Posted by: Jim | October 23, 2006

Good News!

Barak Obama is considering a run for the Presidency.


There are a very few other potential candidates I like (Feingold, but is he running?) This would be great news, in my opinion. Obama has not been in Congress so long that people will be able to smear him. He’s a great communicator. He seems like a regular guy who loves America.


  1. The problem with him running for President is the majority of this nation will not vote for a non white politician and the end result could be another 4 years of the mess we have now.
    Obama may be the greatest thing since sliced bread but you’ll never be able to convince the same hillbillies that voted for Bush that they should vote for Obama.
    I think Democrats will have a hard enough time persuading voters to vote for a woman let alone trying to persuade them to vote for a relatively unknown black man.
    We like to pretend we’re an equal opportunity nation but the reality is, we’re still pretty backwards when it comes to electing a President.
    As a Hoosier I’m leaning more towards Evan Bayh but I have a feeling the rest of this country will lean more towards a name they know.
    (Cause you know how great of a job they’ve been doing so far.)

  2. Debbie, I hope we put your theory to the test, because I think the people who would not vote for Obama because he is Black is a slim minority. I think his appeal to both the Right and the Left, his ability to communicate, and his lack of baggage (so far) will have a much bigger impact.

    I’m not concerned about the Hillbilly vote, and really don’t have a mind to regard their opinion.

  3. AMEN!

    Whenever we have conversations about the left’s need to find a charasmatic Clinton-like figure, Obama’s name comes up. So this is good news.

  4. Hillbilly? Really? Nice and constructive commentary.

    The problem with the democratic party is that they are so splintered, that there is not one candidate aside from perhaps Obama that could defeat a Giuliani (if he decides to run). C’mon, the best you had to throw at Bush in ’04 was that Lurch-like character, Kerry.

    The Dems have no one to blame but themselves. I think Jim is right – Obama is a good communicator who can unite a party, if given the oportunity.

  5. Todd,

    You want me to use a nicer term for people who won’t vote for Obama because he is black?

    How about “Troglodytes.” That is nicer because they won’t know what it means.

  6. How about Troglobillies?

    Anyway, I would vote for the guy in a heartbeat, but I’m sure that’s no surprise to anyone since I’m all about what someone stands for, not what color they happen to be. Sadly however, I am not representative of the majority in this country and I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Debbie’s point. That so-called ‘slim minority’ is what elected Jed Clampett twice, so you should know better than to think that somehow just because almost everybody’s finally disillusioned with the newkyuhler hillbilly, that this means they won’t rally ’round the flag to avoid the dreaded Black Man In The White House. I wish things were different, and perhaps someday they will be, but I just don’t believe this country is all that evolved or enlightened enough to pull it off right now. And given the importance of the coming election, I’d hate to see another default win by the status quo because we again failed to properly gauge the level of backwardness in our ever-devolving culture.

    After all, another 4 years of jack-booted right-wing flag-waving, and black people will be back to picking cotton instead of running for President.

    On the other hand, regardless of whether the Dems manage to choose someone who can and will win, the good news is that even a McCain or a Giuliani would be a breath of fresh air after the Bush nightmare, especially with a Democratic Congress to deal with. It’s been a long time since we got to see politics be about checks and balances, compromise and rationality, like it was supposed to be according to that Constitution-thingie that Bush despises so much.

    So I guess you could say I’m optimistic, in the way that someone who has poison ivy is optimistic once the sores stop spreading. We still have a long, itchy road ahead of us, but I no longer have the constant urge to kill myself.

    And by the way, Todd, nobody here thinks you’re a hillbilly. We just think you accidentally drank the moonshine. That having been said, however, I applaud your appreciation of Obama. Though I’m well aware that you will absolutely vote against him if you get the opportunity, at least it won’t be because he’s black.

    * * *

  7. Am I the only Dem around who isn’t that crazy about the idea of Obama running for president in ’08? I honestly feel he is far too green to run for the highest office in the land. He needs more seasoning.

    Plus, when I was in DC last September I ran into several of his constituents who were in town for the weekend – they weren’t all that happy with the man. I wish I could remember details, but my memory isn’t all that great. I do remember that they thought his voting record – such as it is – could stand to be more progressive. He is being groomed by the Democratic Leadership Council and, for good or ill, association with the DLC has been known to backfire on Democratic candidates.

    I hope that he could be someone who could unite the party, but he’s got more legislating to do in Illinois first.

    I’m liking Feingold, but I still need to do a lot more research before I make any kind of decision.

    BTW, bri, no McCain. Please. He used to seem to be a man of principle, but he’s been caving into Bush Co. so often since December 2004 that I don’t trust him.

  8. Actually, Todd has indicated he might vote for Obama, but that’s off-topic.

    Luckily, our system of primary elections for President will be a good indicator of what the nation is ready for.

    But Brian, the “Slim Minority” that I referred to are people who are racists. Not everyone who voted for Bush is a racist, which you indirectly implied.

