Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

How Dare You Even Think of Voting Against Obama?

Steve draws our attention to an article in Slate by Jacob Weisberg, “If Obama Loses: Racism Is the Only Reason McCain Might Beat Him.” Consider yourself warned: if America rejects Sen. Obama in November, Weisberg will be gravely disappointed, deeply ashamed and very, very angry. You can either read Weisberg’s essay for yourself, or watch here as he reads it to you.

Here’s the money graf: “Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world’s judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.”

You don’t have to wrap your white sheets around anything but your mattress, however, to suspect that the situation might be a little more complicated. A “veteran Democratic operative” told New York’s John Heilemann this week, “There are two fundamental issues [Obama] faces: black and green. Is he too black? And is he too green?”

Weisberg doesn’t even allow the second question into the arena, but we should. Four years ago, Barack Obama was completing his eighth year in the Illinois state senate. No one has argued convincingly that the people of Illinois are discernibly better off – or, for that matter, worse off – because of Obama’s efforts there. The same, of course, could be said about the vast majority of the other 7,300 state legislators currently holding office, few of whom are thought, even by their mothers, to be a mere four years away from ably discharging the duties of the presidency. State legislatures are to the Oval Office what the high school junior varsity is to the Super Bowl.

Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004 after: a) the wealthy Republican incumbent, Peter Fitzgerald, decided not to seek re-election rather than face Blair Hull, the presumptive Democratic challenger who was vastly wealthier than Fitzgerald; b) Hull’s campaign disintegrated a few weeks before the Democratic primary after a lurid story about the collapse of his marriage became public, allowing Obama to win a plurality in a crowded field; c) Obama’s Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race three months after the primary after a lurid story about the collapse of his marriage become public; and d) the Illinois Republican party recruited Alan Keyes to replace Ryan on the ballot, despite the fact that Keyes had never lived in Illinois and is . . . odd. Obama won 70% of the vote that November.

25 months after being sworn in as a U.S. Senator in 2005, Obama announced his candidacy for president. Since one doesn’t run for president on a whim, it’s fair to assume that Obama has spent most of his 3 – plus years “in” the Senate either preparing for his presidential campaign or absorbed by it. Thus, for the first time since Wendell Willkie ran in 1940, one of our two major parties is asking the American people to elect someone to be president principally on the basis of qualities he has displayed campaigning for president.

Jacob Weisberg, who doesn’t even allude to qualifications or preparedness, is satisfied to judge Obama entirely on political criteria: “Obama has built a crack political operation, raised record sums, and inspired millions with his eloquence and vision. McCain has struggled with a fractious campaign team, lacks clarity and discipline, and remains a stranger to charisma.” Other voters, however – including a few who are not bigots filled with hatred – think elections are about governance, rather than about performing impressively and coolly as a candidate as an end in itself, and wonder whether a prospective president with Barack Obama’s slender record in public office is up to the job.

Discussions - 10 Comments

Thanks for showing the shallow thinking Weisberg exhibits regarding "what our children will learn" from this election. Whoever wins, I doubt 10 year olds will adopt extreme lessons such as "We Have Overcome" or "We Will Never Overcome." Ugh, can he not come up with a real commentary on deadline or is his worldview so small he think this passes as analysis?

Yet I must question the charge from various conservatives that Obama is not experienced. Conservatives should at least note the irony that George "W" Bush had a very short career in any sort of public service and his business success were, well, limited. Without exploring GWB's resume, I will metion that the office of Texas Governor has very little responsibility. The state constitution provides for a strong legislature (esp. for budgeting and taxation) which is run by the Lt. Gov, elected separately from Gov.

...and look where that got us.

