For a guy who doesn’t want to show up for town-hall debates, Barack Obama certainly likes to talk tough. Yesterday in Philadelphia, Obama tried to macho up at a rally by implying that he could out-fight John McCain. He lifted a line from The Untouchables that sounds risible in the context of the impasse over debates:

He warned that the general election campaign could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’” he said. A donor yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”

“I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

They put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue, Sean Connery said when he completed that thought in the stylized (read: fictional) account of Eliot Ness’ efforts against Al Capone. The difference between Connery’s character in The Untouchables and Barack Obama is that Connery was prepared to confront his opponents anywhere at any time. Obama not only doesn’t like a good brawl, he can’t even take an open-forum debate unless it takes place on the Home & Garden Channel at 2 am on a holiday weekend.

Let’s take a look at Obama’s analogy, though. Is he endorsing concealed-carry and the right of people to defend themselves with firearms? Or are people only allowed to “bring a gun” to defend themselves in debates, rather than in life-and-death situations? Obama would “bring a gun” to argue that people shouldn’t have the guns in the first place.

Maybe Obama should quote movies that come closer to his own political sense. Anyone have any good quotes from Reds?

Tags: Barack Obama