Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's Left? What was ever Right on the Right?

Raw Story informs us:
In a blog post at the National Review Online, reporter Jim Geraghty asked the question, "Once you take away Barack Obama’s likeability… what’s left?"

What indeed! What has he got going for him or what have his opponents got going against them? Hillary has been asking herself the same question, you may be sure. Speaking as a recent, and reluctantly former, John Edwards supporter, I would be glad to tell Mr Geraghty what is left as I see it:
Going for Obama:
  1. Obama actually can think on his feet and speak the language with clear force...he will not be our second aphasic-in-chief. He is not less able in this regard than McCain or Clinton
  2. Alone among all the presidential hopefuls, Obama was the solitary person to oppose the war when it was not popular to do so. THAT is leadership No one else can play that card and spinning the issue will show like a paunch on a fashion model.
  3. He was not born to money, certainly not to power and he has not had power for long. Make a weakness of that if you can Hillary but it means his support is coming from individuals rather than institutions to a far greater degree that your room full of the usual consultants can ascertain by a few phone calls.
Going against his opponents: An administration and its faithful sidekicks in the republican party who have managed through blind ideology and incompetence to bring about a perfect storm of political adversity that even their own ranks sometimes can't deny or avoid:
  1. inflation
  2. the highest forclosure rate in decades
  3. a crisis in the banking industry that will only be partially relieved by letting the oil Sheiks own our banks
  4. recession, one signaled by furious backpedaling at the Fed, one whose bark the fanboys of the MSM financial pages claim to hear in the "technical" distance and whose bite job seekers feel today
  5. An unwinnable war in a country that had neither terrorists nor WMD, a war that bleeds our treasury and divides our people and multiplies the enmities that gave rise to the treachery of a few Islamic fanatics.
  6. A country defiled with its descent into the lower rungs of human rights abusers: spying on citizens, torturing suspects. Even McCain has waffled on torture and only the utter dead enders still stand for our nation's pointless new cruelty.
[and many of you will have your own favorites to lengthen the second list, some impeachable offenses among them.]

The virtues of Obama may seem slight but the vices of present leadership, the price we all sense we will pay to set things right and the taint of association with that corrupt leadership fall on every other candidate. Mr. Geraghty, you may well wonder what has Obama got but the problem your strategists can't fix is that they have the stench of Bush/Cheney that will not wash off. Let me ask you a rhetorical question: How did your man Bush manage to make "anything to avoid more of the same" into a feeling so thoroughly spread among the population that all sorts of presumptions of power and attractiveness, including Hillary's, are falling like lead balloons? And let me give your hunkered down party strategists some free advice: disown and repudiate the Bush years and agendas as soon and loudly as you can...or else the majority of us, whatever our former political labeling, will have an easy decision to make.

Even if Krugman were correct in portraying some of Obama's support as cult worship, he is probably wrong in supposing it to be shallow or short lived. If we have a Barockstar Obama it is because people are desperate to escape the despair and disrepair brought on by the unbridled application of Neoconservative priorities and George Bush's "values". The unconscious calculation of voters as a ground swell that did not become a visible tsunami until it came ashore in the polling booth might be summed up thusly: "the less you are like Bush or the less you are associated with Bush, the better you are." I do not mean to belittle Obama's stellar organizing and speaking abilities, his high intelligence or his bone-deep appreciation of America's genius for enabling an ambitious up-from-nowhere rise to prominence...but to answer Mr Geraghty's question, it might be best for republicans to look in the mirror and take a little advice from Shakespeare: The fault dear Brutus is not in our rock stars but in ourselves.

Whats left? Quite a bit on the left actually. And we owe thanks for it. We thank you Messrs. Rove, Cheney, Bush, Kristol and Wolfowitz for being so spectacularly bad that even a Southern Baptist can finally smell it. We thank you for being so blind, so tolerant of lies and corruption, that doubts spatter from you like blood and excrement onto those who still witlessly or dishonestly praise your programs and play with words to put a good spin on your purposes.


Cosa Nostradamus said...

Spot on, Brother GS! This is exactly the sort of drivel the Right have been drooling since charismatic Jack Kennedy kicked crooked Dick Nixon's ass.

It may be popularity (isn't that what elections measure?), or a cult of personality. Or, it may be the great American people sniffing out the good from the bad, and choosing their own representative, instead of having a filth-encrusted machine do it for them.

It's not our fault if all the Republicans after Lincoln, except Roosevelt, have been bland, soulless, corrupt, incompetent, unattractive, boring, witless, out-of-it, idiot rich-kids or power-mad Party apparatchiks that even their own wives couldn't seem to love.

And remember Dan Quayle? He was the Repukes idea of a cute & charsimatic candidate. Carefully chosen as leader for his willingness to follow, and never to advance a new idea. But we all knew he was an air-headed Daddy's boy. Nobody can accuse Barack of that.

Sour grapes, Repukelickins. I LOVE IT!!!

As another charismatic, trouble-making, articulate, upstart Negro once famously said in the course of a great campaign, men & women should be:
"judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin."

It's what's inside that counts, in other words. Sometimes, it just shines through, as with brother Obama. Sometimes, you can smell it, as with Bush, Cheney, et al. It ain't just your lack of looks, Repukes. It's your foul stench.

