Monday, January 7, 2008

Will O'Malley Out Obama Obama for Hillary?

I touched on the empty, messianic rhetoric surrounding Obama supporters here. It is not a stretch to say that Obama is long on style and short on substance. Roger Simon at Politico contrasted this with Hillary’s more substantive campaign. Liker her or not, the one thing you cannot deny, is that there is a great deal of policy substance to her campaign. Albeit, it is bad policy (one of the reasons she won’t answer questions from reporters) however, unlike Obama there is a there there, with Hillary.

This contrast is reminiscent of our 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Bob Ehrlich campaigned on issues and substance contrasting the differences between himself and O’Malley on the issues. O’Malley played the pious piper, spoke in shallow generalities, demagoguing issues like the BGE rate hike as special interests bilking working families, and that he would stop the rate hike. O’Malley won the election, but like anyone who bothered to research the issue knew, could not stop the rate hike.

Compare Obama’s rhetoric like, “We are one nation; we are one people; and our time for change has come,” to the rhetoric of O’Malley’s inauguration “One Maryland united by our responsibility to advance the common good.”

Bereft of any grounding in policy and substance, this rhetoric has all the intellectual heft of a bowl of oatmeal.

However, if Hillary’s campaign shifts gears and starts going in for the “unity”and “change” nonsense; no one dishes up that style of empty rhetoric better than Martin O’Malley.

Having said that here is the huge problem I have with the rhetoric of “unity” and “change.” Given the lack of substance, which always accompanies this rhetoric, it begs the question, what change are we unifying for?

Change for change’ sake, without any real sense of where that change will lead to, is a fool’s errand and fraught with more peril than the status quo.

Sadly, you see the Republican candidates, especially Huckabee and McCain, (and my man Mitt too) engaging in the same rhetoric.

In the face of this claptrap, Conservatives should heed William F. Buckley’s charge to, “stand athwart history yelling stop.”

Jonah Goldberg sums it up best:
Don't just do something, stand there. Better to do nothing and be mostly right, than do everything and be almost entirely wrong. To be sure, reforms are needed. New ideas are on our wish list. But, it is not a moment of "change or die." Change or die is a radical position. It emphasizes change, while paying no heed to direction. It values the pile of broken dishes from a rapidly pulled tablecloth over a time consuming, but well-planned, new arrangement. It is at precisely the moment when everyone is saying "change or die" that the Burkean conservative Brooks so often touts says, "change only what is necessary and nothing else." I say it would be better to reject 1 brilliant idea if it means not letting 10 idiotic ones go free upon the land.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama, I have NEVER heard someone speak so long and use many words but NOT SAY ANYTHING. He is a champ at that.

Donald Douglas said...

Big day, Tuesday!

I'm pulling for McCain!

Take care, Mark!