Obama vs. McCain

A few notable paragraphs of Obama speech at the Democratic National Convention (August 28th, 2008).  His criticism of McCain is a bit more nuanced than Palin–because you don't want to go ballistic with McCain the hero.

"Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land – enough!  This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.  Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.  And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight.  On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt.  The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect.  And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time.  Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time?  I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives – on health care and education and the economy – Senator McCain has been anything but independent.  He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President.  He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.  And when one of his chief advisors – the man who wrote his economic plan – was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."
(…)
Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans.  I just think he doesn't know.  Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year?  How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans?  How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?  It's not because John McCain doesn't care.  It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.  In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you're on your own.  Out of work?  Tough luck.  No health care?  The market will fix it.  Born into poverty?  Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don't have boots.  You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure.  It's time for us to change America."

 
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