Friday, April 18, 2008

Sen. Durbin in New Albany: good news, bad news for Rep. Hill

A great op for me to meet some avid citizens and passionate voters. (There was one baby to kiss but I didn't get there.) I'm not a big fan of Obama, but he's the closest to my position on the war. So, it was a good op to tell a bunch of people that they'll have one "anti-war" option in November.

As for the event itself, an Obama volunteer named Megan started things off, Baron made a few comments, and introduced the main speaker: Sen. Dick Durbin (IL)-- 2nd in the Senate and an Obama supporter.

Durbin was very smooth/impressive as a speaker, with some charming stories and amusing jokes. He noted that he had been one of about two dozen Senators who had opposed the War in Iraq-- after much tossing/turning and weighing of the claims and evidences. And he made a nice point about our continuing efforts there: that it seems like a bad idea to get bogged down in one Middle Eastern country with most of our available military resources as we try to deal with terrorism and a variety of threats worldwide.

The interaction of Durbin's comments with Hill's positions was more complicated. Durbin properly painted Bush and his Congress as not fiscally conservative. By contrast, he claimed that the Democrats (including Baron Hill) are supposedly restoring "sanity" to the budget process. Nice try, but that's just a different kind of insanity! It is good to see them all trying to sell the same kool-aid to the voters.

On Iraq, Durbin was kind enough not to mention Hill by name. But Durbin's (self-described) principled opposition to the War necessarily made Hill look bad by comparison-- in his decision to support the War initially while looking at the same evidences. Durbin pointed to the courage of those who voted against the War. Again, Hill necessarily looked cowardly in comparison. Then, Durbin lauded Sen. Obama and his wisdom-- and so Hill looks even worse, lacking the same wisdom that a political novice like Obama had. (Durbin made a great, general point that experience is over-rated in that it often means a more compelling case for leading us into all sorts of error.)