  9. Oh I agree. Ixnay on the cCainMay. I salute his brave service in our military, but eschew his cowardly capitulations of late.

    But Carol, why would a Presidential candidate need more seasoning? I can think of a lot of reasons why congressional seasoning is BAD for a Presidential hopeful.

    Second, what other DLC darlings have not fared well. Are you sure it’s the DLC’s connection that caused it? (It might be, I’m just curious.)

    If you ask me, it’s time for the Democrats to completely re-invent themselves from their principles up. This goes back to my desire to rid the term “Liberal” from my lexicon. It has no consistent meaning. What principles do the Democrats spring from? I think the Republicans have made theirs clear. The Dems haven’t–or at least they didn’t with Kerry. They didn’t in this year’s election either! They are riding on the ill-will toward the current administration. I’m not sure that will fly in 2008.

  10. I didn’t mean to imply that the people who voted for Bush and who won’t vote for Obama are racist. I merely meant they haven’t progressed far enough in their thinking to embrace a nonwhite president.
    You live in California which is far more advanced than the rest of the country when it comes to equal opportunity. I live in Indiana and as embarrassing as it is to admit, I can say with much confidence that the Midwest isn’t as free thinking.
    Oh, they’ll tell you the politically correct answer if you poll them but when it comes to voting, I just don’t see it happening.

  11. Debbie, I know you’re trying to be kind, but what you describe is racism. If they do or don’t vote for someone based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, it is a racist decision. That doesn’t mean they would embrace lynching, or even segregation, but it’s still racism.

    You are right about California being quite different from the midwest. And maybe I am being overly optimistic about my country, but I still think it’s wrong for those of us who aren’t racists to NOT vote for our favorite candidate simply because we fear that he won’t win due to his color.

    But all this is premature, really. When all the horses are in the starting gate, Obama might not be my favorite. But if he is yours, you should vote for him. Otherwise … the racists win.

  12. I never said I liked McCain. I said that if we had to live with him in there, it would still be a major improvement over Bush. In fact, Charles Manson is looking pretty good to me about now. Isn’t he up for parole again by ’08? And my point about the ‘slim minority’ wasn’t that those folks were racist; it’s that they’re DUMB. Racist is a subset of dumb, but you don’t have to wear a hood and shout ‘white power’ to want your President to be the same race as you. Debbie keeps attempting to make that point, since she lives outside of our little California bubble and knows just how provincial people can be. Yeah, provincial. As in, “I’m not racist but you’re different from me so I don’t trust you.” Anybody who’s ever wandered into a Wal-Mart in Duluth, Georgia knows what the hell I’m talking about. I’m a white guy, but it’s obvious I’m not one of THEM so they look at me like I just walked out of a flying saucer with a giant soup spoon in my hand. That’s America, folks. Go five miles outside any major city and there you are.

    Someday I hope we have a Great Leader as President, who happens to be black. Hell, I hope we have a Great Leader of ANY race or gender; we haven’t had one for as long as I can remember. But forgive me if I’m skeptical that the mood of the country is such that we can jump from a borderline Neo-Nazi administration to suddenly painting over the swastikas and putting a Progressive Black Man in there. Stranger things have happened, but usually following a bloody coup or at least a stock market crash.

    Liberals have a penchant for putting the utopian cart before the horse, which is one of the things that rallies Conservatives against us. And usually, except for a brief moment during the dire conditions of the Depression, it makes us lose.

    After experiencing catastrophic terrorism and the subsequent erosion of our Constitutional rights in the name of ‘Homeland Security’, what was our Big Defining Issue? Gay marriage. Duh. Now, on the verge of what may very well turn out to be World War Three, what will be our rallying cry? Probably either “let’s elect a black guy!” or “let’s elect a woman!” Great; just great. The masses are living in either survival mode or abject denial of reality, and we’re gonna try to help them get over their personal prejudices. What brilliant timing.

    So…Todd may be right; as is typical for the Democratic Party to which I reluctantly belong, if it again shoots itself in the foot by overestimating the personal enlightenment of the masses at large, it will have no one to blame but itself.

    What I know about Obama, I like. I may vote for him; it’s awfully early to say. But if I do, it will be with my breath held tightly, because I don’t trust the people of this country to be colorblind and I really hate to hand the Right another default victory just because we tried to pretend we were living in the 21st Century.

    * * *

  13. Thanks, Bri.
    That’s exactly what I meant.

  14. There is merit to your point, but let me put this a different way.

    Abraham Lincoln did not accede to the “lower majority” you refer to when he wrote his Emancipation Proclamation. He KNEW it would likely cause a civil war, and he anguished over whether it was worth it. He decided it was, and 800,000 people died.

    Illumination is not cheap, but is the only thing that is going to save us. Abraham Lincoln was not making decisions based on what was politically expedient, he was making decisions based on what was RIGHT for mankind.

    If the North had lost the Civil War, should they have not fought it? Yes, because the *idea* that men should live free would have lived on.

