Friday, August 22, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Classless. That would be our reaction to Obama saying he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. In an editorial about this, the WSJ points out a more telling message than Obama's judicial selection instincts - the real Obama (ie. without teleprompter and unscripted interview questions). Obama on Clarence Thomas, Monday:

Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat's answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn't expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn't merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.

So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama's advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won't let slip what he really believes.

More Saddleback fallout, as pointed out by Naomi Schaefer Riley in Wednesday's WSJ, Democrats Move Left on Abortion:

Mr. Obama's flip-sounding response did not go over well with the evangelicals in the audience of Saturday night's presidential forum. After a week in which the Democrats have been renegotiating their abortion platform, Mr. Obama was supposed to provide a voice of clarity, and above all moderation, for the party. His middle-of-the-road views were supposed to appeal to independent-minded Catholics and evangelicals who agreed with Democrats on some issues, but couldn't pull the lever for him if he was too radical on abortion.

It didn't work out that way. Add Mr. Obama's recent admission that during his time in the Illinois legislature he voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, and it seems as if the Democrats have accomplished the impossible: They have moved to the left on abortion.


More insight on the real Obama - and his communist inspirations - in Thursday's WSJ editorial page, Obama's Health-Care Tipoff:

'If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system," Barack Obama told an audience in Albuquerque on Monday. He was lauding the idea of a health-care market -- or nonmarket -- entirely run by the government.
Mr. Obama's health-care plan includes a taxpayer-funded insurance program, much like Medicare but open to everyone. The goal, like HillaryCare in the 1990s, is to displace current private coverage and switch people to the default government option. What's new is Mr. Obama's smoother political packaging.

With good reason, critics often call this a back-door route to a centrally planned health-care bureaucracy. For all his lawyerly qualifications, Mr. Obama has essentially admitted that his proposal is really the front door.


Last, Gabriel Schoenfeld writes in Thursday's WSJ, Russia's Nuclear Threat Is More Than Words.

the U.S., acting unilaterally and with virtually no fanfare, sharply cut back its stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear warheads. As far back as 1991, the U.S. began to retire all of its nuclear warheads for short-range ballistic missiles, artillery and antisubmarine warfare. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, not one of these weapons exists today. The same authoritative publication estimates that the number of tactical warheads in the U.S. arsenal has dwindled from thousands to approximately 500.

Russia has also reduced the size of its tactical nuclear arsenal, but starting from much higher levels and at a slower pace, leaving it with an estimated 5,000 such devices -- 10 times the number of tactical weapons held by the U.S.

He argues a ten-fold possession of tactical nuclear weapons has "emboldened the bear". Maybe. We wonder if the US' precision technology has allowed our strategy to defer to conventional weapons where tactical nukes once were the preferred, if only, option against certain targets. Tactical nuclear weapons are ideal for large, concentrated enemy forces. The border with North Korea, within artillery range of Seoul, comes to mind. Will Russia ever have such a situation? Even in a US-Russia conflict, US forces maneuver and attack in areas far larger than the kill radius of a tactical nuke. Plus, the US does have the forces at the strategic level to deter such a use of tactical nuclear weapons. We'll keep thinking this one through...

No comments: