Monday, October 20, 2008

The Condensed Version of the Presidential Election

A few days ago Jeff Medcalf left a comment on one of Dave Schuler's posts that nicely sums up the Presidential election:

What amuses me — and it’s black comedy (no pun intended) indeed — is that many of the people voting for Obama seem to be doing so on the hope that he doesn’t mean what he says, and most of the people voting for McCain are doing so on the fear that Obama means exactly what he says. What [a long], strange trip it’s been.
I would like to expand on this a little. A great many of Obama's supporters (or at least a great many of his supporters that I encounter) tell me that Obama isn't really as radical as his past associations. He only used the Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, etc. to get ahead, and that Obama is really the Great Centrist Uniter of All Mankind. But this leads to two sets of questions.

First, assume that Obama did in fact use these people to get ahead, as well as the corrupt Chicago Machine. Why did he do that? After all, we've been told that after he left Harvard, indeed after he left Columbia following his undergraduate work, he could have gone anywhere and done anything. Associating with corrupt politicians, sleazy operators like Tony Rezko, racist agitators, and communist bomb throwers setters was a conscious decision of his as an adult. He didn't grow up there. He owed no one any favors. He had no reason to pick Chicago over any other place to start his political career. So Occam's Razor suggests that Obama does favor the kinds of corrupt and radical politics favored by his associates. Otherwise he could have gone somewhere else and picked other associates.

Second, if Obama did in fact use such people simply to further his own ambitions, we should assume that he now uses centrists to further his own career. "Centrist" Obama supporters have already accepted that Obama is a cynical user. So the question then becomes, "Does Obama believe in anything other than himself?"

I'm having trouble seeing how any of this leads to a good outcome for the country, and I'm having trouble seeing flaws in the logic.


bill said...

Kinda matches where I'm going with him. Last week, listened to an NPR Profile of Obama's time in Chicago. Maybe if I had a better opinion of him I'd appreciate the way he outmanuevered more experienced candidates. But all I heard was a naked power grab for the sake of power. No guiding principles, no purpose, just the accumulation of power. At one time I thought he was an interesting guy worth paying attention to once he gained some experience. Now I'm working on actively disliking the guy.

XWL said...

You're all racist for questioning The One.

Everyone knows that words like "cynical user" and bringing up Chicago as a negative are coded racist language.

I've lost track of all the different terms that are used as 'coded racist language' so I've come to assume that all criticisms of The One are coded racist language.

I hadn't realized how racist I was, and how much shame I felt over my own mixed heritage until the media exposed the troubling pattern of racism inherent in my distrust of The One.

I will repent (but I won't vote for the bastard).

Icepick said...

I will consider my lilly-white ass duly chastised. I still won't vote for him either.