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article imageOp-Ed: Get Obama and McCain on the same page and you’ll finally start moving

By Paul Wallis     Sep 26, 2008 in Politics
The big news here is that the most glaringly obvious thing about McCain and Obama is ideas. They’re both budget focused, which is long overdue. Both are “government-minded”. That’s vital. Politics and government aren’t really the same thing.
The first debate, (see DJ's coverage) to its credit, hit the big issues, and how America is governed is absolutely critical. Government is actual administration, the machines, not the theories. Government is where things have been going badly wrong. McCain’s quite right when he says it’s out of control; it’s beyond a bad joke. Obama obviously has a few ideas, particularly in the area of health and education.
The good news is objectivity. The Bush administration, despite professional public servants in the hierarchy, has been hamstrung by “business as usual”. The sheer sloppiness administration of that money alone is grounds for firing squads. It’s pretty obvious that both Senators are well informed on these subjects. In the areas of contracts and what could only be called expedient administrative methodologies, the whole system has to go.
Whatever their differences, the result will be change, and significant change. In at least some areas gut level government will have to come to heel, whether it likes it or not.
“Spending” is government speak for “choke chain”. Budgets are controls at the executive level. Obviously both Senators are less than thrilled, and don’t intend to become charities for further examples of gross corruption and incompetence.
We can take the soft pedal delivery on face value. Both are speaking softly, but both seem to have a few large nails in the big sticks. Their delivery is very different, but the intensity levels are very clear.
They’re also both outward looking. Whoever wins won’t have to carry on the series of compulsory focuses of the previous administration. Neither of them is talking about maintaining the current approach. Non-unilateralism will be a great relief to America’s allies.
What’s interesting is the level of agreement on many points. I see enough common ground to provide some traction for forward movement. If they can get that moving between them, the US will benefit greatly.
The differences are many, but at big picture level, they’re not really too far apart on what needs doing. It’s how that’s done that seems to be the issue.
At debate level, the obvious point is that the red/blue positions are still cluttering up the dialog.
Any foreigner would have a hard time seeing any great difference. They would both seem to be working on the same premise of friends and foes, and who they support. It’d look like “Support Israel, act as a balance with Russia, isolate Iran, fight Al Qaeda/Taliban.”
If you leave out the point scoring, (most of which is pretty trivial, normal “who voted for what/who said what” Senate stuff which will be utterly irrelevant in office, ancient history), either way you’ll get a very interesting presidency.
Both these guys aren’t cookie cutter products. That’s the difference, and that’s where the real changes will come. Obama as a Democrat isn’t the standard issue-mechanic, spouting rhetoric. McCain as a Republican is anything but the ordinary GOP home decorator from Home Beautiful.
Put them together, and things would pick up, fast. Get energy independence, and social policy, and actual government with modern regulation, not a sleaze festival, the US will get somewhere.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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