Asking the wrong question *UPDATED*

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.

19 Responses

  1. You’ve expressed my sentiments exactly. If it were Obama versus Huckabee in November, I’d abstain from voting, too.

    Obama seems to have decided to ape Bill Clinton with his “change” mantra. But no conceivable evaluation can be applied to generic “change,” in the absence of specifics about magnitude and direction. When it comes to specifics, Obama is curiously, deliberately elusive. Whatever gains he makes will be because he’s more likable than the other competitors.

    And now we hear that Hillary may be forced to go negative on Obama — because, says her husband, of media bias against her! She won’t win any likability votes that way, and Bill should know it. Maybe his political antennae have gone dull since he left office.

  2. Normally (incumbent is the exception), the POTUS is a cheerleader, pastor, preacher etc.

    I can see Obama in that role. I, as a 60’s babe, civil rights marches and all that, could vote for him. Huck, never.

    I confess to being an intellectual snob: I prefer a Harvard grad , Law review and all that, to Ouachitha Baptist University in Arkadelphia.

  3. PS: Rudy is still my guy.

  4. PPS: I am a reluctant Republican (as I suspect many on this board are). However, I always vote.

    Anyone who decides to “stay home with a blanket pulled over my head, and a stuffed animal clutched against me for comfort.” on election day concedes the outcome to — (fill in the blank).

  5. I’m for Giuliani too But I like Obama. I simply wouldn’t vote for him. Don’t agree with him on issues and doubt his experience and capacity for the job. Like others who posted above if the choice on election day is between Obama and Huckabee I probably will not vote.

  6. No, no , no!!!! You MUST vote. If you do not vote, you dishonor all those who died to give you the right to vote.

    You think that not voting equals “none of the above.” Actually not voting equals “democracy is dead.”

    The average voter is 60+. What happens when we are gone?

  7. I wish Obama would get some serious questions on how he perceives Islamic terrorism. He seems to say that by getting Bin Laden and being against the iraq war, he has answered all the questions. Why is no one pushing him on the terror cells in Europe, the nongovernment in Pakistan, and the undermining of free speech by episodes like the Danish cartoons and the Mark Steyn affair? I don’t think he even thinks about such things. He thinks he’ll get a magic wand when he takes the oath of office.

    With regard to Huckabee, I would like to see questions about dealing with Putin on Iran,and Kim on nuclear proliferation. It’s one thing to imagine him as the next door neighbor who brings soup to your sick garandmother. We need to imagine him in one-on-ones with some of the world’s tough guys. Our press stinks!

  8. Thanks, Ellie, I’ll keep that in mind. And as I wrote in another post, the primaries are far from over. Nothing’s yet decided. But I must admit I am enjoying Obama kick some of the spokes out of the wheels on the Clinton coronation coach.

  9. Ellie, re Obama’s credentials, I have a huge bias against Harvard Law School grads, never have had the pleasure of working with a competent one. I know they’re out there; I’ve just never met one.

    BTW, this is not just blind animus against Ivy League from someone educated at public universities. I have a huge respect for Yale Law grads, who are some of the best lawyers I’ve ever met. (And while Hillary and Bill are corrupt, nobody has ever denied their intelligence.) Penn grads are great too. It’s the Harvard guys and gals who leave me cold — which is another strike against Obama in my book.

  10. Foreign policy is also for me main sticking point for my leaving the Democrats. I was a McGovern Democrat. During Vietnam I was a Conscientious Objector, and if the Draft Board had not given me CO status, I was prepared to go to jail. I Gave Peace a Chance. After observing what happened in Cambodia. I decided that pacifism was a cop-out. Our leaving Vietnam did not result in peace, but in the slaughter of over 2 million in the aftermath of our exit.
    I remember McGovern talking on TV, before Gulf War 1, about Vietnam 1. “We got peace in Vietnam, etc. etc. etc.” My immediate reaction was: the peace of the dead.

    The second factor in my leaving the Democrats was my working 4 years in Latin America. The dogmas of the “progressive” university on Latin America did not stand up well at all to direct experience. Moreover, working overseas is a good way to shed liberal guilt. While many liberals consider the US to be the great sinner, from an overseas perspective the US looks pretty damn good. I am talking about issues like opportunity, justice, racism, fairness, tolerance, and treatment of the poor, not just economics.

    The same clowns that were wrong on Latin America and the USSR in the 1980s, and on Gulf War1 in the 1990s, are wrong today on Iraq and the GWOT. Kerry goes to Managua in 1985 to protest Reagan’s foreign policy, and two decades later Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, not to mention David Duke, go to Damascus to protest Bush’s foreign policy. The more things change…..