Even more so than Washington and Wisconsin, look for an Obama landslide in the Aloha State, Diana, despite the frantic Machine effort for Billary. The lines were around the block multiple times, everywhere. Caucusing went up from an historical max here of 5k to more like 30k, I'd guess. (Returns not in till morning.)

It's our Party, and we'll vote if we want to, vote if we want to. You would vote too if it mattered to you! Da-da-da-da DAH! : )

Not a "HILLARY" button in sight! You never saw a more orderly yet joyous crowd in your life. I think everyone knew that they were making real history by the simple act of taking their lives in their own hands. It was truly a Sixties moment. Democracy, baby, it's a beautiful thing. Democrats oughta try it more often!

Other than sex, food, water and air, I've never seen so many people want something so bad. Old, young, rich, poor, students, workers, blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, Polynesians, gays, straights, Vietnam Vets, Iraq Vets, WWII vets, Korean Vets, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Confucians, Animists, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists, Locals, Haoles, Hawaiians. Patiently, we waited, together, to change the world.

Prague Spring, anyone? No Russian tanks coming, no matter what McCain says.

I stayed in line for almost 3 hours, just to write "BARACK OBAMA" on a tiny scrap of paper after the ballots ran out. I haven't felt so righteous, politically, since the time I had to go to Court to vote against Bonzo! But that's another story .
I was too conservative: The turnout was up not by a factor of five or six, but 7.4364.

If, according to the local papers, the Hillary vote was regular "traditional" Dems, and the Obama vote was us irregular and "New Democrats," then we have done exactly what I've been exhorting people to do here: Rise up and take over the Party by sheer strength of numbers.

The real test will be how many people really get involved and stay involved, to keep the Party and its' candidates out of the pockets of special interests who do not represent the rest of us, the real majority.

This is what US pol's since Jefferson and Adams have feared: That the great inchoate mass of the people, the 60-80 per cent who opt out or are left out in every election, should suddenly coalesce into a real force for change.

For the comfortable Powers That Be, of course, change is never good. For the rest of us, it all depends upon who manages it. If it isn't us, it won't be to our benefit.

We've only just now taken Step One here in the Aloha State. Step Two requires hard work and a willingness to stay on the job. But if last night's glorious turnout was any indication, not only can we do this, but it might actually be fun!

However, if we let go of the wheel now, someone else is already waiting to grab it. And who knows where we'll end up then? As the fellow in Pere Lachaise says, keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel.

And keep on bloggin', GreenSmile!

Cosa Nostradamus said...

[Didn't mean to call you "Diana," there, buddy! This was cross-posted at my friend Diana's blog:
Democracy For California]

GreenSmile said...

hey, wait a minute there Cosa I want to make an exeception for Ike. He was none of those traits you lay on Republicans. But hell yes, the rest of them sucked from childhood.

Landslide noted. If hell freezes over and we wind up with McCain, I will look into moving as far to the left as a US citizen can. You seem to be there now.


[and Hi, Diana. Cosa has interesting friends doesn't he?]

Cosa Nostradamus said...

First off, G, Eisenhoffer was a Texan. [Guilty by association.] Second, he was rejected by Annapolis. [Their word is good enough for me.] Third, "Eisenhower was instrumental in the addition of the words 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and the 1956 adoption of 'In God We Trust' as the motto of the US, and its 1957 introduction on paper currency." [wikipedia]

He was also a Jehovah's Witness, then a convenient convert to Presbyterianism, a lousy President at Columbia, and a rather boring guy. Plus, he invented the freeway, the bane of our existance today. Oh, and he lost the Korean War, first of many ill-advised, failed Republican wars. That would include Vietnam, started by Ike, the Cuban-American War (aka Bay of Pigs), and our disastrous involvement in the Middle East, from Lebanon in 1958 to Iraq today, per the "Eisenhower Doctrine." At the same time, he abandoned the Hungarians to the Sovs. He was, in short, an asshole of the first water, a pernicious pencil-pushing moron whose stupidity lives on to this very day.

Worst of all, it was Ike, after avoiding service in the Great War himself, who fired on the "Bonus Army" of impoverished WWI Vets "mustering in" for the bonuses they were promised by Washington. Cheaper to shoot them. He was a 5-star career office-pogey who never saw combat and helped create and later institutionalized the "Military-Industrial Complex." As Supreme Commander in Europe, he violated the Geneva Conventions on POWs by starving German prisoners and forcing them to work, yet later allowed substantial renazification of Germany. A good German, after all.

As the first NATO commander, he lost Eastern Europe to the Rooskies, single-handedly started the Cold War, and pimped the Domino Theory. We have him to thank for the National Security State in which we are still imprisoned.

Even as a child as I disliked him. I constantly nagged my mother, "MOMMY! When will Kennedy be President? This man looks like a LIGHTBULB! WAAAAAAAH!!!"

GreenSmile said...

Wow. My upbringing in a republican household is showing.

I'll still give him a point for publicly warning against the Military Industrial Complex, even if he didn't materially do anything to slow down its growth into the strangling bureaucracy of death we now endure.

That "bonus army" episode is one of the sickest moments in US history. and very much in the continuum with our current shabby treatment of veterans.