Handing it off to the Democrats
Barack Obama is hard not to like. After all, anyone that Scarlett Johansson has a crush on and Donatella Versace dedicates a new line of couture clothes to canâ€™t be all bad. I know my heart was stolen when he dismissed Hillary as â€œlikeable enough,â€ right to her face. Any enemy of the Clintons is a friend of mine. Heâ€™s smart and heâ€™s cool and chicks dig him.
It reminds me of 1996 when I took it upon myself to see if I could convert a young woman friend of mine, a lifelong Democrat from a family of lifelong Democrats. I spent the run-up to that yearâ€™s election trying to turn her away from Bubba and toward Bob Dole. (Yes, a tall order.) No brow-beating, just persuasion.
As the deadline neared, she admitted that Bill Clinton probably had some character issues, namely a sociopathic personality disorder with narcissistic streaks a mile wide. Even so, she remained committed to Clinton. The kicker was, and this is a direct quote, â€œIt just seems heâ€™d be a lot of fun at parties.â€
McCain must be tearing his thin, wispy, white hair out. For at least eight years, he was the mainstream mediaâ€™s prom date. With all that press schmoozing and â€œstraight talkâ€ palaver, wasnâ€™t he the â€œmaverickâ€ to save us from fundamentalist political purgatory?
You can question McCainâ€™s judgment on a bunch of things. I know I do. But assuming the liberal media elite wouldnâ€™t ditch him for any standard-issue liberal, when the time came, was just plain foolish.
And make no mistake: Obama is a standard-issue liberal. And the press is in such a tank for the messianic Chicago youngster that Saturday Night Live isnâ€™t really doing parody, itâ€™s mimicry. What makes it more fascinating is that the press knows it, but canâ€™t help it.
Iâ€™ve never been one to cast the first stone at hypocrites. Obamaâ€™s decision to not keep his word on taking public funding is a no-brainer. But I would like to take aim at all the whiners on the left, like McCain and the press, who wring their hands about money in politics and think limiting free political expression (i.e., the checkbook) and turning it over to the state bureaucrats is the way to go. No bigger flip-flop than that.
And didnâ€™t we all know that when Barack or Hillary took the reins, any withdrawal from Iraq would be at a snailâ€™s pace? As Obama turns to the right, having clinched the nomination, youâ€™d think that the â€œlisten to the generalsâ€ stuff would be disheartening to the Lamont-Dems in these parts who have complained about Iraq ad nauseum since â€˜03, but itâ€™s not. What drives the left isnâ€™t principle, itâ€™s Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS). The finish line is in sight, so â€œnever mindâ€™ is the new campaign theme.
As Obama caught fire last winter, I had a conversation with a local businesswoman who loved the Indonesian rookie. I validated her experience, saying â€œHeâ€™s hard not to like.â€ I gently cautioned her and provided words of great wisdom, that itâ€™s a â€œ50-50 country.â€
I hesitated to make my own politics known because while this woman was clearly smart and a fine human being, she suffered from BDS and Obamamania. Her retort confirmed the diagnosis. From her perch in the Northwest Corner, she observed, â€œItâ€™s more like 70-30.â€
We shall see. McCain is a stubborn, old man whoâ€™s wrong on energy, immigration, political speech and who his friends are. I donâ€™t think I could vote for him and my senior political adviser says itâ€™s smart to hand off to the Dems for the longer view of whatâ€™s best for conservatism. But if McCain canâ€™t paint Obama as a flaming lefty and make it a contest, heâ€™s got no business being in the race.
Peter Chiesa is a semi-retired substance abuse professional who lives in Sharon.