Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not-so-Super Tuesday

Is that what we will have to call it now that it's the-Day-After-Super-Tuesday (otherwise known as Wednesday) and all is not settled in the races for the Democratic and Republican nominations?

I think conventional wisdom still holds. Other than key wins in [her "home" state of] New York and California, Hillary Clinton didn't seem to win much of anything. Obama, even though he is behind on delegates, seems to be the Democrat with all the momentum.

However, I am deeply troubled by Obama's campaign. My main misgiving is that he articulates next to nothing about his policy positions. I listen to his ads and try as I might all I can hear are cliches. He talks about ending war and letting diplomacy and peace work. This is all fine and dandy but tells us little about how President Obama would treat with those who would use our willingness to try diplomacy to deceive us and inflict damage on us.

Obama says that he has a plan to for universal health coverage, but try as I might, I have yet to hear him say what that plan is. And for a task as monumental as that, you can bet the devil will be in the details.

He talks endlessly about change but advocating change for change's sake is dangerous and stupid. I only support those changes that make sense; that seem a reasonable solution to an existing problem. Unless I know what changes a candidate is proposing, it seems reckless to support someone who advocates plain-old "change".

To put it as simply as I know how, Obama hasn't told me enough about how he will govern, nor does he have enough of a record for me to deduce how he will govern, for me to consider giving him my vote.

Obama's campaign also smacks of hubris. Obama and his supporters act as is he is the first candidate ever to run on such a vacuous platform of "peace" and "let's change the world". This is typical baby boomer narcissism. What's dangerous is that I sense an almost Kennedy-like (John, the good one) enthusiasm for his candidacy. It's dangerous because I am not convinced these people know what they are supporting. Perhaps Obama's amorphousness is his genius. By being nothing, he can be whatever any voter wants him to be. By supporting nothing and speaking only in the broadest of terms, surely he must be on the right side of my issue, mustn't he?

I think Obama is also displaying signs of hubris by concentrating on the young and minority votes. There is a reason successful campaigns don't place their eggs in these baskets. Traditionally, these groups do not turn out to vote in heavy enough numbers to guarantee victory. There is a reason successful campaign target marrieds-with-children and senior citizens.

I don't know if it's just me. Isn't this what shrinks call transference? I am talking about my fervent desire to not have Hillary Clinton return to the White House. I think I am may be transferring my wish on to the population as a whole. So maybe that is why I think that there seems to be a groundswell movement, unnamed and unspoken, to deny her the White House. I get the sense Republicans would brave a President Obama to not have to endure a President Clinton redux. And perhaps Democrats wouldn't complain so loudly under a President McCain.

Ah, the politics of despair.

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