Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why I’m rooting for Obama

It’s taken me a while to get to this point, and I still have my reservations, but I’m hoping Sen. Obama wins the Democratic nomination. Here’s why:

  • I’m definitely tired of the Clintons. I don’t think he did anything for the country, I don’t think she has any new ideas, and they are a divisive force in general; plus, it’s simply impossible to separate them into individuals. Elect her and you get him. I’d rather he was out making speeches.
  • Obama’s desire for a new kind of political dialog is very appealing to me. Fighting the same old ideological issues we’ve been arguing over since I was 10-years old is getting us nowhere; we aren’t solving problems, we’re blathering into the great void.
  • The Rev. Wright issue doesn’t bother me at all. We are not responsible for the words of others and we all have friends or family who say things – sometimes horrible things – that we wish they hadn’t said (like Obama’s white grandma). But we don’t disown them, we judge them as whole persons and on their actions more than their words.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I have no use for the rhetoric of the Rev. Wright, but if Obama got the nomination that would do more to silence the voices decrying America as an unrepentant racist state than anything else I can imagine. More importantly, it would give hope to all black people and evidence that not all white people are hopelessly blind to the value black people bring to America. I think it would do a lot of good for the collective white, American soul as well.
  • It would be a very positive thing to have something both white and black Americans could root for (or against) other than their favorite team.

Conversely, there is a scenario that scares me. Let’s say the electorate can’t get over Obama’s association with the Rev. Wright, and he staggers to the finish line during these last primaries -- still leading in delegates and popular vote, but with a clear loss of momentum.

The Clinton machine will be working the super delegates like stock brokers at a lottery winner’s convention from now until the summer, with the message that Obama can’t win. The super d’s buy it, and give the nomination to Hillary.

This will make a lot of people, black and white, very angry, but it will be a particularly hard pill to swallow in the black community, and will be like pouring gasoline on the fire for people like Rev. Wright. Racial hostilities will escalate further, and America will slip further behind its promise of being “the last best hope of earth.”


Birdman said...

Amen. I agree with everything you said. Especially the part about all of us knowing our fair share of crackpots and even call them close friends.

fenway said...

Amen oh great blogging chief. Never mind the practical reason: even as he he staggering (currently) he can beat McCain. I think white men, soccer moms and some blue-collar workers will go for him, in the end.

hankster said...

Certain things need to be addressed. The Reverend Wright's perverted POV is a branch off the same tree that says no Jews were killed on 9/11. The very fact that people believe these things means there are major disconnects in perception. As it has been said that it took a hard liner like Nixon to open up China, so it might take a man of color to address this black on white negativity.

And, an amen from me on the Clintons. No more Bushes either. Will white bread America see McCain as a third term GWB? Will they say they are better off now than when the hanging chad changed the course of leadership? McCain is the voice of "stay the course." Unless the White House wags the dog before the election and all things remain equal, people will vote on the economy.

I am ready for OBL to wake up one day and see we have a dark-skinned quarterback.

Anonymous said...

Most people I know could care less about "Pop Culture" and Obama. They know he is not tied to his Minister.

They are smarter than that.

The guy can give a speach for sure.

It seems he is the DEM guy. More power to him.

It is going to get ugly, JB said...

Hillary is into POWER. Barack is a level guy but McCain is who we need.

Woody said...

A brief look at the recent polls will tell you how damaging Rev Wright has been to Obama. Clinton has moved ahead by 6-7 pts. He now trails McCain in the general election numbers. Obama runs the risk of alienating the very voters he needs to win the nomination and the election. He is not going to make it if he does not broaden his appeal and the Rev Wright has really hurt him. Maybe he can recover but I suspect this issue resonates with more people than many of you are willing to admit.

d'blank said...

I don't think I’m underestimating the problem. This is a big problem and many people won't get over it. I think for those who hear the speech it might be a different situation, but while there have been 2 million downloads I suspect it is mostly preaching to the choir. To me the issue is, “are we going to worry about what Barack’s pastor said, or are we going to address the real problems of the day.”

hankster said...

The lunch pail voters might not have voted for him anyway. McCain better start dancing if he expects to win. If he keeps saying things are going well in Iraq it will not be an issue at the ballot box. If voters decide economic issues are of prime concern, his association with the current administration is poison. What would you put your money on come election time; recovery or recession? From my seat I would say a lot more dominoes are yet to fall.

Perhaps some will wistfully pull the lever for Bill Clinton via Hillary, remembering better economic times.

friend of NWF said...

Agree with all of it and you could go further.

-Washington DC hates the Clintons.  They attacked them before with a dozen court cases, special prosecutors, investigations and judges, on and on.  Noting has changed on the Right.  If they did it to Bill, they'll do it to Hillary. More rancor, more divisiveness. More government about power rather than about the people.

Hillary won't play in the MidEast.  A lot Arab leaders we need to talk to won't even sit at the table with her because she's a woman.  O'Bama on the other hand will play fabulously.

O'Bama is symbolically correct--half white and half black, just like the population.  Everyone will feel represented. Also symbolically: he is the future, she is the past.

One angry black preacher doesn't bother me either. Often said, if I was black, I'd be pissed, too. Besides Billy Graham and his ilk are just as bent and dangerous.   And the born-agains are so self-righteous, they're downright scary.

AY said...

I'm sorry you can't equate Pastor Wright to a crackpot friend or family member. His influence in that black community, as the religious, political, civic and social mentor, can exponentially reach hundreds and hundreds of people. I've been in black churches (for the gospel music!) and those meetings last 2 to 3 hours, and there's a lot of non-religious conversation going on!

With Obama campaigning on hope and unity -- you cannot embrace a man who preaches despair and divisiveness. I understand how his relationship spanned 20 years, and it wasn't all fire and brimstone -- but his judgement was off on not clarifying his position relative to the pastor's rhetoric much, much earlier on. He's now paying the price in the polls.

I, too, do not want the Clintons back. They would be a detriment to our country. But I do want to know more about Obama -- so let the real vetting begin!