Experience. It's not just for assistant managers anymore.

Written by Paul Zannucci on 8:25 AM

Barack Obama's nomination is a great accomplishment, not just for Obama but also for America. His successful bid, perhaps more than any other event in recent American history, demonstrates how far we have come since the Civil Rights Movement. Forty years after this turbulent time, which marked the end of a era so filled with racial injustice that it's impossible to imagine today, we have nominated an African-American for the highest position in the country.

It's made all the more remarkable, and simultaneously unfortunate, because Obama clearly lacks the credentials and experience required for the job, having only entered the senate in January of 2005. This lack of experience could be forgiven, perhaps, if not for his obvious weakness in foreign policy knowledge and tact. His errors are not mere gaffes. They are much worse than than mere slips of the tongue and moments of confusion. His errors far exceed President Bush's inability to quickly name obscure foreign leaders in an interview leading up to his first election. Sure, Obama called Prime Minister Harper "the president of Canada", but that's not what is most concerning. Sure, Obama said that Iran posed no threat because it was too small, but he came back and rephrased that soon after. No, Obama has errors of the catastrophic sort, rather like the Chernobyl of foreign policy gaffes.

Just for fun, let's do an abbreviated rehash, a sort of unenthusiastic beating of the dead horse.

1) Suggesting that we might unilaterally bomb Pakistan without permission from Pakistan's government.
2) Making it a policy of negotiating with terrorist states.

That should state the case rather clearly. We're going to bomb a nuclear power ally and talk with terrorist states. One (not me, but maybe you) can perhaps forgive and overlook the presumptive nominee for naivete on domestic matters. After all, the president does not write legislation. If he wants to sit, yoga style, in the rose garden and meditate on a 100% income tax, that won't bring the tax increase into being. But the Commander-in-Chief over the military has altogether too many powers to allow someone with such bizarre notions to hold that position. Whether you receive intelligence that terrorists are hiding in an apartment in east London or in the mountains of Pakistan, you don't bomb your allies without first discussing it with your allies.

And the Commander-in-Chief should absolutely never sit down to negotiate with a terrorist state like Iran. What could possibly be gained by talks with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Is Obama actually willing to make concessions, implicit in the idea of holding talks, with the man who has repeatedly opined about wiping Israel off the map? Ahmadinejad is the type of leader you try to undermine, not cozy up to.

It may be true, as the San Fransisco Chronicle satirist, Mark Morford, says, that Obama is a "Lightworker" and not like the rest of us. The problem is that the "not like the rest of us" part denotes an alarming lack of common sense when it comes to foreign policy. Bottom line: Obama needs some more seasoning (a lot more seasoning) before he can be trusted with matters of national security. The experience simply isn't there. The naivete, glaring.

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  1. 4 comments: Responses to “ Experience. It's not just for assistant managers anymore. ”

  2. By Stormwarning on June 7, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    If Obama had the credentials it would be an entirely different problem. I still believe that we are about to see an election unlike any other we've ever seen with transmigrations occuring from both parties. Its going to make handicapping it way hard.

  3. By Paul Zannucci on June 7, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    It's hard to say. I think there are a lot of people ready to move right now, but they don't know where to go. We'll see how well Obama does at reaching out to Clinton supporters and how well McCain works his base. Unlike Obama, I don't think McCain has to worry about many of his supporters going to his opponent. McCain's problems are entirely different. He has to worry about his traditional supporters showing up at all, which may well be a bigger worry.

  4. By Anonymous on June 8, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    I won't vote for any presidential candidate this year. I can't support either of these candidates and there is no reasonable alternative. Libertarisns are just as bad and always pick the wrong candidates.

  5. By Paul Zannucci on June 8, 2008 at 7:42 PM

    Most times there is a political choice it is almost always a foregone conlcusion that one of those choices is better than the other. No offense, but I think you need to look at it a little more closely.