Not Ready For Prime Time

Of late, I’ve been making a point of defending Senator Barack Obama from what I consider stupid attacks.

1) Yes, his middle name is Hussein. I’m not too fond of my own middle name, either. Like him, I wasn’t consulted on the matter, and unless I want to go through a lot of paperwork (I don’t have the ready option women do of dumping it by getting married), I’m stuck with it for the rest of my life. So I ignore it whenever possible.

2) Yes, he has occasionally worn tribal garments when in Africa. Big whoop. Tourists and political leaders often do that sort of thing.

3) Yes, he has Muslim ancestry. But there’s not a shred of proof that he is some sort of crypto-Muslim who’ll build a minaret on the White House the instant he gets inaugurated. If you want to look into his professed faith (the “black-central” church he belongs to), that’s certainly fair game, but this crypto-Muslim bullshit needs to stop.

I’ve said repeatedly that there are enough valid reasons to criticize Senator Obama in his run for president that we don’t NEED to use this pissant stuff, and thanks to Scott Johnson of Powerline, we have this perfect example of why Barack Obama should not be president of the United States:

(Now, I have to offer a caveat. I have nothing that guarantees that the video in question really IS Senator Obama, speaking in his own unedited words. But the sentiments are entirely consistent with all I’ve read about his positions.)

This is the kind of thing that demands a full-blown, line-by-line Fisking.

“I am the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning, and as president, I will end it.”

Congratulations, Senator. You’ve been consistent. I think you’ve been consistently wrong, but you’ve been consistent.

And the quickest way to end a war? Stop fighting. Quit. Go home. In other words, lose. Nothing like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…

“Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending.”

The fun part here, of course, is in how you define “wasteful.” I think the entire Department of Education is wasteful, and would abolish it — that’d save tens of billions right there. How do YOU define “wasteful,” Senator?

“I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space.”

Oh, that’s a fun thought. I presume President Obama would invest in “proven” missile defense systems. But how do you prove them? By testing unproven ones and seeing which ones pass the test.

If Senator Obama was honest, he’d just say “I will not spend any money on missile defense. Protecting ourselves is immoral and unethical, and I have utter faith in our ability to concede our way out of any threats.”

But if Senator Obama was honest, he’d not be a product of the Chicago Democratic machine.

“I will slow our development of future combat systems.”

By this, I presume he means such systems as the Predator drones, the mine-resistant vehicles, and the Strykers that have been rushed through the system so quickly to respond to developing tactics and threats from insurgents (you remember them, Senator?) in Iraq.

“I will institute an independent “Defense Priorities Board” to ensure the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.”

As I recall, the quadrennial defense review was supposed to do just that. So if one bureaucracy doesn’t work, let’s pile another one on top of that!

The alternative — having a president and a congress actually do their JOBS — is just too terrifying for him to conceive.

“Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Robin Williams just called. “Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space.”

In brief, that genie AIN’T going back in the bottle. Over 60 years ago, it took the resources of the wealthiest nation on earth to come up with nukes. These days, Pakistan has done it, North Korea might have done it, and Iran is on the verge. Plans are readily accessible on the internet. And all your charm and grace and pithy words and catchy phrases won’t make them go away.

But hey, he might have actual ideas on achieving this one. What’s he got to say?

“To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons, I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.”

OK, that first one might work. Nuclear weapons have a “shelf life.” So if we don’t develop any new weapons, eventually our current arsenal will become out of date and will just go away.

That takes care of America’s nukes. The rest of the world? Well, we’ll get around to that.

A global ban on fissile material? Oh, THAT’LL go over real well. Note that all the nuclear power plants are fission plants. So we’ll get rid of all nuclear power.

And in case anyone’s thinking that they can simply restrict the fissile material to non-weapons-grade material, Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan have shown how a determined nation can convert one to the other.

Finally, the last time I checked, the American and Russian ICBMs are currently targeted at empty stretches of ocean. That sounds pretty safe to me. Besides, I thought we weren’t being very trusting of Russia these days.

If I had to sum up Barack Obama’s defense policy in a single phrase, I’d have to say it would be “if you liked what Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did to our national defense, you’ll love what Obama will do.” Nothing like the good old days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis; “Blackhawk Down” in Mogadishu, Somalia; more pointless interventions like Haiti and the former Yugoslavia; and, if we’re really, really lucky, more attacks on our warships like the bombing of the USS Cole.

I’m not a single-issue voter, but if I were, “national defense” would probably be it. And on that basis, I’d have to say that Senator Obama is probably the least qualified to win my vote.

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