Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Classic Rock

The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal have articles today that provide an informative contrast between the blather of Senator Barack Obama's supporters and the specific, frightening views of the candidate himself as to the kind of "change" he wants to effect.

The setting for the AP report, included in The Courier-Journal's Features section, is this year's just concluded Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, held in Manchester, Tennessee. According to AP, "the outside world and its problems -- politics, economic woes, and high gas prices -- were always lurking just offstage, and sometimes were front and center." And apparently the universal answer offered by the motley crew of performers to solve all of these problems was for the crowd to vote for Obama. But exactly what Obama would do once elected was left to the audience's imagination. Emblematic was "[c]omedian Zach Galifianakis," who "concluded his otherwise absurdist performance by simply holding up a sign that said, 'Obama '08.'"

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam displayed more deftness on guitar than constitutional law with this penumbral riff: "It is welded into the Constitution that people have not only the right, but the responsibility to make change." Is Eddie on Obama's short list for the Supreme Court?

Lest we confuse the mindless message of Obama's supporters with the candidate's real thinking, Obama sat down for an interview with The Wall Street Journal to give specifics as to his economic policies, which are truly scary. According to the WSJ, Obama said "he would rely on a heavy dose of government spending to spur growth" and "use the tax code to narrow the widening gap between the winners and loser in the U.S. economy," which translated means, the people who already pay the taxes are going to have to pay more for the increased government spending. It is, of course, "what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces."

Call it "change" back to the tax, spend and regulate approach of past Democratic administrations. Not quite as old as the Constitution, but retro nonetheless.

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