Can America Win The War? Yes, We Can!

McCain, Obama and the Optimism Gap

By Dan McLaughlin Posted in | | | Comments (44) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

One of Barack Obama's greatest assets has been his appeal to the idealism of young voters and the frustration of grownups disenchanted with the dysfuctional ways of Washington - when prudence and experience says something can't or shouldn't be done, or would have awful unintended consequences, Obama's the guy who says "Yes we can!" Can-do optimism is always popular, and people have come to identify Obama with the ability to eliminate All Things Bad.

But the more we see of Obama, the more cracks we see in the facade of that optimism. A new poll from Rasmussen suggests one of the clearest divides between John McCain and Obama:

If John McCain is elected President, 49% of voters say it is at least somewhat likely that the United States will win the War in Iraq. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 20% believe victory in Iraq is likely if Barack Obama is elected in November.

There are very few things the United States government has done more consistently well throughout its history than win wars against our enemies. It's the most basic, traditional function of government - yet the public recognizes that Obama lacks faith that we can win, whereas McCain has proposed a positive vision of victory by the end of his first term. Which is why I think the following would be a guaranteed applause line for McCain on the stump:

Can America win the war against its radical Islamist enemies?

Yes we can!

Can we finish the job our troops have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to do in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Yes we can!

So tell me - why is it that Senator Obama suddenly runs out of hope and optimism when it comes to fighting our enemies?

But the war isn't the only area where Obama's decided lack of confidence in the traditional functions of our government and the dynamism of our economy leads him down the path of pessimism and a cramped view of the future of American liberty.

Read On...

The most eye-poppingly Carterish of these was Obama's recent declaration that

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

Yes, we can! Obama suffers from a failure of faith in American markets and American liberty, the very same lack of faith that gave us Jimmy Carter and malaise the first time around.

Smaller examples abound, and McCain should exploit them to reveal the hollowness of Obama's claims to can-do optimism. McCain believes that American business can compete with all comers; Obama thinks we can't, so he wants to tear up NAFTA. McCain thinks that school choice can open up new opportunities for children in bad schools; Obama says this:

"If there was any argument for vouchers, it was 'Alright, let's see if this experiment works,' and if it does, then whatever my preconceptions, my attitude is you do what works for the kids," the senator said. "I will not allow my predispositions to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn. We're losing several generations of kids and something has to be done."

But when it comes to actually taking the step of trying an "experiment" he admits might work, he's proud to say "no, we can't." McCain has caught all sorts of grief for his support for comprehensive immigration reform, but at least McCain thinks we can solve the border security problem once and for all; Obama was willing to give up on any solution and provide driver's licenses and federally funded health care to illegal aliens. Can we enforce our own laws? No, we can't!

McCain and Obama both believe that there are things we can do and things we can't. The difference is that the things McCain has faith in are the tried-and-tested things that have worked in the past - the valor of our fighting men, the industry of our people. Those are the very things Obama lacks faith in. McCain should call him on that lack of faith.

Credit to absentee for the Obama photo.

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JUst wanted to join in on the conversation on this blog as I have been lurking here for over a year. This is a good post for me to start with since I am a disenfranchized Reagan Democrat who is voting a straight republican ticket if the fraud Obama is the nominee. The Dem party is not the party that I grew up with so I will change and for the first time in my life will vote a straight Republican ticket. There are thousands of us, hopefully and I pray the republican party can take him out. He should never be anywhere near the whitehouse!!

that people are mesmerized by Obama and his plagiarized "Yes we can." That was stolen from a TV show with a preschool demographic. I know he was going for the youth vote, but preschoolers?

...because Barry snubbed "I Love You, You Love Me" as his campaign slogan.

"We want great men who, when fortune frowns, will not be discouraged." - Colonel Henry Knox

Very nice catch there Ptort, I had the same thought when I heard the speech, Oh no we got Bob the frikken builder running for president.

Where Obama sees his "yes We Can" slogan working is where most Americans don't want it. Can we redistribute wealth so people who aren't from this country and people who don't feel like doing their part to make it better get what they don't deserve. Can we give up time and time again, to Iran, to those in Iraq, to the Global Warming Alarmist, to the EU and to China? Can we talk in circles where nothing is ever answered and where we say today that what we said yesterday is wrong?

