Norman Birnbaum in His "The Article Critique

Excerpt from Article Critique :



The author continues his analysis on how American politics will look like when he addresses the different points-of-view and chances of becoming the next American President for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain.

An illustrative example of the many he offers, is the tax issue: once opposed to the tax cuts that President Bush made, Mr. McCain argues for the importance of lowering taxes whilst Mr. Obama argues for a system in which prosperous citizens pay more and higher taxes. Yet the most striking difference between the two that Birnbaum makes relates to foreign policy. The author basically argues in favor of Mr. Obama as he sees the McCain foreign policy not only imperial but also reckless and dangerous for the role that the United States will play in world politics. He sees McCain's vision as being worse that the Bush administration offering somehow exaggerated examples from the Republican candidate like "the Iraq War is to be pursued until 'victory' (undefined), Iran is to yield to our demands or be attacked, Russia is to be expelled from the Group of Eight, a worldwide 'League of Democracies' is to be formed to bring our model of society to those backward enough not to have it, or worse, not to want it." In contrast, he presents Mr. Obama in a much more bright light offering him even advice on the matter: "the difficulty for Obama is that the old course of global hegemony is unsustainable. He clearly knows this, but to say so too openly brings certain political retribution." Birnbaum is nonetheless very careful in not pinpointing the winner of the race as this is not the question of the paper - the level of change that the electoral process gives to the new policies is.

Much of the article goes along the same lines in which Birnbaum presents various issues related to the opposing nature between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain. What is important in analyzing his article is the methods he used and the reasons for which he used them. In order to asses the possible directions on which the United States internal and external politics will go, the author used in a significant manner the comparative and historical research methods.

By putting face-to-face the positions on various topics of Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama, and them Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, the research offers strong grounds for alternative directions that can be further research upon. As Birnbaum argues at the end, "whether the campaign will reinforce American democracy or contribute to its attenuation is itself, alas, an open question." He puts an important question mark on the manner in which the two candidates will use for their own advantage what in some cases look as electoral flaws: Mr. Obama's inexperience in foreign policy making and his multicultural background and Mr. McCain's Bush Administration legacy and imperialistic views…

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