I Don't Get It...
So, Barack Obama managed to run the clock out against the Hildebeest and garner himself the nomination for the Surrender-Now-Bed-Wetting-Communist party...ooops...democratic party (smalll 'd' intentional). Who woulda thunk it? I guess that's alright; the voters have spoken, sorta-kinda, and well, this is their choice, as it were.
On the other side of the street, the Panty-Bunched-Hysterical-Calvinist-party...ooops...republican party (small 'r' intentional), has managed to weed out the most-worst (yeah, not a word but you get the idea) of the anal-retentive empty suits they threw up for election, ejecting John McCain, Genuine 'merican Hero. The voters have spoken, sorta-kinda, and well, this is their choice, as it were.
It's difficult to get excited when the process produced a result that is so incredibly phucked up...
Appropos the deification of Barack Obama, which started a year ago and now is in full-swing (see this: http://townhall.com/columnists/JonahGoldberg/2008/06/06/a_messiah_in_our_midst), I'm still trying to figure this out. The guy has, like, no experience. Whatsoever. Three years as the junior senator from Illinois is not exactly like having a PhD. It's hardly an internship when you consider the job he's now competing for. But, he does have charisma, of a sort. Well, he would have charisma if her weren't such a liar, and behave in such a transparently-expedient fashion, the way he throws former friends, allies and supporters under the bus when it becomes necessary is almost funny.
Yet, the talking head class and the fawning idiots who drool and faint at Obama rallies will all tell you the same thing: it doesn't matter that he has no curriculum vitae. It doesn't matter if the man has ever managed anything, or anyone, or had any sort of responsibility for something, or whether he actually has read Wealth of Nations and that sort of rubbish; what's important about Barack Obama is that he represents a whole slew of qualities that haven't been in our politics in like...forever. Oh, and he's black. Somehow, the country owes him; Michelle Obama said so.
Okay, fair enough. Make the case that Obama has these mystical qualities. What, exactly, are they?
First on the list is the notion that Obama has "good judgement". I find this difficult to believe, given the revelations about what happened in Obama's house of worship and his inertia over it, his relationship with terrorists, and now, convicted criminals. His indiscretion in telling his faithful Little Red Book Club in San Francisco all about them nasty rednecks in Pennsylvania, with their pathetic penchant for superstition and firearms, forgetting that in this day in age everything he says will, in all likelihood, be recorded...somewhere. Someone will tape it, photograph it, blog it. He should have known better. "Good Judgement", upon further investigation, has nothing to do with actually engaging in an exercise of weighing pro's and con's, evaluating scientific facts, gatherinig multiple sources of reliable information and running them through an organized and logical thought process. No, Obama has "good judgement" simply because he opposed the war. A war we happen to be winning (although I must admit, I wonder for how much longer). Ask an Obama supporter to give a single example of Obama exercising "good judgement" that doesn't have anything to do with the decision to go to war in 2003 -- and not surprisingly -- no one can give you one.
I know, because I've tried. I've asked at least a dozen people --- and a quarter of them had access to Google. Not one could answer me.
Next on the list is that Obama answers this primal call for "change". The exact sort of "change" that people supposedly want isn't ever articulated; it's enough that people "feel" that something needs changing. I've heard this repeated over, and over, and over again by the punditocracy. None seems to question anything, except in any general terms (and then they supply the answers to their own questions -- the good thing about Obama, if you're a pundit, is that he's tabula rasa and you can attribute anything you'd like to him). Just what does "change" mean? What "change" is needed? How is this "change" is to be brought about?
I've seen this dog-and-pony show before...like when Bill Clinton pointed that thumb at the TV cameras, put on his best sympathetic mug, and spoke with that voice, so-full-of-emotion-that-you-thought-he-might-cry and uttered the magic words: "...this election is about one thing; change...". That was in 1992. The change we now apparently need was that change we've already had --- and which Hilary Clinton apparenlty couldn't recreate? Barack Obama has done the impossible; he has out-Clintoned Bill Clinton. I would congratulate Obama on his achievement, but I've just remembered that Bill Clinton made an entire career out of being full of shit. And is still at it. We've seen this routine before and we know how it ends.