Obama is focusing on people who don't look at issues, but instead look at media sound bites, who want to find hope and salvation anywhere possible, so they turn to someone who they feel they can truth, who isn't part of the establishment, but false salvation leads to dangerous places.

I'd be more willing to give McCain the benefit of the doubt if there was a clear definition of what "winning" this war would mean. Unfortunately, there is none, as the President keeps changing his mind about what he'd be willing to call a "victory."

Winning a war is one thing. This isn't a war. This is a political occupation.

And you can't declare a victory on "terrorism" -- it's a tactic, not a specific regime or movement. You can fight and neutralize a specific terrorist organization (which we haven't bothered to do yet with the terrorists who took down the WTC), but "terrorism" as a concept can't technically be defeated.

But then, having a grasp of reality has never been John McCain's strongest suit, has it?

And then we heard the sound of your zipper.

You people need better fetishes. May I suggest clown porn?

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Winning in Iraq looks like:

1. The removal of Saddam Hussein
2. Finding WMDs
3. Liberation of a People
4. Removal of al Qaeda
5. Reduction of violence
6. Germany, or Japan, or Korea
7. Iraq can function as a democracy
8. Iraqi security forces can fight the terrorist themselves
9. Iran has no influence in Iraq
10. Syria has no influence in Iraq
11. When pigs fly

Defined enough?

But I find that I still prefer it to the Democrats' definition, which can be pretty much summed up as The current state of affairs, once we manage to inaugurate somebody from our Party.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

The problem all along is that democracy in Iraq is a goal that the United States cannot ensure. Period.

Different societies progress at different rates. And a society like Iraq, which has never had a stable pluralistic democracy in its entire history, has to evolve toward that goal in its own way, along its own path.

A reasonable goal for U.S. forces is the elimination of al-Qaeda, or even the elimination of Sadrist militia. But "democracy" is a political goal that only the Iraqi people can reach in their own time.

Russia is still struggling to establish democracy, 18 years after the fall of Communism there. Who knows how many decades it will take Iraq to reach that goal.

In the case of Russia, our primary goal was never "democracy," but the end of the Communist threat. If Reagan-Bush 41 policy had been to create "democracy" in Russia, then the world could say that the U.S. has failed. But notice that nobody cares much about that, as long as Russia is not a strategic threat to the West. No one has claimed, as Bush did for Iraq, that democracy in Russia is a prerequisite for peace with America.

And that should be our goal in Iraq as well: The elimination of strategic and existential threats, NOT nation-building.

But think how it looks if Bush came out and said, "Our goal for winning is putting a purely sham government into power where they can reign and become the next dictatorship" Yeah that'd pull the country together.

By not having a Russian democracy they have still been a threat since communism ended. They may not come and kill us all, but their refusal to do things, their aid to countries like Iran and their nuclear program, their complete crapout of the UN, has caused major problems in this world.

Yes we can! smell Jimmeh Carter II a mile away. Hell, I voted for him.

If Obama somehow scams his way in, I fear the comeback of the cardigan. Oh, well, I guess since elitism is "in", there will be a fad for designer label cardigans this time.

As a general rule I think polls are fairly useless but I guess they give a hint at what people are feeling. With that said the post should have included the rest of the Rasmussen report:

"However, the survey also found that voters believe Obama is more likely than McCain to bring home U.S. troops from Iraq. If Obama is elected, 59% say it is at least somewhat likely that virtually all combat troops will come home from Iraq during his first term. Just 43% believe the troops are that likely to come home if McCain is elected.

Most Americans—52%--say bringing the troops home within four years is a higher priority than winning the War. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and say winning the War is more important."

So most Americans think bringing home the troops is more important than winning. So would this be a winning issue for McCain in terms of gathering more votes or does it just re-energize the his base?

I just signed up here and am a Democrat but my intention is to just have a little political discourse, fire away :)

Fire in the hole!

That's all I am looking for too. I just want to advance the debate and try to see what everyone is feeling. I think posts like this one, that only give the part of the story that is beneficial to a particular issue or candidate, are very distracting and work against what's really important.

I am not he to determine WHO is right; I want to find out WHAT is right.

Most Americans—52%--say bringing the troops home within four years is a higher priority than winning the War.

If the U.S. can win the war in Iraq in less than four more years, then we can achieve both goals of victory and troop withdrawal.

Can we?

McCain put out a video ad in which he suggests that with him as President, we will have essentially won by 2013. Can he make that case?

