He reminded me again (as if I needed it) of exactly why I voted for him. He was logical, methodical and hit just the right tone — he’s no believer in “American Exceptionalism” but he also is no apologist as others have tried to portray him. We must finish what we started, back in the day when virtually everyone — and everyone I knew at the time — was with us. He’s laid the groundwork through his travels, meetings and speeches since taking office. He’s got not only the support of, but also praise from his lead commander in the region. And despite McCain being on two networks right afterwards acting cranky and old, (along with Bob Schieffer of CBS — gah the man is obnoxious; I don’t care how long he has been around), I think President Obama will be more persuasive.
This morning I was listening to Bill Bennett, and one of his callers related a story about his son being at Westpoint in 1996 or 1997 when Bill Clinton gave a speech. The caller suggested that Clinton had already by that time disgraced the office . . . perhaps his memory is . . . spotty . . . but he claimed that the cadets would be polite for President Obama (no big surprise there) just like they were for Clinton, but he also claimed that after they had shaken hands with Clinton, they had a ceremony to “cleanse” their hands. The caller suggested the same would happen with President Obama. I’m doubtful. Those I saw on teevee thrusting their hands forward through the thick of their classmates didn’t seem to be faking it. They all seemed enthusiastic. Many of them also asked to pose for pics with the president. I’d like to follow up on this with Bennett tomorrow, but since I have a job, I’m not able to spend three hours on hold while Bennett belches and mumbles.
On the very long way home from work (don’t ask) I listened to a completely incoherent Michael Berry. He is struggling with his position on Afghanistan — dipping into anti-war arguments, but clumsily. (I’m doing this from memory — during a very terrible drive home, so forgive me if I don’t get it exactly right.) He disparaged both the Afghans and the Pakistanis. They live in caves. They are backwards. Osama Bin Laden can only connect with people in old fashioned ways because there are no cell towers where he is. They are an arbitrary conglomeration and not a nation (neither one).
Then he switched over to hyper- conservative and agreed that going to war for oil is good. You know, because WE NEED IT. So it’s ok. I didn’t hear him make the same argument for poppy seeds, but he could have. He also proclaimed that he supports the troops! as much or more than anyone because he is a good redneck. Unfortunately, like all other chickhawks of all time, he never felt so strongly about it that he could serve. Maybe it was because he was fat. He does go on and on about that weight loss company that sounds a lot like AA for fatties (not that there is anything wrong with that).
But enough of giving time to small audience talk radio types for tonight.
I am proud of my president. While I did not advocate military action even in Afghanistan, even back in the day (I’ve always been for the law enforcement approach), President Obama inherited (and no, Michael Berry, you cannot redefine what “inherited” means, no matter how hard you try) this conflict, and from all I can tell he has made an informed and prudent decision. I support him. He made a difficult decision. He will follow through. He has the support of the his commanders.
Now it’s just up to us — all of us — to make sure that we — with this plan — can succeed.