See that Barrack Obama speech in Denver tonight?
This whole thing is starting to sound a hell of a lot like the 1992 election in which a reeling Republican administration had to deal with that change-loving Bill Clinton.
Here's but one parallel that ought to bother folks. Obama has been harping about a middle class tax cut and he did so again tonight. Yes, it's time to bring some relief to the working folks of this country that are struggling through a slumping economy and are having trouble making ends meet.
Clinton promised one of those, too. America just loved to hear ol' Billy wax poetic about his middle class tax cut. That, indeed, was one of those promises that played well with the voters -- the very idea that the middle class was going to get some relief while those rich folks were going to take it on the chin netted Bill a vote or two.
Here's the thing, though. After the election, George Stephanopoulos was on one of those political shows that dotted network television on Sunday mornings. The host asked him, directly, about that tax cut and Stephanopoulos declared up and down that Clinton never promised such a thing.
So the tax cut was off the table.
Here's the problem with Obama's promise. Politicians are expected to lie through their teeth to us -- to say anything it takes to get elected. So, how serious is Obama about cutting my taxes? Does anyone really believe that Obama will make good on that promise and have we gotten so cynical that there will be no ramifications if he fails to do so?
The concern here is that Obama has also promised a lot of things that involve swelling the already oppressive size of the federal government. Given his adoration of throwing cash at problems, he may well follow through on those.
We've heard Obama give some vaguely-defined promises of expanding health care and investing heavily in alternative energy. Hell, Barak is Jesus, Santa Claus and the Great Pumpikin all rolled into one and he's going to give us all a bunch of cool, free stuff. Well, it's not exactly free. You need cash to have our buddy, the federal government, step in take care of problems. Where's that money going to come from, huh? Why, from the folks who wind up taking an absolute beating every time the role of government expands -- the middle class.
This all sounds a bit too familiar to the junk that Clinton pulled 16 years ago -- promise that tax cut to get the masses in line, then stick it to them once in office. Things may actually get worse under Obama as he's a man who loved to toss out socialist rhetoric before he secured the nomination and found it necessary to sound like a moderate.
Socialism is expensive and the folks who go out and work for a living simply get hosed every time a well-meaning Democrat rolls out a Great Society, a New Deal and other programs designed to put the government in the position of wealth redistribution.
The alternative to Obama's potential cash-grab isn't a whole lot better. John McCain sounds a heck of a lot like George Bush these days, and you'd be hard pressed to even find a Republican who will admit he wants four more years of that.
In short, Obama has been vague so far and sounds very much like a man making promises he doesn't intend to keep. McCain, meanwhile, has been running around sounding like a president who has, arguably, done an even worse job than Jimmy Carter or Lyndon Johnson.
One thing is certain. Both Obama and McCain are very much products of their respective political parties. The Democrats and Republicans can share a lot of the blame for the mess we're in now, so who in their right mind thinks that either party will actually bring anything in the way of new solutions to the table? Obama might like to harp on the theme of "change" quite a bit, but the irony there is that he's really spouting the same old junk we've heard from the Democrats for years. That will probably strike some civics students as funny as hell one of these days, but it's nothing to laugh about right now.
So we get two candidates who will likely stay committed to the same old crap that's failed the nation completely. Some choice, huh? I'm starting to understand why some people just don't bother to go out and vote.
If these two candidates are the best we can do, that Greek temple that served as Obama's backdrop starts to look a lot more Roman in design.