What the poll suggests, is that Americans aren't going to support an open-ended commitment in blood and treasure, coupled with more dark warnings about "cut and run." Nor should they. If we're still fighting in Iraq by December 2012, then we will have been fighting there for nearly 10 years. Is there anybody on RedState who thinks that's not enough?

A perfect opportunity for some of McCain's "straight talk" is to promise that one way or the other, we will be out of Iraq by 31 December 2012. No later than that day, he will either declare victory or declare defeat, one or the other. But he pledges NOT to ask Americans to "stay the course" one more day past that point.

than lose a war." I don't know if McCain will go for it.

So I am confused--when McCain wants to work for immigration reform it's all fine and dandy, but when Obama wants to work on the exact same issues he has given up on enforcing our laws.

When President Bush directs talks with North Korea is alright, but when Obama wants to talk to other world leaders it's appeasement.

When the Pentagon launches missiles into Pakistan targeting al Qaeda leaderships it's effective use of military, but when Obama says he would do the exact same thing less than a week before it happened he's naive.

When the GOP-controlled White House and Congress grow the government at historical record high rates they are just off track, but when Obama makes any new proposal he is a tax and spend liberal.

When the White House and Congress involve us in a five-plus year war that has only strengthened Iran and al Qaeda and put Israel on its toes we are fighting the battle of our generation, but when Obama wants to get us out of Iraq so we can rebuild our strength so we can fix the mess it's surrender.

The hypocrisy goes on.

"As for the rest of you— who can tell me, without uttering a word, the fallacy of the Illuminati?"

A young girl— she was no more than fifteen, George guessed, and the youngest member of the crew; he had heard she was a runaway from a fabulously rich Italian family in Rome— slowly raised her hand and clenched her fist.

Hagbard turned on her furiously. "How many times must I tell you people: no faking! You got that out of some cheap book on Zen that neither the author nor you understood a d*mned word of. I hate to be dictatorial, but phony mysticism is the one thing Discordianism can't survive. You're on sh*twork, in the kitchen, for a week, you wise-*ss brat."

The girl remained immobile, in the same position, fist raised, and only slowly did George read the slight smile that curled her mouth. Then he started to smile himself.

Hagbard lowered his eyes for a second and gave a Sicilian shrug. "O oi che siete in picdoletta barca," he said softly, and bowed. "I'm still in charge of nautical and technical matters," he announced, "but Miss Portinari now succeeds me as episkopos of the Leif Erikson cabal. Anyone with lingering spiritual or psychological problems, take them to her." He lunged across the room, hugged the girl, laughed with her happily for a moment and placed his golden apple ring on her finger. "Now I don't have to meditate every day," he shouted joyously, "and I'll have more time for some thinking."

[Oops! Link]

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

when you set up five strawmen in a row and proceed to set them afire with five flaming crooked arrows, but when you get to the end you say, "GOP hypocrisy" instead of "archery exhibition".

McCain says he'll "build the d*** wall," crack down on businesses hiring illegals, throw the illegal convicts out of the country and only THEN see what can be done with the rest of the bunch. Obama says he's happy with the new Dem voters and will give them welfare and drivers' licenses. And you can't tell the difference.

Bush insists that we gather all of NK's neighbors, including China, to pressure NK to behave, then sends a State Dep't flunkey over to seal the deal. Obama wants to personally trot off to Tehran for a heart-to-heart with Mahmoud. And you can't tell the difference??



I wouldn't brag about it if I were you. Maybe that's what makes you a Dem.

Come back when you learn to think!

We conservatives are NOT all cheerleaders for Bush's policies. We rank-and-file conservatives don't feel it necessary to echo any official party lines.

1. Bush's policy toward North Korea has been sharply criticized by John Bolton and by the National Review. Go search their website if you don't believe me.

2. You have evidently forgotten the grass-roots conservative movement last year that stopped the Bush-Kennedy immigration reform bill from getting Senate approval. It was a massive effort led by conservative bloggers and a handful of Senate conservatives who found the guts to stand up to Bush for a change.

3. Nobody is disagreeing about the use of cruise missiles to target isolated terrorists in Pakistan. The issue is what happens when those terrorists keep fleeing, and we just end up blowing up empty buildings like Clinton did in the Sudan. If you really want to put al-Qaeda out of business in Pakistan, you may be forced to launch a massive strike. Obama doesn't seem to understand that this would cause the Musharraf government to topple, with ominous implications for Pakistan's nuclear stockpile.