Okay, so what else has Obama got going for him? Well, there's always that crud about bridging the racial divide. I'd go into it, but by now the sight of Jeremiah Wright damning America from the pulpit, and Obama's attempts to convince you "that's not what I believe" and "that's not the man I knew 20 years ago", "I wasn't there for that sermon", "I had no idea such things were being said..." notwithstanding, it's simply disgusting that Barack Obama is so obviously willing to excuse black racism, and to use it to his own advantage when it suits him. (He would never have achieved prominence in, nor survived the rough and tumble of Chicago politics without the street cred Rev. Wright gave him, and the base which the congregation represented). I find it even more disgusting that he could be so disingenous when it catches up to him. And let's not forget Michelle Obama's pitiful playing of the victimization card:"...for the first time in my life, I'm proud of my country..." Boo-frickin'-hoo! One hundred-fifty years ago, Mrs. Obama, you wouldn't have been able to attend Princeton, nor your husband permitted to write, let alone write for Harvard Law Review. You might have been let inside, after hours --- to scrub the floor, or work in the kitchens --- but never to study or teach. It seems ot me that America has been pretty good to the both of you, and neither of you knows what real racism is. You certainly would not have been able to run for the Presidency of the United States if this country were as bad as you portray.
Obama bridging a racial divide? Gimme a break!
Now, let's be fair. Obama may be an empty suit, but I don't want to pick just on him. In the interests of fairness, we have to look at John McCain, and be just as critical. Again, ask the questions, and see what sort of answers you get. It's enlightening --- and frightening at the same time.
So, why is John McCain worthy of being President, then?
Well, to begin with, folks will tell you that he's a genuine war hero, and that's just what we need with the country at war. Okay, fair enough. makes some kinda sense, I guess. But then, I started thinking about John McCain's wartime experience.
Without belittling the torment and suffering the Senator endured, his wartime experience boils down simply to this: he was shot down (twice, I believe), and had another aircraft blown up beneath him while still on the deck. He was captured by the North Vietnamese, and held prisoner for five-plus years. We know the narrative, and this experience is supposed to make John McCain the perfect person to run the military and the War on Terror.
Personally, the way I look at it -- we lost in Vietnam. That means John McCain's experience in war is that of a tortured and tormented POW who was on the losing side. What's fairly sad is that at a time when the country is at war, the political class is fairly drenched with men (much like John Kerry) who's great experience of war is defeat. John McCain might very well be an excellent Commander-in-Chief; he might also be a man who has too much to prove (especially to himself) who feels he might have to atone for the failure of his generation to win before the public will for war waned. A similar circumstance surrounds the present war: can the United States keep it going long enough for the Iraqis to secure and run their own country before American will and forebearance runs out?
Okay, so what else has McCain got? Well, he represents a whole slew of them "Conservative principles" -- which is two piles of horsehit for the price of one. Conservatism is dead; it died after a prolonged illness, during which G.W. Bush and a republican-controlled Congress could not enact entitlement reform, could not control federal spending, signed the greatest assault on free-speech in American history into law, used taxpayer money to bail out an industry (the airlines) which is now about to disappear entirely, launched a war which was fought with an (initally) inadquate force and timid tactics, which caused the loss of a great many American lives for no practical gain, outsourced another war in which the greatest enemy of this nation (Usama bin Laden) was allowed to escape, they refuse to enforce immigration law because small-businesses and the hotel and restaurant industries claim they can't survive without illegal labor, and when the greatest natural disaster in American history happened (Hurrican Katrina) right before our eyes -- live, in color, and 24-hours a day -- suddenly discovered they couldn't write a check to help rebuild New Orleans and succor American citizens (it was a budget-buster, you know) --- but they could find the money to build a bridge to a nearly-uninhabited Alaskan island Still, they did manage to appoint two 'conservative' judges to the Supreme Court, and pass a resolution in the middle of the night to keep a vegetable from having her feeding tube removed. They managed to mollify the Right-to-Lifers, and that, basically, is all a 'Conservative' has to do...even when he's being hounded from office for being a closet pedophile or soliciting gay sex in an airport men's room.
Yeah, gimme more of them Conservative principles....
But, they'll tell you, McCain has Obama beat in the "experience department". Sure he does, he's 72 years old, and has spent a third of his life in the Senate. But then again, membership in the United States Senate is sort of like belonging to the Boating Club in college: it isn't really a qualification for anything, but it does put one in touch with the "right sort of people". And after 20 years, McCain probably knows where the bodies are buried, after all, Sentaors love nothing more than to hold hearings and launch investigations, and there should be very few rocks McCain hasn't looked under. But does that translate into the actual accumen to rule? John Kerry thought so, and just as much as his lack of a personality, his two deacdes in the Senate equated to nothing more than three laws with his name on them. Senators aren't expect to do much, you see. It's why so few of them ever become President.
I feel bad for the people of this nation. This is what we've been reduced to. We started this process with something like 20 folks, all revved up and full of piss-and-vinegar, and possessed of the biggest egos one is ever likely to see. This is the result of a year of nonsense: John McCain versus Barack Obama. It's depressing, until one remembers the also-rans: John Edwards, Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter. We won't count the Mike Gravels, Ron Pauls and Rudy Giulianis, since none of them had a realistic chance, but you get the point; you may be depressed at the end result, but considering the material we had to work with...