I would like to state for the record here and now that the reservations I have held regarding Barack Obama have been solely based on his level of experience. Looking at those reservations, I think I fall in the same category of many who expressed concerns over Abraham Lincoln’s suitability of experience before the 1860 Republican presidential nominating convention.
No concern about his race, religion, creed or gender. Just his experience.
Given that, I should state that, in 2000, I voted in my first Republican primary because I thought that George W. Bush was a threat to this country and that John McCain was a counter to that threat. Until McCain began supporting the war in Iraq, I still had hope that he might one day prove a counter to neoconservatism.
So much for that idea.
Secretly and not so secretly, I’ve been hoping for some return to reason and gravitas in how this country conducts its affairs. Admittedly, that return might involve a trip in the wayback machine to George Washington’s election.
I haven’t seen much hope in that return among the ‘mainstream’ national Republican machine. The reasonable ones are in a wilderness between the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. When Barack Obama attempts to elaborate his positions – many of which seem fairly reasonable given a framework of logic and rationality and acknowledgement of the American social and political landscape – any debate gets lost in a spiral of irrelevant verbal feces generated by McCain staffers and that nitwit Palin.
There’s been no policy debate in this country during the election cycle. There’s been a lot of noise about patriotism, innuendo about name, race, inexperience and modern-day Red scare tactics.
I hadn’t run across this until this morning – mainly because I never thought that ‘Rolling Stone’ still had it in them – but it is worth a read. There’s nothing really new in it, but it does sit down and recount much of what has been out in the public for most of four decades. Before reading it, I’ve questioned McCain’s stability for several years jokingly and in darker corners of my mind. After reading it, I found that I’m not the only one asking some of those questions.
To Barack Obama:
No matter what my vote next month, please know that your race, creed, religion or name don’t enter into my thought process.
Just work on convincing me that you are a reasonable, rational and upright person who will listen to and work with other reasonable, rational and upright people to get us moving away from the center of the domestic and international messes in which we sit.
I have no illusions that you and others can solve it all in one or two terms. It would take decades to do that. Just show me that you’re willing, able and committed to doing it.
To John McCain:
I don’t know anymore, but I do know that you are what my father – a retired Navy senior chief petty officer – would call a bullshit artist.
Your vice presidential running mate is also a bullshit artist.
Your campaign staff, if examined by art scholars, would be given their own section in art textbooks as the ‘bullshit art’ movement.
The national Republican Party organization backing your try for the White House obviously knows its taste in art: bullshit. Even compared to many in the national Democratic Party leadership, your national backers have a superb eye for bullshit.
One of my blogging acquaintances told me a year or so ago that there’s nothing wrong with America that what’s right with it can’t fix.
I really hope so.