4. Many rank-and-file conservatives were so unhappy with the massive increases in Government spending under Bush that they stayed home on Election Day 2006 and didn't bother to go vote. That helped the Democrats win. You should be glad.

5. Israel is quite happy that we removed Saddam. They wanted him removed. But Israel had reportedly warned Bush that building a "democracy" (whatever that means) in Iraq was a project doomed to failure. Israel didn't give a damn how Iraq governed itself as long as it didn't threaten Israel with extinction, as Iran is now doing. Bush had a more grandiose vision that is contrary to nearly ONE HUNDRED YEARS of conservative foreign policy in America.

In WW2, Truman could have gotten America embroiled in a bitter guerrilla war in Japan, had we invaded and had to face an armed and hostile Japanese citizenry. He chose instead to pulverize Japan from the air, and saved us that unpleasantness. Bush decided that mass slaughter was too icky, and preferred hand-holding the Iraqi people instead. You've seen the result.

You know what your problem is? You spend too much time listening to the pronouncements of (corrupt) Republican politicians, and not enough time listening to us rank-and-file conservatives who are NOT cheerleaders for the disaster that the GOP has turned into.

They do NOT speak for us, do you understand that?

Question, is it acident or design that the picture of Sen. Obama has a portrait of Karl Marx looking down on him?

Karl Marx, 1818-1883

I believe it is photoshop :)

The Carter thing was my idea, Marx was absentee's. I can't do more than copy and paste squares together, myself.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I am saving a copy for future ventures.

A Saint For Our Times ?

Descriptive text here


I will not allow another Holocaust - John McCain

Love the picture. It really describes Barack well.
Congrats on the RCP plug.
You guys truly are some of the best in the blog world.
Now, let's go win this thing.
Just a typical, small town, white girl...

When McCain does that, I'll donate to his campaign.

Until the Hope and Change is torpedoed, The Obama can continue floating around upon empty rave reviews. We've seen brief glimpses through the smoky campaign clouds of what happens when he is driven off canned speech to specifics.

McCain does that and it signals he is all in to win; that he will set alight the paper lantern that is The Obama; burn every last shred of media goodwill for McCain.

PS: It also would change the narrative in this nation. "We can't win, so let's bring 'em home" vs. "We will win and we will bring them home winners." Place your bets on which will Americans choose.

PPS: How is "winning" any less empty and undefined than "hope and change?" And, winning is both hope and change.

The polls clearly show that Americans want us out of Iraq in the next four years, win, lose or draw.

The public will back McCain, but only if he can promise on his word of honor that we will have won the war in the next four years, or else give up.

The public doesn't want to lose. But I think it's clear that they aren't going to back any more open-ended commitments either.

We did win World War II in less than 4 years from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki.

the truth is that we win if we only play Obama's OWN STATEMENTS for the American people. The problem is that the media is covering for their boy- so we need to go over the heads of the MSM.

Now, if we were to take the "I will meet with no preconditions" and put that next to Susan Rice saying Obama never said that, next to "there would be meetings with other leaders and not Achmedinijad" next to the youtube today of Obama saying "I will meet with Achmedinijad" we could totally Kerry this liar..

where are the forces to start doing this?!

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

McCain has said that Americans have been disappointed so often by events in Iraq, that he doesn't want to promise any more pie in the sky.

McCain's statements on Iraq have been much more subdued. He doesn't promise "winning" in any reasonable time frame.

On his campaign website, he says "The situation in Iraq is difficult, but not without hope."

That's not a line that's going to get people to their feet cheering.

Managing expectations is key in taking a democracy to war. Churchill never promised things were going to be easy. That's the problem with Bush, he sold the war in Iraq as being easy and cheap. It is anything but. Perhaps if he was more realistic from the get go, more people would support his policies?

One can be eloquent, inspirational and realistic. Once again look at Churchill.

"there’s more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo." P.J. O'rourke

"It's close, but I put Bush in Jimmy Carter territory. Slick Willy marginally better and LBJ in between."........dannyn

I'm voting for a commander in chief, not a cheerleader in chief.

"there’s more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo." P.J. O'rourke

Geoge Bush screwed the Iraq war up by waiting 3-years before trying the surge and we just have to face that and realize the American people will not support the Iraq war any longer........FWguy

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