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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Zombies and Fairy Tales

Someone asked me the other day who would I vote for if it came down to that -- Hillary or Obama. I didn’t even pause in answering. Hillary. Hm. How odd. Hillary, who is so disliked, over Obama, who is so charming and pleasant. How can such a thing be explained?

Isn’t it strange, though, such a karmic conflation, these clintons with Nixon. Hillary, who worked so industriously in the Nixon impeachment, and bill, who was actually impeached. bill, who had such a sleazy, such a shoddy character, counterpart to Nixon’s demon-haunted psyche. Hillary, who in her famously vindictive nature is such a complement to Nixon with his storied enemies list. How, in what way, could we possibly want even the possibility of a reprise of all that? clinton alone was precisely half the man Nixon was. If Hillary gets in, the resurrection would be complete -- if more zombie than holy.

How could such a thing be better than Obama? Because for all his appeal, Obama would be a disaster. America has never had a leftist president. Not left is we understand the term. We’ve had liberals in a moderate sense -- FDR, Johnson, Carter. But they weren’t ideologues. The real liberals, like McGovern and Mondale and Dukakis and Gore and Kerry -- never got elected. There’s a reason for that. Yes, providence -- but also because America is not the place for such leftists. Europe, of course, loves massive government. Russia. China. Leftist paradises. But the USA? Not yet. That’s Obama. The most liberal politician in the Senate.

Well, I'm wrong about Carter. Worst president ever. He must have been a liberal in the immoderate sense.

But we survived. As we will survive. Checks and balances. The Democrat-controlled Congress has not yet ruined the country. We can survive a few years in the wilderness. The problem with Obama is his inexperience. His naivetĂ©. Can you imagine him sitting down at a negotiation table with Hugo Chavez? Good lord. Obama was a civil rights attorney. Yes, we do need civil rights attorneys. A few of them, because civil rights do need to be protected. Um, I shouldn’t have said “civil rights attorneys.” I should have said constitutional law attorneys. You know, based in reality, rather than leftist propaganda.

How liberal is Obama? While he was in the Illinois legislature, a bill came up to provide medical aid to babies who survived abortion. You know, actual babies, just maybe sort of cut up. Obama voted against the bill. Let them die, I guess. Very, very, very liberal. I don’t hold it against him. It’s just emblematic. And as Hillary so shrilly pointed out, Obama holds the record for Senate votes of abstain, or merely present. Not real strong on taking a clear position, huh? This may make him a nice guy, but not much of a leader.

As for his oratory, if you analyze it, he says exactly nothing. No real plans, no concrete propositions -- just high-flown rhetoric. Universal health care and mortgage-crisis relief. Doesn’t that sound nice? But how will it be paid for, with this oh-so-out-of-control budget already causing so many problems? He’s not wrong to be so vague -- his plans would be used against him in the general election. It’s a tactic, his vagueness. But it also seems to be a character trait. Is it a sort of middle-child thing? -- the mediator and conciliator? Manifesting in him through his genetic middle ground between two races? Nonsense, of course. Because he isn’t moderate in his positions. He’s an extreme liberal.

Government is not the answer. It isn’t the problem, either, pace Reagan. It is a tool, to be used or misused according to who wields it. As James Barber says in his The Presidential Character, “government is no church. Democracy is a system, a set of conditions, a down-to-earth skeleton put together to host and foster baseline virtues such as justice, freedom, equality, community, and participation, rather than topline virtues such as faith, hope and charity. So who ought to be picked for the Presidency is a concern we ought to think about not in the context of moral perfection but in the context of basic political leadership in the reality of democracy.”

Conservatives should know this, having, as so many of them do, an actual church, that they need not look to government for salvation. Government is a necessary evil, designed to inhibit unnecessary evils such as crime, and to undo inevitable evils, such as floods. Of these two, Hillary or Obama, which would be the less ineffective in dealing with such issues? I’d chose Nixonian vindictiveness over Carteresque fecklessness every time.

Hopefully it won’t come to that. McCain can beat Hillary because Hillary will get out the hate vote against her. He can beat Obama because Hispanics and Asians, historically, do not vote for a black man. Don’t ask me. Blacks will show up in record numbers, but moderates and independents will go for McCain, and when conservatives find out the specifics of how very very left Obama actually is, they’ll hold their noses and vote for McCain.

So? It’s a good thing. We win. We win by not losing.


J

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