Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Penultimate Words on Barack Obama As Told By COBB

I just read this post by Cobb at what a brilliant assessment in my opinion:

"I am completely reconciled to the likelihood that Barack Obama will win the Presidency this fall. My campaigning against him continues and my disagreements with him, I will continue to make clear. While I cannot say with any certainty that I could be convincing on the broad variety of reasons I have to oppose his campaign I am very clear in the way I see him.
I think that a startling number of people who support Obama do so on the basis of his personal appeal with no regard or consideration of the history of the pedigree of his philosophy. They are ahistorical and show no intellectual curiosity when it comes to the principles underlying his promise of 'fundamental change'. They buy naively into narratives about the destruction of America that has no window beyond a twisted interpretation of what has transpired over the past 8 years. Whether the subject is war, diplomacy, tax policy, or the very capacity to build a public Ministry of Health - they are invested in the narrative of change which seeks to cast cynical shadows on the unique strengths of American institutions and an almost mystical belief in his ability to turn the ship of state on a dime.
Worse, supporters of this Democrat have completely ignored advice from the man who has become the grey eminence of their ticket, Joe Biden who said:
Mike Mansfield, a former leader of the Senate, said to me one day -- he -- I made a criticism of Jesse Helms. He said, "What would you do if I told you Jesse Helms and Dot Helms had adopted a child who had braces and was in real need?" I said, "I'd feel like a jerk."
He said, "Joe, understand one thing. Everyone's sent here for a reason, because there's something in them that their folks like. Don't question their motive."
I have never since that moment in my first year questioned the motive of another member of the Congress or Senate with whom I've disagreed. I've questioned their judgment.
I think that's why I have the respect I have and have been able to work as well as I've been able to have worked in the United States Senate. That's the fundamental change Barack Obama and I will be bring to this party, not questioning other people's motives.
They have injected the presumption of racial bigotry on their opponents.
It doesn't surprise me that the man who has raised the greatest amount of money in the history of presidential fundraising has been able to persuade masses of Americans. He has used television, radio, the internet, cell phones and even put billboards of himself inside of popular videogames. He has used skill and bravura to enhance his image not only in America but overseas as well. Photographic images of Obama in every possible flattering situation have flooded emails. Any unflattering image of the man is met with vehement charges of racism and deception.
Barack Obama is a man of the people who has appeared very suddenly onto the national scene and taken the country by storm at a time when people are insecure in their economic future, concerned about victory or failure at war and divided in their political loyalties as well as their fundamental beliefs in the proper direction for the nation. Obama has very cleverly situated himself as the conduit for change for an electorate which is frantic and agitated - not on the basis of fundamental philosophical agreement, but on faith in him as a change agent.
Very few people can say with any certitude what Barack Obama can or will do as President. He is very guarded and defensive, as are his supporters, about his background. And as a young man with less experience in national and world affairs than most any candidate in history, we have much more to learn about him.
Such difficulty I have with my perceptions of the Obama parade are typical of the kind of conservative I am. I don't expect that America will overnight or any time soon snap into a tight moral reasoning in their politics. I don't expect it on matters of racism, war and peace, job and family or education and religion. We have the public we have, and we have the political equilibrium that we do counting all the forces in this nation. It is not for me to suggest we have a better public, it is for me to deal with the public we have and to understand when they are motivated to do well or do otherwise - to ride the proper wave or to get out of the way and watch my back. It is eternally my hope that the strength and beauty of the system of justice we possess and the values underlying the defense of liberty are well understood, but that is a lifetime pursuit which is only marginally perturbed by popular elections.
As for the man himself, I very strongly believe that Barack Obama through his associations with radicals and socialists be they individuals or organizations has come to the realization of the very concrete limits of radical politics in America. After all, he left ineffective grass roots community organizing to attend Harvard Law. I think in that very specific and thoroughly Leftist and socialist way Obama shares a great deal in common with the politics of those his recent success has allowed him to leave behind. For a man as intelligent and ambitious as Barack Obama, there are no coincidences. Not in choice of political party, not in choice of backers, not in choice of churches, not in choice of legislative focus. There is a pattern and logic at work behind the rhetoric. These are details I think only his opponents wish to see clearly for the express purpose of situating Obama with his peers in world history. For it is America's place in world history that ought to be the ultimate concern of those who would be President. I am convinced that Barack Obama is not so concerned with America's role in the world so much as he is with the fate of the lower classes in America. This for me is the mightiest strike against him - not because I don't care for the fate of the lowly but because I recognize that the direction of the great is the most important factor in everyone's fate. Obama's solicitations to those, the least of his brothers at the expense of the great, gives me little confidence he will steer the ship of America in a way to insure its greatness.
A candidate with more seasoning and experience inside Washington would give someone like me less reason to be concerned. But I am particularly wary, in a way that I think I have learned the hard way with George W. Bush, of the particular influence of ideologues and partisans on the man in the Oval Office. Barack Obama, like no other candidate, seems to me to be the one who will depend most on Washington insiders to assist in crafting his agenda and enforcing his will. He will be a great prince in a warren of conniving viziers, not the least of whom is his running mate who has already rebuffed him in several dimensions. During this time of extraordinary and unprecedented change and chaos in financial markets, such concerns are hightened. I have no reason to believe that Obama will be more or less lucky or prescient than George W. Bush was on 9/12, but you can be sure that we will hear about it loudly should he win the Oval Office.
I have a great deal of confidence in this nation, and I expect that Obama would be an adequate president. But I don't forsee him doing a much better job of uniting the nation than Bush did. I believe that the presidency of Bill Clinton will be most instructive and will be the precedent for a President Obama. Nobody will simply 'move on'. Unity will come from events and from the bottom up, not from the top down as Obama's charismatic campaign seems to imagine. After the honeymoon is over and those young people energized by the war of campaigning go about their business, it will be as they said in Lawrence of Arabia: Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution. I for one will be such an old man in the peace following election day whichever way it goes. I would of course rather have such an old man as John McCain who would share my mistrust and caution. But I'm ready for the alternative"
- Cobb (emphasis mine)

