Obama’s Weird Accent, Socialism’s Triumph and the Soft Majesty of Low ExpectationsMcCain was better than I'd expected, maybe because I had low expectations. He was quick and focused. I thought his humor worked. How many 72-year-olds do you know who can speak that fluently? Some of what he said surprised me. The government should bail out homeowners by purchasing their mortgages and lowering their monthly payments? There’s something Republicans didn't used to say. Obama claims we have “a right” to health care. Now McCain claims we have a right to live in houses we paid too much for. Where do these rights come from? Who’s going to pay for them? To ask those questions is to imply you disagree with the premise, which almost nobody does. We're all socialists now.
During the geography round, he referred to “Pahkeestahn,” but then just plain “Afghanistan,” then changed it up again with several “Talheebahn”s. Weird.
And we're naive too. Obama actually claimed tonight that when government takes over health care, health care will become cheaper and more efficient. A few days ago he suggested that taxpayers might actually make money from the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Does he really believe this? He seems to. Still having a hard time getting a fix on Obama’s accent. Tonight he dropped the phony black preacher inflection he breaks out at stump speeches, except when he used the word “community,” when it returned. During the geography round, he referred to “Pahkeestahn,” but then just plain “Afghanistan,” then changed it up again with several “Talheebahn”s. Weird. The most predictable question of the night came from the Internet: When are Americans going to be asked to sacrifice for their country? If you've read Tom Friedman this decade, you're familiar with the concept: Americans haven't been asked to sacrifice anything since World War Two, and that’s bad. Maybe it is, but I still don't know what the hell it means. Sacrifice for its own sake isn't virtuous, it’s masochism. Exactly what sort of sacrifice are we talking about, and on whose behalf? (“The country” isn't precise enough, sorry.) And who gets to decide? And why is it mostly rich people who seem so keen on other people making big, unspecified sacrifices? Here’s an idea: If you feel guilty about having too much, give it to charity and stop bothering the rest of us.