  11. Voting is the first duty of a citizen. In all elections.
    The next is telling the people we elect what we are thinking loud and clear. Repeatedly. All is not lost if the “wrong guy/gal” gets in.
    It is too early to see the finalists, but Huckabee has far too many negatives to make it. And I think Clinton does too. There are that many who hate her that much. Remember the White House Travel office? I think Obama has had more political experience than Clinton. He was a state legislator prior to being elevated to the Senate. I do wish the RNC had not made Keays (spell?) run against him. Now that was stupid political theater. You go with the best people in your locality, and prepare for the next election.
    There are far too many Americans who follow the MSM mantra of the needless futility of the War on Terror. And their home is the Democrat Party. Maybe if they began talking with the Brits fleeing the Islamification of England they would change their attitude.
    Al

  12. BTW, on the issue of awareness of our success in Iraq, check out Rush Limbaugh’s site. He interviewed a e-mail friend on active duty in Iraq about the growing success. It is understandably short on specifics, but it is interesting. Maybe this is another route to cancel out the MSM’s effect.
    Al

  13. As was the 1976 America switch from “I’M not a crook” Nixon days to Golly Gee Whiz Aw Shucks Carter human right days to Bush ” they have WMD'” to Obama’s subtle breathe of fresh air and hope for better in change days . These things happen. It never ends. History repeats itself. It really isn’t that complicated though people like to make it so. Watch and see !!!

  14. I’m with Book on this one. I, too, am an intellectual snob. Consequently, I cross out the name of anyone with a Harvard degree. Wasn’t it William Buckley who once declared that he would rather entrust the country to anyone randomly picked out from a phone book than from any member of the Harvard faculty…or, something like that?

  15. I don’t know about Harvard, but being originally from Chicago, i familiar with the Hyde Park in south Chicago where Obama lives. It is a predominantly white, affluent, educated liberal enclave adjacent to the University of Chicago amid mainly black and lower income neighborhoods. I admit I like Obama, like to hear him talk, and 20 years ago when voting liberal probably would be an Obama voter, but that was then and this is now and there’s no way I will vote for the man regardless of his sincerity, idealism and rhetoric. I do not agree with him on the issues, and don’t believe as a professorial type he has the requisite experience for the job. This is a guy who only entered the hurlyburly of politics in 1996. Until now he’s had only one really competitive political race, against Bobby Rush for a south Chi congressional seat , and he got whupped. I do not see Obama actually having run anything except his mouth, his aspirations and the Harvard Law Review and as fine as his words are, as admirable as his aspirations may be, and as prestigious as Harvard may be, I do not see that resume as valid for POTUS. For liberals he’s the new kid on the block, untainted, articulate, speaking all correct pieties, bridging the racial divide in the country and assuaging white liberal guilt, and he invokes old memories of Gene McCarthy and RFK. (a digression here: why is it liberals accuse their opponents of wanting to turn back the clock but themselves continually seem to dwell on the Sixties?) Again I like Obama, have some respect for him, and may even consider voting for him — in 10 years, not now.

  16. The Democrats have never been thrilled with Battleship Hillary.

    Now they have another candidate that actually appears honest and thoughtful and a VERY charismatic speaker.

    I’d never vote for him, because of his politics, but I can certainly see why Democrats and some independents are thrilled. (Plus, Democrats have always been “movement” people. They love an enthusiastic mob.)

    Hillary is a charade; an empty suit filled only with blind ambition. She’d sell her own mother to the Chinese for anything. Is it any surprise that, given an appealing alternative, that her support is collapsing?

  17. I agree wiwth Mike. Hillary comes across as cold and ambitious, period. That turns people off tremendously, and maybe people don’t want BIll back in the White House either. Edwards comes across as slick and plastic, an angry unappealling Ken-doll, and Richardson seems like he is not too bright, and barely aware of reality. Obama is articulate, personable, – well, he seems like the only real human in the Democratic field, and honestly that’s a pathetic reason to vote for someone, but look at the altenatives…. Behind his charm (relative to his opponents), his opinions are specious and naive at a time we can’t afford either.

    As for the Republicans, there is a lot more there there. Even Huckabee and Paul were able to bring up some salient points even if I disagree with them on many positions and would never want to see them in office. I think Rudy came off the best and barring any major surprise, he has my vote.

  18. In contradistinction, I have to confess I have no more use for Harvard lawyers than I do Yalies – though I also, as it happens, seem to know a lot more Blues.

    Neither school actually teaches law these days, and they haven’t for some time. They teach social activism, and how to use the law to subvert the law and socially engineer. Smart? Sure – but then Marx, Engels, and Lenin weren’t dopes, either.

    I don’t like sociology masquerading as law. Yale may have pioneered the concept, but Harvard’s never far behind.

  19. Btw, Mike, come to think of it, has anyone seen Hillary’s mother lately?

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