Friday, June 6, 2008


So now it's time to be serious about Obama. Potentialities are spent. Now it's reality. Which means verbiage like Unity and Change and Hope must be banished for the moment from political discourse like a squirt of tobacco juice, even if only temporarily into a cheek pouch. Hillary's mad eyes for the prize have blinked, and the tall dark steely man from Illinois takes it.

It's been a few days. The numbers, I'm informed, bear it out. I wouldn't know. But I must have faith that they wouldn't lie to me. The first thing I thought was, Hillary will be on the ticket -- this, despite some previous speculations to the contrary that may have appeared in these pages. And that gave me pause. A slight dread. Cuz I do think that ticket could win. For some reason Hillary's supporters, the hardcore ones, value her even over a Dem win, and the story is that they will vote for McCain. Even with a soft right, most of the independents along with the disaffected Dems would still give it to McCain.

Our hope, then, lies in their egos. Hillary would take the deal. And what a deal. It ain't the White House, but Blair House will do. Think of her VP efforts as the Blair Bitch Project. Tee hee. Git it? Bush is stupid, and Hillary is a bitch. See? And would Obama go for it? Today it seemed to me that, no, he wouldn't. This messiah would want a more devout apostle. Cuz what we know, for a certainty, is that Hillary is not about harmony, not about unity, not about the good of any simple abstract. Hillary is all about, well ... you know. Same as Obama.

Ego. Ego will save us.

Unity? Only when it doesn't require compromise. Change? Yeah, to my way of thinking. Hope? Well, I'm winning, right? We will spend spend spend like drunken sailors -- a safe group to disrespect -- and tax to do it, and that won't harm the economy, and health care will banish illness, and an even more centrally-controlled public education will make even the bitter gun-slinging religionists sensible, and gay marriage is in the Constitution. Why, don't you see the point? U-Topia no longer means No-Place. It means 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and its sephorahtic penumbra emanating from number 1 First St. NE, The City of God.

Never mind that the greater part of Obama's actual national experience comes solely from his presidential campaign experience. Ahem. Did you get that? The moribund bulk of his actual experience on the national scene -- everything he will know from first-hand experience -- derives exclusively from delivering set speeches to adoring throngs, and from glad-handing Audi-drivers at upscale mall boutique photo ops. His experience in actual governance will extend no further than balancing his household check book. If he does that. Given his financial dependence on Rezco, it's a doubtful proposition.

Never mind that his life experience has been as a privileged prep-school only-child groomed for unquestioned self-esteem if not for any actual quality of honorable character. Perhaps that was thrown into the mix as well. We would hope so. From this pampered origin he matriculated from several most-elite Universities, into the Career of His Choosing. Something the media elects to style "community organizer." Fast-forward, and he's a "civil rights attorney." Well, it's not a shameful thing, in itself. Sometimes civil rights need an attorney. There was some talk that I can't be bothered to remember about his major and almost-only client being some insider bigwig who ended up funding Obama's political career. So what; all that means, probably, is that he inspires loyalty. That's a good thing. Altogether, a favored if not really inspiring curriculum vitae.

It isn't a matter of qualification. A natural-born citizen aged 35-plus is qualified. Qualified cannot then be the word that embodies our concern. But where is this man's actual talent? In unifying? He just broke from his church of two decades. In making changes? See above. In inspiring hope? Well, yes, but what is hope? If it remains only hope, we might call it an Apple of Sodom -- pleasant to look at, filled with ashes.

His talent is in speech making.

What is it that the left loathes about Bush? His smirking cockiness? His unquestioning self-assurance? His certainty in the rightness of his cause? Um. Surely you see it? How is this not Obama? Bush is incurious where Obama's intelligence is scintillating and far-questing? And the evidence for this is? -- Obama's firm grasp of historical detail? Alas, his bizarre ignorance was blasted into radioactive outline like silhouettes on a Nagasaki wall by his illiterate instant-history about Kennedy meeting with Khrushchev. Not a template for success. A complete disaster, in Kennedy's own estimation, that emboldened Khrushchev to ship nukes to Cuba. And how, Kennedy then wondered, could he show he really was a tough guy? How about boldly facing down International Communism by sending in advisors to Indochine? What could possibly go wrong?

Self-confidence is requisite in a leader. There should be something behind it, that supports it. Neither Bush nor Obama may have been qualified by actual life-experience to assume that office most high. Bush was touched rather more by it, given his job as enforcer for his presidential father, but we'll dismiss that. What separates these two is, simply, ideology. Not all readers here will be conservative. That's fine. Bush isn't all that conservative.

But the distinction between conservative and liberal, between right and left, must be found here: in practicality, or in impracticality. What works? What proves theory, or not? What adapts to reality, rather than requiring that reality conform to opinion, however grand? If mankind were basically good, perfectible, then social engineering would have produced results other than those revealed throughout the previous century. Alas, observation has not supported such a conclusion.

We do the good that we can, without expecting human nature to change. Only circumstances change, by formula. We must deal with humanity as if it were a closed system. We can redistribute resources, but we create nothing new. That requires something from outside the system, the natural system -- it requires the, uh, supernatural. Yes, that is possible too. Not by formula.

Conservatives understand this. We are not sufficient. We all start out idealists. As babies -- the perfect egoists. Then we must learn, less than half of us, that we are not sufficient. I hope you're not confused -- I'm not talking about rugged individualism and self-reliance and indomitable will and all of those marvelous character attributes. I'm talking about knowing that we are limited by our nature. We are our character, and nothing more, that counts.

Obama? What's all this got to do with Obama? The left does not learn from reality. Obama is the most left politician who has ever come within reach of the presidency.

Normally I would say, take heart. America is too sensible. But it isn't, anymore. Gay marriage? It is the perfect symbol of our times. More savory even than abortion. There has always been abortion. But now every wall is shattered, or may be. Because of this, why not? -- why not do what has never before been done? Elect a far left President?

I don't know why not. All I have to go by is the past, and maybe things will turn out differently this time, from all those other ideological revolutions like the French and the Russian and the Chinese and the Cambodian. You know -- change. It could happen, because we believe in hope, which means that things can be different than the past suggests. Somehow, somehow I insist on seeing this as a good thing. And I defy anyone to prove me wrong.



Anonymous said...

Great article, Jack, but that link to your previous post on Hillary/Obama ... well, some things are just a little too hard to look at or think about ...

A daily visitor, I'm really enjoying your writing, though. Thank you!


Jack H said...

I regret nothing, do you hear? Nothing!

nanc said...

calm down, jack! i'm thinking you're a little uptight?

great rant - thank you for visiting curtains. please do revisit.


Jack H said...

This? You think THIS is a rant?! Oh you poor dear child. Flee while you may.

As for my being uptight, I lack sufficient self-awareness to make that evaluation.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nanc said...

may i amble rather than flee - i've a sprained ankle?

you are now added to my sidebar whether you like it or not!

Jack H said...

F -- you can search this wide world over, and never find a man as sweet as me.

N -- I see I'm going to have trouble with you.

nanc said...

you're not implying...


The Merry Widow said...

Jack-EVERYBODY, sooner or later, has found that Nanc is trouble...even though she is "My Precious Baby Sister Who Is A Brat".


Jack H said...

Girlfriend, this is why I am SO glad I'm a metrosexual. Just don't GO there. I am SO over all that. I got trouble I haven't even unpacked yet. DON'T get me started.

Anonymous said...

So this is jack's place. It is kinda 1'dy.

The Merry Widow said...

Hey, berty-girl...thought you might show up!
I think Nanc likes this place.;-}
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!