Now that the Pennsylvania primaries are over, it’s time for Clinton and Obama to ignore each other and go after John McCain, his policies and his suitability to be president. After all, the objective for each of the Democratic candidates now is to show the elected delegates, the super delegates and to the American people that he or she is better able to defeat McCain, not each other.
There are many advantages to this approach. John McCain would no longer have a free ride while the two Democratic candidates attack each other and give the Republicans talking points for use in the general election. He would have to defend his position against the positions of both Clinton and Obama.
The presentations of the Democratic candidates could contrast their approaches on each of the issues to McCain’s, rather than each other’s, on both foreign and domestic policies. Defining McCain’s policies as an extension of the George W. Bush’s policies, in effect, a third term for Bush, would be best presented in this context.
Such issues as Iraq, Iran, the Israel-Palestinian search for peace, our multitude of bases throughout the world, our stretched military, and his ever changing position on torture, to mention but a few, could be fleshed out so that McCain would have to counter not one, but two, alternate approaches.
On the domestic front, the state of our economy, tax policy, Social Security, health care, energy, the environment, jobs, trade, global warming, our dependence on foreign oil, the list could go on, would have to be defended by McCain rather than Hillary and Barack having to defend their positions against each other.
From these encounters, the Democratic voters should be able to determine whose arguments are better suited to winning the election in November.
In Iraq, McCain’s pride in having fostered the surge, which he continues to claim is working, might be completely destroyed if al-Sadr decides to call off his truce and begins to attack American forces in earnest. This would make the third enemy we will have fought in Iraq, first Saddam’s forces, then the Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq, and now the Shiites. McCain’s failing strategy might just keep us there for 100 years. The violence may have been reduced, but the result is that it just takes longer for the number of Americans and Iraqis to be killed and maimed, but it hasn’t stopped the continuing death and destruction.
On the domestic front, John McCain’s description of the economy having been good under the Bush administration, would be laughable, if it weren’t so pathetic. The creation of seven million jobs in seven years is only about half of what is required to keep up with the number of people who enter the work for each year. In addition, hourly wages have not kept up with inflation, the number of hours worked is being reduced, the jobs that are being created are lower paying than those they are replacing, and this despite the fact that four trillion dollars, in the form of additional debt, have been pumped into the economy during the past seven years. Attacking McCain’s views on the economy and his program for moving ahead, should be devastating to him.
This is the way the Democrat’s “debate” should be carried out during the next few months if they hope to maximize their chances of taking the White House and retaining control of Congress.