Obama

Andrew Sullivan has a great essay about Obama in the latest issue of The Atlantic. You should read it.

Central to his argument is that Obama represents the first true move away from the “War of the Baby Boomers” that has been fought in this country for the past 30-odd years:

Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you.

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce.

That’s pretty much why I’m supporting him. I’m tired of the Boomers defining the national culture and the national debate. It’s time for them to go gently into retirement, and for the next generation to step up.

In a related story — I’m pissed as hell that the Clinton campaign has decided to play the “gender card” — Apparently, when other candidates criticize her positions, point out her evasion of questions, and draw distinctions between her record and theirs, that’s part of the “all-boy’s club”, and 6 men “ganging up on her.” That’s BULLSHIT.

I’m disgusted that she’d use that has her fallback position when she was weakened by the debate, but sadly, I’m not surprised.

13 Replies to “Obama”

  1. All I’ve seen of Obama

    * tells me that you are right.

    And Senator Clinton? I feel no sympathy for her – she knew this would happen.
    She’s just a girl?
    I’m just a woman who thinks she should grow up more.

  2. So you’d vote for him, not because of who he is or what he believes or what he says he’ll do, but because of his age? That’s what Sullivan says in the essay–I’m just curious if that’s your primary reason as well.

    In other words, if there was a different candidate Obama’s age or even slightly younger, would you throw your vote to him–or her–instead?

    It’s a genuine question and I’m not trying to belittle anyone’s position, just honestly curious.

  3. No, it’s not solely because of his age. It’s what his age represents, in addition to his positions.

    The problem is, he’s thoughtful and honest, which doesn’t play well in our sound-bite carnival politcal environment. He talks about going Green by increasing carbon taxes, but then says flat-out that the power companies will pass those costs on to consumers, so power bills will initially rise. He tells the truth, not what people want to hear. That could be a problem.

  4. That’s fair. I like Obama, actually. And yes, his candor could be dangerous for him. Or people might decide that’s what they need, finally. We can always hope.

    And I do think his age has a great deal to do with his stances. It’s just that Sullivan said it didn’t even matter what Obama wanted or said or did, just that he was a non-Baby Boomer. Judging from the essay, at least, he’d vote for anyone of the right age at this point. That’s why I was curious if you agreed with that or if you considered Obama’s age just part of what made him the candidate he is.

  5. Given the death-grip that the Boomers have on…..well, pretty much everything, I have to admit that I can almost see Sullivan’s point. For the health of the country, we need to put the old “Culture War” behind us.

  6. Links, please? I’ve been following him pretty closely, and I haven’t seen him make any comments like that.

    I know that he got into trouble over his “Gospel” event with the “Jesus saved me from Homosexuality” Reverend McClurkin, but I haven’t seen Obama himself say anything anti-gay…..

  7. Except that thinking in absolutes like that always leads to trouble. There are many post-Baby Boom politicians, for example, and quite a few of them are still total gits you’d never want to leave in charge of a school crossing, let alone a district, city, state, or country. Ascribing all problems to generational thinking is an easy out–both if it’s your own generation (and you want an excuse) or a different one (and you want to assign blame)–and there is some truth to the fact that each generation has certain attitudes held by many of its members just because of their upbringing and the events around them during it. But it still comes down to the individual—every generation has both good AND bad members. And picking someone just for their generation is like selecting a leaf from the forest floor and hoping it’s not damaged–you may get lucky but it’s not likely.

    This rant was brought to you by the letter “Argh!” :)

  8. Have you noticed we went right from the Greatest Generation *cough* to the Boomers, skipping The Beat generation?

    The Boomers have defined everything since my first recollections of almost everything. It doesn’t surprise me that they are defining politics today. The GG’s have defined politics since 1960 & JFK.

    I just don’t see Obama as ready to be president yet. I’d like to see him serve a full term in the Senate. I want to see a level of experience that he hasn’t attained yet. I’m not sure who the right choice is, though.

  9. Thanks for providing those. That’s what I thought — nothing there from Obama that could be remotely construed as anti-gay, other than guilt by association with McLurkin.

  10. I’m not buying the “needs more experience’ thing — for one thing, I’m not sure that Washington experience is a good thing; and for another, his experience is identical to Abraham Lincoln’s experience when he was elected President…..and he seemed to turn out OK…… :)

  11. I completely agree with you when it comes to Clinton. While I am a serious, oft-radical feminist, and believe that there’s quite a bit of boys club mentality in politics, I was completely appalled she stooped to playing the “boys club” card in lieu of whipping out some hardcore intellect or facts. I expect the first woman president of the United States to kick misogyny and sexism’s ASS. I want her to decimate it with intellect, strength and conviction, not the half-formed thoughts of a Women Studies 101 student. To me, she should never find it necessary to play that card, because whenever she does, she discounts her own merits and tries to use shame to end an argument.

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