The hyped question in Iowa’s (and, now, New Hampshire’s) wake is “Is America color-blind?” I think that’s the wrong question. Considering Obama’s white upbringing and his incredibly white life, he’s so much of an Oreo it’s not even funny — and that despite the fact that he keeps trying to make his race an issue. The more appropriate questions are: “Do people really hate Clinton that much?” “Are Democrats that stupid?” “Will Americans overall be buffaloed by the media into doing something incredibly stupid next November?”
I use the word “stupid” very deliberately. Ever since Obama emerged as a possible presidential contender, I’ve been hammering away at the fact that there is no there there. This man is a reflection of media desires, nothing more. Indeed, even those who like him concede that he’s a magical, mythical character who appeals more to people’s fantasies than their own the ground realities. As for me, more than a year ago, I designated him “Barack ‘Chance’ Obama” after Jerzy Kosinksi’s Chance the Gardener, in Being There. That others project onto this bland man their desires is perhaps more sad than anything else, but his missing resume is truly something to worry about. So, back to my question: are Americans really going to be stupid enough, during a time of war, internationally significant assassinations, worldwide Islamic terrorism, and economic insecurity to vote for a guy who has nothing to offer except for the fact that he’s enough of a nonentity to serve as the blank slate onto which they can project their desires?
As for me, if November 2008 sees Obama versus Huckabee, I’m staying home with a blanket pulled over my head, and a stuffed animal clutched against me for comfort. As far as I’m concerned, all hope will be gone regardless of that election’s outcome. Who knew that I’d ever wish for Hillary or McCain?
UPDATE: By the way, I’m not blind to the fact that Hillary has even less hands on experience than Obama, although I don’t think there’s any question but that she ran a weird shadow presidency while Bill was in the White House. She has, however, a vicious pragmatism that I think it more useful than Obama’s dreamy wishy-washy quality, especially when that is allied with his absence of practical experience.
It is interesting, when one thinks about it, that the Democrats have fielded nothing but Senators as their front runners. It’s as if the Democratic voters are terrified that they will inadvertently place in office someone who is actually useful.
Is it time for me to drag out the hoary old point that a Senator last took the White House in 1960?
UPDATE II: Thinking about it some more, I’ve decided that my problem is that I really and truly don’t like any of the Democratic candidates, since I think they’re all deeply wrong for the most important issue of our time, which is national security. I disagree with them on so much else, but could live with 4 years of them on all the other things (economy, education, health care, etc.), based on my optimistic belief that their errors in those areas can be rectified, even if only slowly. Bad national security decisions, however, really and truly can spell the end of the world as we know it. That’s why, while I dislike them all on domestic politics, and I think Hillary is as corrupt as can be, that vicious pragmatism that Hillary has strikes me as our best Democratic bet in case, God forbid, one of them takes the White House.
And I guess my deep upset with the Obama victory stems from the fact that it establishes conclusively that the anti-War party has gone from being the fringe-y squeaky wheel of the Democratic party to being the Dems’ center. Weirdly, even as the War is progressing well, and genuinely positive changes are taking place in Iraq, it is the anti-War party that is ascendant. I lived through the years after 1974, and I’m not thrilled about repeating that experience of national malaise and international disrespect, the more so as I believe that this War’s enemy is a very hierarchical one that sees things strictly in terms of top dog and kicked dog. If we run, we’re the kicked dog, ripe for more kicking and deserving of death.