Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gotta Love the O

Comedian Bernie Mac did a little show before an Obama fund-raising crowd and earned some heckles for his sexist jokes, off-color language and general crudity.

Obama was, as is usual for a politician, made to come out and straighten out Bernie Mac. Here's what he said:
"We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by region or by class and we can't afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you've got to clean up your act next time," Obama said. "This is a family affair. By the way, I'm just messing with you, man."

Let's translate that. The "we can't afford" means "I can't afford to have my electoral base dividing before the election." The only unity he's worried about is the votes that will help him win.

Obama then chides BM, satisfying the money-bags cash cows supporters, while making a joke out of it, mollifying BM for calling him out in front of a crowd. Obama gets to have it both ways. He can tell people he corrected BM, demonstrating his principles, while simultaneously being able to say it was all a joke and light-hearted, don't get so worked up, man.

What a tool.

Obama's been showing a lot of tool-like behavior since he locked up the Democratic nomination. Now that he's the presumptive nominee, he's tacking fast back to the middle. The anti-war, DailyKos, progressive left who propelled him into place are, understandably, very angry. They want him to stay on the far left. After all, they paid for him!

But, as he seems to be learning or maybe always knew, he's got to get those Reagan Democrats and undecided moderates -- you know, the god- and gun-clinging rubes in the backwoods of rural America he derided earlier this year. Can't do that from where he won the nomination. So, as the old saying goes, he ran to his base for the nomination, now he's running to the perceived middle for the win.

Hence all the backtracking from previous positions. Watch for more to come as the fall nears.

And why the McCain campaign isn't building a huge bonfire with all this, I don't know. Are they waiting for more people to start paying attention as the election nears, calculating that most Americans are on vacation right now and uninterested in politics? It's a good calculation with a lot of truth in it. Saving this for later helps to avoid the Clintonian counter-response that it's all rehashing "old news."

Or are they just incompetent? There's some evidence of that too. It's what I fear. I'm not a McCain supporter (Vote Libertarian!) but the reality is he's more likely to win than Bob Barr, the best candidate the Libertarians have put forward ever. And Obama would be a disaster for this country. He's already on record many times during the primaries as supporting nationalised health care and raising taxes. When presented with problems that "need solutions," his usual response is to suggest a government or legalistic action. I don't want that kind of president, no thank you.

I have a suspicion that even with the press and news media's complicity/participation in his campaign, Obama's in for a long autumn, much like Kerry.

At least, here's hoping anyway.

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