Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Update (Part One): Disappointing Debates

I have been ruminating on some posts lately, but haven't found the time to write them. I will try to work them into my weekend plans, starting now.

The debates this past Tuesday left me feeling underwhelmed. The format was bizarre, the candidates ignored their own negotiated rules, and, well, Tom Brokaw just drives me crazy. More than anything, however, the longer I watched, the more I saw a candidate I have placed so much hope in behaving more like just another politico.

I guess I haven't lost all of my idealism. I decided in the primary season to back Obama over Clinton because I thought that, while Senator Clinton is qualified, dogged, and liberal enough, she didn't have that sense of revolutionary spirit that had attached itself to Obama. He is less experienced in the ways of Washington, but that seems like a good thing. Senator Clinton had so much baggage that would fester, in my mind, so much more animosity with conservatives in Congress, that I wondered if she'd have a hope of getting anything accomplished as president. Moreover, Senator Obama seemed to have the right things to say, the right spirit to lead this country in the right direction--he possessed the right tone of commitment to bettering people's lives.

I still believe this to be true, but, on Tuesday, I felt like Senator Obama had fallen into a kind of trap, either one set by McCain's camp, or one dictated to him by his own advisers, that led him to simply spar with his opponent in a finger-pointing, business as usual sort of way. I know that that is a nasty reality in politics, the need to attack and defend, but, I was hoping to see something loftier, something more honorable.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel that Obama is the right man for the time. It would take a revelation of ponderous import for me to even entertain voting for McCain and his "Youbetcha" running mate, but I still want Obama to be my Kennedy-type ideal. I want to envision Camelot in the White House. I want a leader who is less about rhetoric or action for the sake of action (and benefits for the few) and more about substance and action for the sake of positive results for the many. Clearly, judging by the little substance that was delivered on Tuesday, Obama/Biden is head and shoulders above McCain/Palin. I guess I'd just like to see it more clearly.

As always, that's just, like, you know, my opinion, man.


La Fashionista said...

The bar for the presidency seems to be at an all-time low after the past eight years of the Bush regime and now the exceptionally pathetic campaign by McCain/Palin. This does not provide much, if any, opportunity for Obama to shine fully. The caliber of the discussion on the McCain/Palin side is just unbelievably weak, as many many many people have written in the past weeks.

P also just made a good point that all the racist, inane isht that is being widely propagated about Obama in the "media" (Fox News) and on the internet is another factor that works against his ability to remain at a more aspirational level throughout the campaign. (I mean, I've been utterly shocked and disgusted at some of the things I've seen and read about.) At some point and at some times, he simply has to hit back and defend his character. Exactly how he does that, and how much, and when - these seem to be a delicate balance because obviously he also doesn't want to play into all this and give it too much space.

I too am yearning for an inspired and inspirational leader who is akin to Kennedy, to Martin Luther King, Jr. - something I've never known in my lifetime. I continue to be hopeful even as Obama has to endure all the isht being thrown at him and the many attempts to reduce him, to pull him down.

That said, I too found this last round of debates tedious. Much more so when McCain was fumbling around, certainly. I'm starting to feel some debate burnout. One more to go.


comoprozac said...

You realize that Oabama has to dumb-it-down a bit so as not to appear elitist. I know. I know. We all want a president who is embarrassingly smarter than we, but he doesn't have to win our votes.

The other thing to keep in mind is that he's protecting a lead. It's the fourth quarter and Obama is up by a touchdown. This is no time to throw a Hail Mary. It's time to hand the ball off and run some clock and hope your defense can hold.

ATR said...

I hear you both, loud and clear.