10 September, 2008

He's lookin pretty good, you might say

Turns out, Obama is pretty good at dealing with O'Reilly's combative, shushing, mocking, shouting "interview" style.

He quiets him right down a couple of times, which I always appreciate. What I really appreciate is that Bill completely ignores Obama's points about his Bush/Clinton comparison. "Damn lies..." Love it.

Although, the class warfare comment O'Reilly fired back actually has some truth behind it, mayhaps.

At any rate, I think my favorite characteristic of Obama is that he is more concerned with, as O'Reilly said, building up from the bottom. "Neighborliness," I think Obama called it. It shows a real empathic concern for the average citizen that I feel is completely lacking from the Republican mindset. I thought trickle-down economics had been soundly proven BAD, but I guess I'm wrong. This interview simply highlights an opinion I've had creeping around inside for awhile: conservative Republicanism lacks necessary and fundamental human (I should probably say humanistic) characteristics to make for responsible government.

1 comment:

spencer said...

Obama's fantastic here, although I have never liked the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" line. You can mislead with statistics but you can also mislead with any other rhetorical device. It's also weird how O'Reilly is more self-aware than he lets on. There were several times where he said something and then apologized for it--for example, when he asks Obama to name someone right-wing who he is friends with (in the Ayers part of the interview.)

I don't know if it's worth it to do this, but there's so much in O'Reilly's grasp of economic events that is incorrect. This shows that O'Reilly's completely wrong that there was higher growth under Bush than under Clinton. It looks like Clinton beats Dubya by more than a full percentage point in terms of average GDP growth. And Bush's tax cuts did NOT increase revenue...it's flabbergasting that people still believe this. Yes, revenue went up, but so did everyone's incomes and as a result, people paid more taxes. Growth in incomes may have increased a bit because of the tax cuts, but no serious study has concluded that the tax cuts caused enough growth to increase revenues.

O'Reilly is the kind of person that will grasp at explanations and when one is found that is ideologically suitable will fixate on that single explanation. But in reality, there are many factors that influence events and they cut both ways. Yes, immigration may be a reason for the stagnation of median wages over the Bush years. But it's ridiculous to not look at other factors--taxes, trade, health care costs--that may have just as much or more effect.

(I, too, really liked the rhetoric of "neighborliness," in contrast to O'Reilly's "class warfare." Progressive taxation is just what you would do for your less-well-off neighbors, but on a grand scale. I hope he puts that in his stump speech.)