Well, I have not resolved the proposition that Barack Obama will win this election. It's possible but it isn't over until it's over despite what MSM would have you believe. Plus, I met a group of PUMA's (Party Unity My Ass) last night (shout out to Matt, Philip and MommaE on the My 2 Cents Blog Talk Radio Show) and they are so not voting for Obama.


JMK said...

"I have a great deal of confidence in this nation, and I expect that Obama would be an adequate president. But I don't forsee him doing a much better job of uniting the nation than Bush did. I believe that the presidency of Bill Clinton will be most instructive and will be the precedent for a President Obama."

Here's the problem I have with that assessment; first, Clinton was a Centrist, NOT a diehard Liberal, like Gore, Kerry and Obama.

Clinton was at war with Tom Foley's Congress his first two years and then Gingrich and the GOP swept to power in the 1994 elections and took power in Januray 1995.

Clinton is now (in retrospect) seen as "cooperating with Gingrich, but that was ONLY after the Gingrich Congress shut down the federal government in 1995 to force massive spending cuts and a Cap Gains rate cut on Clinton.

He capitulated on that and on six more plancks of Gingrich's Contract With America.

Barack Obama is not at all like Bill Clinton, who'd set up the DLC to move the Democratic Party back toward the Right and to the Center, aftger decades of failure.

In fact, Barack Obama is much more like the pie-eyed Liberal idealist Jimmy Carter, only he's even more naive and even more Liberal in outlook.

Should Obama win Tuesday, this will be the first time that the three leaders of the Legisltative and Executive branch will be held by Liberals since 1980....a year that delivered the American people a staggering 21 Misery Index! The worst post-WW II.

We've now had going on 16 years of single digit Misery Indexes (we'll get to 16 IF this year manages to somehow barely stay under 10)...the American people have come to expect and take for granted a strong economy.

Carter was run out on a rail, for in part responding to a bad economy with the infamous line, "Well, we all better get used to tightening our belts a little." For a bright (well-educated) man, Jimmy Carter was/is an a$$hole!

I get the distinct impression that Barack Obama is even significantly to the Left of Carter....and there's no reason to expect anything less (and probably worse) than the terrible economy the Carter policies delivered, along with the dicrod and divisiveness of that era, which was mammoth.

JMK said...

TYPO: "along with the discord and divisiveness of that era, which was mammoth."

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