Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apples and Oranges

I don’t personally know any Obots. I see evidence of their cult-like fervor (and often vitriol) on the Intertubes, of course. But, frankly, even that seems muted these days, compared to its full-throated Beatlemania haka circa February-March of this year.

The people I know who are supporting Obama are of a different breed. They acknowledge that he is flawed, as a candidate and as a prospective president. Many say they preferred Hillary – and for some, I know that’s true, because we were talking throughout the primaries.

So, perhaps my sample of conversational partners isn’t representative – but it’s mine, and I’m gonna stick with it. And what it tells me is that the argument in favor of Obama has basically come down to this: “He’s better than McCain… and Palin is a horror… and we cannot tolerate a McCain victory. If that happens, God save us all.”

On the other hand, my wife and I, as well as some of our PUMAesque friends, were so outraged by the media, the DNC and the Obama campaign during the primaries – by the toxic soup of hatred, weak leadership and disenfranchisement – that we resolved not to vote for Obama.

Why? Not because we’re dead-enders who would only be happy with a Hillary victory (though there cannot be much doubt among objective observers that we’d all be in a whole lot better place today if she were on the verge of becoming president). It’s because the Democratic Party, our party, has to be shown some tough love. It cannot be okay for misogyny to triumph within it. It cannot be okay for the party’s putative leaders to behave like the GOP in Florida in 2000. It cannot be okay for this institution to continue its irresponsible love affair with fecklessness. The challenges we face demand serious, grown-up solutions. And, by the way, a failed Obama Administration could be worse for the party than a loss and course correction next year.

These are incompatible criteria, apples and oranges. Each side finds ways to minimize the potential damage of its preferred choice. “Divided government won’t be that bad,” in our case. “He’ll surround himself with smart advisors,” in theirs.

My point is, there is no way to resolve this, and no very satisfying prospect for either side, no matter what outcome ensues in November.

We’ve just been through eight years of radical assault… and we’re facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression… there’s no serious solution in sight for jihadist terror… and, oh, yeah, the planet’s probably going to pass the point of no return for humans any minute now. So, we can possibly improve the Democratic Party, or throw the dice on Better-Than-the-Other-Guy.

I know apples are supposedly in season -- and oranges always are -- but not this year.


Unknown said...

It's funny, actually sad. I just got back from dinner with my wife and came home not speaking again. My wife you see is one of those O'bots, I am a PUMA. I know many bots and virtually none speak anymore which may be my pain in the buttness. Anyway, I love your view Falstaff and snipped a little bit to post over at my place. I think my mostly female members would like to know that there are other PUMA men who understand the frustrations. Thanks

Falstaff said...

I just scrolled down to this post, and saw your comment, NewHampster -- and promptly went over and registered at your blog. Thanks for your kind words, in a bleak season.