Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both spoke, among other panderers politicians, at the convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars the other day. These speeches are always interesting, if somewhat disgusting, since the audience is ex-military and the speaker dares not be the least bit dovish.
I have found transcripts of both speeches in their entirety. Try not to let the initial commentary influence you as you read what Hillary Clinton had to say, and then read Barack Obama’s speech.
Lots of posts are attacking Clinton for “supporting the surge,” but to me that is an inconsequential aspect of her speech even if it is an accurate assessment. This speech is Clinton at her worst, pure pander festival, filled with “I talked with a young mother in Kansas” and “I talked with 50 soldiers at Fort…” These phrases sound heartwarming, but mean absolutely nothing. They are designed to tell the audience “Look how in touch I am with the common people” which is, of course, total bullfeathers.
Clinton blathers on about her accomplishments in a Congress that has an 18% approval rating. She reminds her audience how much she has contributed to a veterans’ healthcare system that is widely touted as all but totally dysfunctional.
Clinton describes her leadership plans for the military forces with such high-sounding phrases as “We must be prepared to fight the new war.” The problem with Rumsfeld was that he focused on preparing the Army for some kind of war that he imagined and left it unequipped to fight today's war.
This is the core of Hillary Clinton: empty rhetoric carefully designed to pander to the audience of the day. Sounding brass. In bragging about how she has “been fighting these people for 35 years” (itself an exaggeration, at best) she reminds us that she is a long-time part of the political machine that is failing this country.
Barack Obama begins with some rhetoric, telling of a grandfather who fought in World War Two, but in short order his speech evolves into “That's why earlier this month, I laid out a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.”
If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, not only will I vote for the Republican, I will campaign Republican regardless of who that candidate is.
Better to have our government be stalemated by being of two parties than to have this wolf in sheep’s clothing as president abetted by a legislature of the same party. We’ve had a one-party government led by a dishonest, corporatist, warmongering president and the result was disaster.