be President From ‘Day Six,’ LITERALLY!
  • Romney To Spend More Time With His Money
    Mitt Romney explained today that he was dropping out of the U.S. Presidential race in order to spend more time with his money. Romney said that the time on the campaign trail had really harmed his ability to spend "quality time with my bills."
  • Racism and Sexism on Super Tuesday
    Barack Obama squeaked out a narrow win on Super Tuesday to expand his small lead in the pledged delegates. While many of the exit polls were off as predictions, these polls do provide us with one of the best national tests of to what extent voters will admit to racist or sexist motivations. And they also tell us an important fact: Obama was hurt by race-based voting, while Clinton was greatly helped by gender-based voting. More Democratic voters admitted to racist motivations in opposing Obama (an average of 2.88% of the voters) than admitted to sexist motivations in opposing Clinton (an average of 1.83%). Overall, the racist vote outweighed the pro-black vote for Obama by an average of 0.5%. By contrast, the pro-woman vote for Clinton outweighed the sexist vote by an average of 5.0%. That’s a 5.5% swing in each state. The continuing significance of racism (beyond the expressed levels of sexism) was a key factor in why Obama didn’t win a decisive victory over Clinton on Tuesday.
  • CAPITOL WATCH: Lieberman No Longer a Super Delegate
  • When It’s Head Versus Heart, The Heart Wins
    Science shows that when we are deciding which candidate to support, anxiety, enthusiasm and whom we identify with count more than reason or logic.
  • The Joy of Writing by Wislawa Szymborska - John Baker’s Blog
    Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
    For a drink of written water from a spring
    whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
    Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
    Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
    she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
    Silence - this word also rustles across the page
    and parts the boughs
    that have sprouted from the word “woods.”