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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 391 -- Entitlements Versus Earmarks. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 117 -- Winston Churchill vs. Kofi Annan. »

Barack Obama: There's No 'There' There

Obama.jpg
Barack Obama

Barack Obama is the perfect politician for those who hate politics. Obama studiously avoids substance, thereby avoiding all that nasty give-and-take that far too many people believe actually hurts democracy. He is a perfect darling for moderates who have arrived at their mushy middle position more out of political ignorance than pondering the issues deeply. Obama does not threaten their lazy equilibrium. Above all, Obama is not 'divisive', as if divisiveness in a democracy is somehow the gravest possible sin.

As for Obama's fresh-faced Mr. Smith Goes To Washington image, there is a natural wariness among the chattering classes, believing that something too good to be true probably is.

Stanley Crouch states that yes Obama is black, but not really 'black' - "other than color, Obama did not - does not - share a heritage with the majority of black Americans, who are descendants of plantation slaves." Someone - I thought it was also Crouch, but I haven't been able to find the link again - opined that Obama does not seem to get much traction with African-Americans. Perhaps many blacks feel that if white people like him so much, there must be something wrong with him. There is no easier way to lose street cred than being a non-threatening black, I suppose.

Mickey Kaus - "this isn't a question of 'where's the beef', it's a question of 'where's the bun' - there's nothing there." Kaus also insightfully states that character is properly expressed by grappling with the issues, not by grappling with your own character.

Peggy Noonan - "He is uncompromised by a past, it is true. He is also unburdened by a record, unworn by achievement, unwearied by long labors."

Noonan has seen his type before, he is a 'destiny boy' who thinks he is qualified to rule based on little more than his overweening confidence in his own charisma. I would add that he suffers from the Clintonian conceit that attainment of celebrity is far more important than any achievment of substance - and that this is all that is necessary to carry the day, and all that history will remember. This is precisely what made Bill Clinton a C+ president at best.

Or . . . perhaps he is like a certain one-term Senator whose push forward into the White House was fuelled much more by charisma and literary achievment than by any legislative successes. That would of course be JFK, who upon arriving in the White House proved that he was no vacuous lightweight. So, perhaps there is hope after all.

These moderates might change their opinion of his non-divisiveness if they, you know, actually investigated his record, as compiled by Teri O'Brien over at The American Thinker:

  • Sponsored a pointless and burdensome unfunded mandate requiring local police departments to racially profile every traffic stop (because of course categorizing citizens by race is the most important problem local law enforcement must address. One wonders: if Sen. Obama gets stopped, which box do the police check for him? Is it just me or should he, given his mixed race parentage be the last person suggesting such a stupid law?)
  • Voted No on Constitutional amendment banning so-called "same-sex" marriage
  • Supported including "sexual orientation" in Illinois anti-discrimination laws
  • Opposes gun rights (NRA rating-F; Illinois Citizens for Handgun Control Rating-A)
  • Voted Against prohibiting early release for criminal sexual abusers
  • Voted "present" on a law prohibiting pornographic bookstores and strip clubs to be fewer than 1000 feet of schools and churches
  • Supported legislation making health care a "constitutional right," promoted by left-wing Physicians for National Health care, whose goal is socialized medicine for America, a goal Obama apparently shares
  • Opposed the state version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would require medical attention be given to babies fortunate enough to survive a botched abortion
  • Favors allowing partial birth abortion, which his wife called a "legitimate" medical procedure in a fund-raising letter
  • Voted "present" on a law requiring parental notification before a minor's abortion

In Obama's defense, he did vote for the Secure Fence Act, and has incredibly advocated military strikes against Iran.

What to make of all this? He is perfectly poised to take out Hillary Clinton. Hillary is a policy wonk with a nasty personality, an opportunist agenda, and poor political instincts. Obama is the anti-Hillary: naturally affable, leftist bona fides intact, unencumbered by embarrasing votes that anyone has bothered to notice, and with a great political nose. Or ears, if you prefer.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 21 December 2006 11:34 AM

Comments

I am sure that Senator B.O. Is a very congenial person. I don't think about his race or religion. I do want to know what he has in mind for my country. What I know about him is enough for me personally NOT to vote for him! WAY too liberal.

Posted by: zsa zsa at December 21, 2006 04:34 PM

I suppose there could be a set of circumstances under which I would vote for a Democrat for President, but it would certainly not be someone as inexperienced at management and governance, and as decidedly liberal, as Senator Barack Obama.

Besides, I'm convinced that all the recent publicity he's receive is meant to take some of the spotlight off the former First Harridan as she moves to the left in an attempt to sew up the nomination before she actually has to campaign for it.

Barack Obama certainly appears to have a promising future in politics, and there is even now talk of him as a VP candidate in 2008. But it will be 10 years, at least, before his presence in the Oval Office is anything other than as a visitor.

Posted by: Bat One at December 21, 2006 06:12 PM

Bat One...Ronald Reagan was a former Democrat. I voted for him and IF he had been a Democrat??? I think I just might have voted for him...

Posted by: zsa zsa at December 21, 2006 10:22 PM

Zsa Zsa,

Your point about Reagan is a good one. Certainly he was well worth voting for, regardless of party affiliation.

Of course, no such discussion would be complete without Reagan's famous observation that he did leave the Democrat party... the party left him.

That said, I am firmly convinced that the last such worthy Democrat is former Senator, former Governor, and US Marine, Zell Miller. I would have voted for Zell based solely on his exquisite verbal disembowelment of blow-hard Chris Matthews at the last convention.

Incidentally, looking at his record, and re-reading his speeches, I wonder what JFK's party affiliation would be today?

Posted by: Bat One at December 22, 2006 10:01 AM

Bat One... You are so right. JFK was not nearly as liberal as his brother Teddy. The people in Mass. sure are crazy for re-electing Teddy K and John Kerry...

Posted by: zsa zsa at December 22, 2006 07:19 PM