    Gay people are fighting for their rights and losing right now. Should the stop? No, because the *idea* that gay people have rights is now imprinted on the American brain.

    That idea *will* eventually win–if we don’t all kill each other before it happens. But if we don’t strive for illumination, we will, most certainly, all kill each other.

    So yes Brian, you might be right that Americans aren’t ready to vote for a Black President. But if we acquiesce to that lower common denominator, we slow down the day when the higher common denominator becomes the majority.

    To quote Martin Luther King, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

  15. one thing.

    Justice is NOTHING without Freedom, which is what that borderline Neo-Nazi administration Bri was talking about is slowly taking away from us because of the Department of Homeland Security.

    The V for Vendetta comic book taught me that! 😀

  16. OK, folks, time for a history lesson. Bear with me.

    The myth of the Civil War being about slavery versus freedom/equality/blah blah blah is just that — a myth. Like usual, the common perception is an overly simplistic, sentimental tale related to children who then grow up and rarely bother to question anything, thereby continuing to believe in fairy tales and absolutes like right-versus-wrong and us-versus them.

    Slavery had been an issue ever since the earliest days of the Republic, because it was a remnant of an old social order that was already being dismantled in Europe. It gave a ridiculously unfair economic advantage to those wealthy enough to own slaves (and their children ad infinitum), and average farmers (of which most of the fledgling nation was composed) couldn’t compete in a marketplace with wealthy landowners who had access to unlimited free labor for a one-time fee. Abolitionists were composed of many different kinds of people, from these disadvantaged farmers, to forward-thinkers who foresaw inevitable dangerous consequences (such as massive slave revolt), to xenophobic whites who just simply feared or disliked blacks and didn’t want masses of them brought to the continent for any reason, to slaves who had won their freedom, to religious types who opposed slavery on moral grounds, to political opportunists who saw a cause to propel their careers. There were also liberal thinkers like Jefferson who realized the contradiction of celebrating liberty and the rights of man while considering SOME men property and worthy of bondage (and yes, I am aware that Jefferson owned slaves). It was a very diverse lot, and gradually one that grew to a force to be reckoned with. Jefferson wanted to do away with slavery in the Constitution itself but he was forced to compromise in order to keep the fractious young federation of states intact, setting the stage for later conflict — the keyword here being LATER, as opposed to right in the middle of a tenuous attempt to create a nation.

    Later eventually came, and with the country expanding westward, displacing and destroying yet another less ‘equal’ race of folks, there was a constant struggle in each new territory between those who wanted to expand the practice of slavery and those who didn’t wish to have to compete with free agricultural labor (in addition to the aforementioned groups, but in the case of new territories the reason was overwhelmingly economic rather than moral). There were many regional conflicts that far predate the Civil War, in which outright battles were fought over where slavery would be allowed, as far west as Arizona. Slaveholders had plenty of power to manipulate the political climate, and the seeds of civil strife were already in evidence all over the country before Lincoln inherited the mess that degenerated into the War Between The States. Several states were talking about secession, and the more that talked about it, the more the idea spread. Free states did not like the idea of competing economically with slave states, and slave states did not like the idea of being told what to do by what was supposed to be more of an alliance than an overlord. The Constitution gives more power to the states than to the Fed, which is supposed to exist mainly as a face to the world and a mediator between sovereign states.

    The Emancipation Proclamation is billed today as some sort of humanitarian epic document established to further the cause of human freedom, blah blah blah — but the reality is that it was an attempt to draw a line in the sand and end the debate, establishing the Federal Government as the law of the land and eliminating a significant element of the Constitution that granted sovereignty to the states. It was a warning shot to the South, a way of saying who was in charge, and Lincoln hoped it would force the states that were on the fence to come fully back into the fold, thus isolating the remaining few states that would be defiant. It was also hoped that if slaves knew they were now free, they would rise up and cause difficulty for those states that remained stubbornly defiant. It gave the North a moral pretext for a war that was essentially, like all wars, about economics. It was a political maneuver, not a humanitarian act. Lincoln is quoted as saying something to that effect himself, but I don’t have the citation on hand — I’m sure it’s available online somewhere. Anyway, it made war inevitable, as it ended diplomacy on the issue once and for all.

    There are those who believe that Lincoln was wrong; that regardless of how distasteful slavery may have been, that the job of the Fed was not supposed to be enforcing either morality or economic hegemony over the sovereign states. That slavery would have died out eventually anyway, without a bloody Civil War and the widening of Federal power that resulted from it. I’m not sure which side of that particular fence I’m on, but it is an interesting topic.

    * * *

  17. […] But I have to compare this concept to earlier discussions on this very blog. Some folks concluded (perhaps correctly) that Americans are not smart enough to safely govern themselves. It was hard to argue against it only a few weeks ago. But if you consider the “hive mind” or “collective consciousness” afforded to us by networks of communication, much like the ant, a glimmer of hope begins to form. […]

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