Posted by gustav at 01:01AM, Sunday, December 02nd, 2007
MoveOn just endorsed Obama for president. I've got the same sinking feeling I had when it became clear that Kerry would be the democratic nominee.
As much as I'd like to see a black man be president, I just am not feeling the Obama vibe. It started with his much-hyped speech at the 2004 convention: for someone who was generating so much buzz, I just didn't feel anything. The boogey man in the room during that election was gay marriage, and Obama was shockingly silent on that. Coming just after I got married, in the only state where doing so was legal, that seemed to be a big omission. In its absence, all that he said was abstract, feel-good pablum.
Like most of the other "prominent" democrats, he's a complete pussy on gay marriage:
"I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."
For that, I read "I'm trying to have it both ways: I want people to believe that I don't inflict my religious views on them, but I do, anyway." Understand that the lack of official recognition of relationships doesn't stop gay people from building lives together, it just hurts them. It hurts the children they have. How many kids will get denied health insurance because their employer doesn't recognize their relationship to one parent? How many kids will have their surviving parent denied inheritance rights, because politicians like Obama want to have their "equal rights" cake and eat it, too?
Why is it acceptable for people to get up on pulpits and say they support "equal rights," and then list out the reasons those rights aren't equal? I'm sick and tired of so-called "progressives" who spout this self-contradictory nonsense. We're not stupid, people, and if you stopped pretending we were, maybe you'd find more grass-roots support.
His subsequent congressional voting record was uninspiring. If you want to impress me with your ability to bring about change, start with doing what you can in your current job. Where's ENDA? Where's hate crimes legislation? What happened to cutting funding for the war? Not that any of the candidates has been inspiring in this regard, but why should I believe you're going to suddenly effect change in one political office, when you haven't even bothered to show up to vote at another one?
The Donnie McClurkin fiasco was bad news, as well. Not just the gall and seeming indifference to the offensiveness of having that man represent your campaign in the first place, but the subsequent failure to denounce McClurkin or distance himself, made Obama seem naive and inept. For someone who makes so much noise about bringing people together and making a big tent, this is a pretty remarkable failure.
Then there was the odious Reagan comparison. People try to write this off -- he didn't compare himself to Reagan, they say, he just said he was optimistic, as people were then. Well, for one thing, I don't buy that. For another, on what planet were people optimistic about Reagan? What people? The comparison is disturbing. Any optimism then was misplaced, given the subsequent economic melt-down, the huge budget deficits, the blatant lies to the Congress, the constant threat of armageddon... Why on earth would you want to compare yourself to all of that? Again, it strikes me as politically naive and thoughtless.
This week, we've got Obama's odious attacks against Clinton, and his continuing attacks on the idea of single payer health care. (See Krugman.) To be clear, without single payer health care, we are headed for an economic depression which will destroy our ability to compete on an industrial scale with the rest of the world. Why did Daimler divest itself of Chrysler again?
Overall, I just don't see what there is to be excited about. We've got a politically naive guy who makes a lot of mis-steps and has the wrong stances on what, to me, are pretty critical issues. Don't give me the baloney about how people who support same sex marriage aren't electable. Neither are people who oppose abortion rights, if you look at the polls -- or people who support the war in Iraq, for that matter. Funny how we ended up in the state we're in, with a president who, as a candidate, aggressively defended his positions on unpopular issues. It's backbone that makes electability, not policy. And Obama hasn't demonstrated any, that I've seen. He doesn't have the policy, either -- he seems very vague on plans for things like health care. It's all feel-good aphorisms, and talk about bringing the country together.
The last guy who talked about being a uniter rather than a divider brought about the most divisive and oppressive political climate in American history. Have we forgotten the past eight years? And do this many Democrats really feel like, as Obama says, the problem with the country lately has been the lack of bipartisanship? I thought it had been that Democrats had been Republicans lite, spineless weasels who voted with the Republicans so as not to be seen as "soft," meanwhile giving them the excuse that their unconstitutional legislation had bipartisan support.
I couldn't disagree with Obama more on all the platitudes that spring from his mouth. I don't see how his nomination will be any different from Kerry's.
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