What we are exploring here is the weak underbelly of democracy, which coincidentally is also its strength: the voter. The truth is that none of us know enough to cast an informed vote on every issue. To list but one example, who among the electorate knows enough about the current state of the science of stem cell research to judge the question on a purely scientific basis. Now, I grant that this question is more a moral than a scientific one, but still it serves to illustrate that the ‘scientifically informed’ would be relegated to a very small segment of society. Granted some voters know way more than others, and as such are termed leaders or voters of influence, and the high end political battles are always fought over their support. This is not to suggest that the majority of voters are stupid, but where voters are smart or shrewd is usually on issues that cut closest to their interests, and the last time I checked, the issue of a government’s relations with, say, Egypt, does not qualify as an issue that hits close to home for most.


Voters are not stupid or lazy, what they are is cognitive misers, who generally husband their precious brains that they might dedicate the majority of their time and energy to what interests them. Everything that is of little or no interest to them is perforce relegated to an inferior position in their thinking. And when people do that they also tend to look for shortcuts, prejudice being one such expedient, another being style (two different words for the same mental function in my view). The Democrats of 2008 chose to go with style, of which Mr. Obama has plenty. The only thing the informed voter can wish for at this stage of the game is that the il-informed votes divide more or less evenly between Republicans and Democrats and that voters of influence carry the day by choosing the best POTUS.


Any who doubt the triumph of style over substance in this television age, even in an important national election such as the one being conducted currently, should ask themselves who the last freely elected bald president was? Oh! And don’t say Eisenhower. He was a pre-television age president. As for Gerry Ford, nuff said.

Hard to believe people think like this. So simplistic and childish. Chris Matthews said something similar on Leno's show. Seems the only ones still obsessed about race are the self-appointed defenders of the various groups. It's rather bizarre. Like the anti-war protesters still railing against a war that is over. They're so locked into one way of thinking - they refuse to adopt. Liberals have so much invested in "equality" that they can't see the war has been largely won. Just as with the collapse of communism (a battle which they lost), they are losing their raison d'etre once again (but this time they won). This is why the religion of green has become so strong. What would these "do-gooders" do without a cause to fight for? Get a life? lol.

The main concern with Obama is his inexperience and his far-left politics. Rightly so. While there are probably some voters who just won't vote for a non-white candidate, they are by far in the minority. And why can't Wesiberg see that the only reason that Obama is in the position he is, is due to teh color of his skin. Affirmative action and identity politics is the problem, i.e. REVERSE racism.

adapt (not "adopt").

If Obama loses, it will have been because a whole bunch of Hillary Democrats decided either to stay home or pull the lever for McCain on election day. These are base Democrats, and Jacob Weisberg stands ready to convict them of racism. While I probably take a back seat to no one in my lack of regard for today's Democratic Party, even I don't think that half its base voters are incorrigible racists. Yet Jacob Weisberg presumably does. Interesting.

The effort to stigmatize the American voter is of a piece with Obama's whole life effort, which is the stigmatization of the United States itself.

This is a theme that Professor Victor Davis Hanson develops, when he observes that Obama can't speak of America without immediately moving towards America's "tragic" past.

Everything that Barry, that Barrack, that Sotiero {sp?}, that Obama has been absorbing for his entire existence about America is coming out. And it's COMPLETELY inconsistent with the view of their country held by ordinary Americans.

His hate filled ideas about the last, best hope of man on Earth are about to be COMPLETELY repudiated by the American people. And that's a healthy thing. The Left can try all they want to brand that rejection of Obama as racist.

But there's one small problem there. Not too long ago, polls indicated that Colin Powell would have won The White House going away, had he deigned to enter the race. How can those poll results be reconciled with this racist take of the American people.

The New Republic has increasingly become an arena for vicious punks. Weisberg is a prime example.

I've tried to listen to Obama but he has yet to say anything that is substantial. I won't vote for him, but not because he's "black". I won't vote for him because I'm not of his party and he does NOT represent my issues, values or ideas. I will not be pigeon-holed by Leftist radicals who still have an axe to grind.

Let me add more thing - say Hillary was the Democratic nominee. Would men be accused of being misogynists for NOT voting for her???? I doubt we'd see the same "outrage".

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/12738