why I support Barack Obama

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I received several questions about my support for Obama:

There is one fact that is irrefutable
Obama is a first term US Senator
He has served almost 3 years and out of that three years he has been campaigning about 18months
Therefore, he has been actually "Senatoring" for 18months
Prior to that he never ran anything

As a law professor he never published any papers - unheard of in academia

So what is it about him that makes you think he is a good candidate for President of the Unites States?

I ran my own multi million dollar business for [x] years
I made payroll for [x] years
I employed hundreds of people who supported their family with the jobs I gave them
I'm [x+y] years old and have experience in "life matters" that come with age
Am I not more qualified to run this country than Obama?

What makes him so special to you?
Is it because he's a great orator?
Or is it because he's the Democratic nominee?
I think it's the latter

I think the Democrats would support Mickey Mouse if he was the parties' nominee

There are several misconceptions here, which I will address in order. First, not being published isn't "unheard of" for part-time faculty (remember that he was a lawyer, and later a state Senator, during that time period). Obama did manage to write (not ghost-write) a pair of books after turning down a tenure-track offer and leaving academia for politics.

Also, your claim that Obama "never ran anything" is false. He directed the Developing Communities Project, was president of the Harvard Law Review, directed Project Vote, and served on the board of directors of at least eight other organizations. Although unknown nationally four years ago, Obama created a campaign that beat the heavily favored Hillary Clinton political machine. (So much for his never running anything.)

Why do I think Obama is a good candidate? Most important to me are Obama's positions on the issues; while not perfect, they are uniformly better than McCain's. I read Obama's "Blueprint for Change" (600KB PDF) six months ago, and have no qualms about supporting his brand of progressivism against the regressive Republican ticket. Here are a few examples:

• Obama has promised to end the Iraq war, close Gitmo, restore habeas corpus, and "finish the fight against Al Qaeda."

• Obama's proposed tax cuts would benefit most Americans, as contrasted with McCain's continuation of Bush's top-heavy trickle-down failure. Obama also supports universal healthcare coverage and opposes Social Security privatization.

• On LGBT issues, there's no comparison. Obama recognizes that equality is a "moral imperative," supports ENDA, and opposes both DADT and DOMA. Until last year, McCain didn't understand the acronym LGBT.

• His experience as a professor of constitutional law gives Obama an advantage in understanding the document that he will swear to "preserve, protect, and defend." Also, his legal background will aid him in making sensible judicial appointments, repudiating Bush's torture regime, ending warrantless wiretapping, and returning the rule of law to Washington.

Age and "life matters" experience do not equal wisdom, and youthful inexperience does not equal lack of leadership potential. (Here's another irrefutable fact: like Obama, Abraham Lincoln had only a single term in Congress to his credit before becoming president.)

Business experience doesn't necessarily translate into good governance, because the nation isn't a for-profit enterprise; its goals are fundamentally different from siphoning off the value of workers' efforts to reward investors and give jobs to executives. Besides, the results of our current CEO presidency are so poor that McCain is trying desperately to run away from Bush's record rather than trumpeting his all-too-close association with it. (And no, you're not "more qualified to run this country" than Obama is. You were joking, right?)

Besides, what valuable experience does McCain have that would make him a good president? Getting shot down 40 years ago, divorcing his crippled wife to marry an heiress, getting involved in the Keating Five scandal, surrounding himself with lobbyists, and supporting the deregulation that led to the current financial fiasco? McCain may have plenty of experience, but it's all of the wrong kind; Josh Marshall at TPM handles this canard well:

"Let's face it. On major economy-imperiling financial scandals brought about by lax regulation and help from lobbyist-encrusted politicians, McCain really is the candidate of experience."

Don't assume that Obama is "so special" to me merely because I debunk GOP lies about him. If the media hadn't been so complicit in Bush's machismo mirage, all the misinformation they spread about Gore and Kerry during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns wouldn't have had the disastrous effect of putting Bush in the White House; I'm just doing my (small) part to help prevent another catastrophe.

I wouldn't call Obama a "great" orator, but he's at least a competent one. The fact that he can read a speech from a TelePrompTer doesn't make him a good candidate, although it does elevate him slightly over the illiterate president to which we've become accustomed. I'm looking forward to the debates--assuming McCain doesn't chicken out--as a chance to compare his oratory head-to-head against McCain's.

You may believe that I'm supporting Obama because he's the Democratic nominee, but you're wrong; I do not support Democratic candidates blindly, and I am not a Democrat. (Blind faith isn't exactly a primary quality of the Left, by the way...you might want to check the other side of the aisle for some prime examples of that particular lemming-like habit.)

I think the Republicans would support an out-of-touch double-talking faux-populist plutocrat if he were the party's nominee. (Oops...I guess that's not really a hypothetical situation, given how many times it's happened lately.)

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Yes, that Levin clip was a classic.

There's also this from a favorite contemporary writer, Steve Almond. He gets a great dig in on O'Reilly here while being so very patient with Klannity. Of course, Hannity is everything you expect. Enjoy:


By the way, I took four pages of notes on the debate tonight and I scored heavily in favor of Obama. This is no surprise. But we should discuss what issues were not recapped by the media: McCain's misrepresentation of Ireland's economy in contrast to America's, the pure arrogance of his unilateralism (a real discussion), his bluster concerning Putin. There are more. I just have to coalesce my notes. Here's my Dennis Green take on the Straitjacket Express: He's everything we thought he was. It's only the fact that he 'appeared' to take the same stage with Obama that anyone is giving him credit.

My gourd, I actually feel "connected."

Obama's ability to say "habeas corpus", let alone promise to restore it, is enough for me.

Yes, I can. And it's very frustrating because it's actually worked for so long.

Speaking of the anti-intellectual embracing Right, did you hear the tape of Levin ripping O'Reilly for the latter ripping Right Wing ideologues? Quite interesting, that. What I found more interesting, though, is the sudden embrace of academia that Levin moves toward in his rant:


This is another formal example of the Right embracing "sexism," only this time Levin invokes all sorts of academics.

You can apply an excerpt from John Lydon's apt diatribe against religion (from PIL's "Religion") to the Right at this moment:

"And it's all falling to bits. Gloriously."

"I think the Democrats would support Mickey Mouse if he was the parties' nominee."

Above represents the chump-ass debate skills which keep me off the boards now.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 25, 2008 10:58 PM.

speaking of elitism... was the previous entry in this blog.

maverick McCain and his heroic hubris is the next entry in this blog.

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