Come on, if you think the war is wrong, why can't you say the troops are wrong in supporting the goals of the "evil" Bush-Cheney administration? None of the candidates dare say that because Republicans would use it to undermine their already weak standing on national security and defense. Clinton said, "Bush does not intend to end" the Iraq war, which is silly. She said she would, which is even sillier. The question should have been, "Regardless of your position on the wisdom of this war, what would you do to avoid a failed Iraqi state that would surely be used by terrorists as a base to attack Israel and eventually come after us?" And what would the Democratic candidates do about the smuggling of arms and fighters into Iraq from Iran?
Sen. Clinton did mention personal responsibility - once - in reference to energy consumption and Sen. Obama scored points at Clinton's expense when he said "what we don't need is another eight years of bickering," a reference to Bill Clinton's eight years in office and an assumption that Hillary Clinton could win two terms.
What is lacking in all of these candidates - Democrat and Republican - is a clear vision that empowers individuals. This is supposed to be a country of opportunity for its citizens. It has become (even with Republicans in charge) a government that dispenses goodies to the group that can produce the most votes. This cynical and selfish approach to government is what has turned so many people off to politics and politicians.
One wishes that a Democrat and a Republican might be forced to sit in a room and not allowed out until they come to an agreement on at least two important issues without compromising their principles. No bathroom breaks and no food until they do. Call it a carrot-and-stick moment.
They're not running for president of their respective parties, but for president of the United States. Why can't they act like it?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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