Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The impudence of optimism

Democratic "rock star" Barack Obama (is he ever described any other way?) has a new book with the horrible title The Audacity of Hope.

I wonder if the evocation of #42 is deliberate?

It's hard for me to get too excited about the guy. First of all, because he's very good at playing footsie with the opposition, and while I concede that it's a necessary game for a U.S. Senator, it's a game that, if played too well, can ruin your chances to ever leave the Senate.

Ask Joe Biden.

And then there are the handlers. Obama recounts in his book an incident in which an aide chastises him for asking for Dijon mustard at a T.G.I. Fridays, worried that word of his condiment preference might make him appear elitist.

Sure, laugh if you want to. But just remember what happened when the American public saw photos of John Kerry windsurfing.

Bang! There go the NASCAR dads.

Because we're basically an intolerant people, and in fact we're kinda proud of that. We don't want anyone leading us who's too Frenchy-fruity, too smart, or who can't wear military accoutrement believably.

But I will give Obama this one thing. In labeling the Democrats as "the party of reaction," he is on the money:
“In reaction to a war that is ill-conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action. In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning. We lose elections and hope for the courts to foil Republican plans. We lose the courts and wait for a White House scandal.”

We stay out of trouble and wait for that VP nominee buzz, eh, Obama?


RandyLuvsPaiste said...

I'm sure you saw the puff piece with him on the cover of TIME.

I agree that he's a little too clubby with the enemy. He's officially against gay marriage, when I'm sure personally, he's civil rights savvy enough to know it's the right thing to do.

So much for having the courage of your convictions...

Chris said...

As much as I want to believe he's the right guy, like you I have my doubts. Ditto on him being too cozy with the Repubs. I feel a tad guilty. Am I impossible to please?

Here's the thing. We've seen for the last 6 years what an iron-fisted, uncompromising party with the wrong ideas can do. Everything they've touched has turned to shit. Perhaps, if we had an equally steadfast person who did the exact opposite of everything these rubes did, maybe we could get back on track. Going along to get along isn't going to do the trick anymore.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Randy: Although I understand the need to find center, I think the majority of Americans would get behind someone they liked who also happened to take a principled civil-rights-based stand on gay rights. Stop laughing, I do.

Chris: We need to take everything we've been doing and do the opposite! Nothing's working out for us with tuna on toast. We need Bizarro America!