As our faithful readers know, some of us live in the US, some in Israel, some in other countries. We have roots in the US, Canada, Israel and Europe and some of us can vote in this US election and some of us can’t. We are all going to be affected by the outcome, however.
So first things first: Bush sucked. Bush has to be one of the worst presidents of all time. Give me the criminal Nixon or the somnolescent geriatric Reagan over Dubya any day. Heck, I miss Dubya’s dad when it comes to Republican leaders. Bush sucked. Our economy is in a deep hole, our dollar is in a deep hole, our military is in a deep hole, our international standing and influence are in deep holes and our society is torn by the manner in which Bush’s administration has run this country.
And please, you passionate Republicans, spare me the pro-Bush arguments. There’s a good reason why the Republican convention kept Bush in DC and off prime time.
In short, this was the Democrats’ election to lose. If you can’t win an election when the state of the Union is so abysmal, when can you win?
So what have the Democrats done? They nominated a compelling, articulate man who appeals to the left of their party and whose victory in its primaries cannot be replicated on the national level. Obama’s first problem is that winning even 100% of the national black vote doesn’t have anywhere near the impact that 80% of the Democratic black vote had on the Democratic primaries. Simply put, and as Hillary Clinton pointed out, whether it’s fair or not, he needs to perform better with the white middle class and blue collar voters. Additionally, he doesn’t come from the centrist circles (read: Clintonian) of the Democratic party but from left of center. Again, this puts him out of touch with many voters and creates an uphill battle for him where he has to convince people about his economic, military and foreign policy credentials and capabilities.
Obama is also vulnerable on taxes. Sure, he tells everyone that he only wants to tax those families with $200,000 or more in annual income, but that’s not how the Republicans will play it and as if he wanted to make it harder on himself, in his convention speech he promised a very expensive set of promises to the nation. I was asking myself, How is he going to pay for that? And I’m not a Republican pundit, operative or supporter. Did I mention that Bush sucks?
But tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight we saw Obama’s biggest folly. The man who promised “change” and a new beginning and plenty of “hope” showed himself to be the emperor without clothes. And he did it without even showing up. All one needed to do was watch a 44 year old very pretty devout Christian woman lay into Obama over and over to understand that Obama and the Democrats might actually lose this gimme election.
The New York Times editorial today criticized McCain for his impetuous selection of Sarah Palin, commenting that it was a profound mistake and so faulty that it calls into question his capacity to lead the nation. The NY Times got it wrong. It was Obama who made the mistake in selecting Biden. We saw that clearly tonight on the Republican stage. There, we saw a calm, confident, young, attractive, smart attack dog showing up Obama with words and simply with her presence. She can’t be charged with inexperience, because as she pointed out, she has more than Obama…except she’s not at the top of the ticket. She can’t be charged with youth, because as was visible to all, she’s in the same age bracket as Obama. She can’t be charged with being a member of institutional politics or Washington because she is clearly an outsider, in contrast with the Democratic ticket’s players. Oh, and she’s a woman. Remember women? They’re the ones who have not had a member of their gender in the White House in any official capacity.
And whom did Senator Obama, the great Hope of Change bring to the table as his VP? Did he bring a young, charismatic politician? Nope. How about a woman? Nope. Did he bring in an outsider to DC, as in a real agent of change? Nope. Did he pick somebody who is easy on the eyes? Well, let’s not be too mean to Biden but let’s also admit that Palin scores better in that category. Obama picked a contemporary of McCain’s who represents EVERYTHING that Obama has been claiming he seeks to change. Biden is the establishment in DC. He is the face of the old ways and the old party. He is also somebody who has not been able to even get out of the starting gate in a couple of Presidential runs, in part because he has a tendency to talk a little too much and has put his foot in his mouth a couple of times in ways that marked him as incapable of winning a campaign. Worst of all, by choosing Biden, Obama was essentially admitting that he is indeed short of experience and wisdom when it comes to military and foreign policy issues. It’s as if he was incomplete until Biden came along to serve as the Senior Presence; the consigliere without whom the Prince can’t lead when it comes to the real complicated stuff. Biden is to Obama as Cheney was to Bush is the unspoken message.
And McCain? Well, he needed to counter Obama’s charisma and youth. He also needed to show him up as empty. He needed to show himself as the agent of change and block the Obamanian line of attack that says McCain is going to give us more Bush. So he picked this outsider, who is well-spoken, can rev up her party, appeal to those blue collar workers Obama so desperately needs, appeal to women, and who can nullify by her very presence many of Obama’s advantages in the race. Think about how vulnerable Obama is when this woman with two years of governing Alaska and some years as a mayor of a small town mocks his inexperience.
He has written two memoirs, Palin said tonight about Obama, but has not written a single law.
Ouch, that hurts.
Polls are showing the race is a dead heat right now, but this is after the Democrats were supposed to have their convention “bounce.” And this at a time when this country is dying for change in leadership. Did the Democrats manage to screw things up again? We’ll see. Obama is well financed and Bush and the Republican House members have screwed up so royally that this should be enough on its own to win the race. Except that Obama has to beat McCain…and right now, McCain is looking mighty savvy and, um, like an agent of change.