The Talking Dog

March 18, 2008, Transcending political reality

Barack Obama gave his long-awaited "race" speech in Philadelphia today; Huffington Post has the full text here.

I mentioned in an earlier post on the late William F. Buckley that his legacy mag, the National Review, often has interesting stuff. Well, this from Charles Murray no less, proves that point. And I quote:

Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

I have been quite clear that I support (my college classmate) Sen. Obama, and frankly, we who call ourselves Democrats will have f***ed up as a party (probably until the end of time) if Obama does not secure our party's nomination this year. Yes, he might still lose to John McCain (thanks 100% to Hillary Clinton if it happens, btw, for trying to frame the race for McCain, just to try to trip up Obama for her own benefit), but if we lose with Obama, we lose for the right reason for a change. We will lose because we went for the soul, for what is right and good, and not just for what sounds good, or likely to generate some some short term political advantage, or because we were trying to game counties in Ohio and Florida.

This speech was no God-damned Bill Clinton God- damned Sista Souljah God-damned moment. Barack didn't dump the Rev. Wright: he acknowledged him for what he is-- a flawed human being, with strengths as well as weaknesses (serious weaknesses, duly acknowledged in the speech). As much of a political liability as Wright seems to be becoming, Obama will not, after twenty years of Wright's being a spiritual advisor (if not some kind of father figure), after Wright officiated at Obama's wedding and the baptisms of his children... Obama will not simply dump a man he has come to acknowledge as family out of political convenience.
In short, it seems, might Barack rather be right than be President? My God. Are such men left?

If you want a candidate more likely guided by political convenience, , or because they seem "the safe thing to do", I think we know where to look.

At the end of the day, my new Brooklyn neighbor Scott Lemieux put it best (when I recently ran into him in the streets of our fair borough) as to why I will still support Hillary Clinton if her cheating, lying, cheating, stealing and cheating ultimately enables her to steal secure the Democratic nomination: "it's the Supreme Court, stupid". While Dems will likely control the Senate and could block any problematic nominee indefinitely, Hillary's fellow New York Senator Chuck Schumer would, as he did with Mukasey, doubtless support any fascist nominated by McCain as long as he's from New York (in math terms, Pres. McCain=replace Stevens with new Scalia). Hence... Hillary gets my vote, if not any enthusiasm to go with it.

At the end of the day, you're entitled to your own opinions on which candidate to support. As far as I'm concerned, Obama's speech, and his whole damned campaign, just seem to be... "Transcending political reality."