Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Smoking and Obama’s Soul

I’ve read several commentaries this morning on this crucial question that aren’t worth posting. Does smoking "humanize" the senator? Or does it indicate that he lacks willpower (and so will embolden terrorists or something)? Should he chew Nicorette or should he be a real man and just go "cold turkey"? I have to admit this is silly, finally. But not completely silly: I thought the one thing that recommended candidate Bill Richardson is that he looked like a regular guy, but he’s messed that up by abruptly losing 30 pounds. Now he looks like a walking cadaver. It turns out that he loses weight quickly for every campaign in order to create the (false) appearance of fitness. Not only that, I recently heard David Brooks proclaim that Gore and probably Gingrich are too hefty to president. Until I heard THAT, I had no sympathy at all for the the basically retread candidacies of Al and Newt. But as someone (like our friend Peter Schramm) who sometimes has the appearance (the only "sometimes" thanks to the wisdom of the late, great Dr. Atkins) and always the soul of a fat guy, I’m starting to rebel against this nouveau tyranny of the sophisticated majority.

Discussions - 15 Comments

One more argument for prohibiting TV.

This Frenchy "tyranny of the sophisticated majority" is a sign of further cultural decadence. It means that the body has become an ever more important consideration in choosing a President, whereas the soul (with its virtues of prudence, courage, etc.) is ever less important for us. But attributing such importance to the mortal body really indicates the power of a death-centered culture which seems to show little sign of abating.

Well, dennis has cut to chase...his point is not only "deep" but deep.

and actually the French, to their credit, are a bit more laidback on such matters themselves...

I’ve read several commentaries this morning on this crucial question that aren’t worth posting.

You can add yours to the list.

Let me know when a candidate drinks his breakfast in the manner of Winston Churchill. Otherwise, I’ll judge a man on how he thinks and speaks.

De Gaulle quit smoking. He told his family and friends that he would do so, and that did it, because "De Gaulle [he said of himself] must never go back on his word."

Wow PETER, you’ve really got it out for Newt Gingrich. On another thread you damn him as devoid of "grace" and "charm," brand him a "bourgeois technocrat" and now go on to toss his weighty presence up on the ash heap of history, as nothing more than a "retread." And what’s more, compare him in the same breath to Al Gore!

You’ve declared jihad, both lesser and greater, against Newt!

What, pray tell, did he ever do to deserve all of this?

What is your beef with Gingrich? So far, it’s all stylistics. But what’s the substance of your beef, with beefy Newt?

6: Yes, judge by what the candidate thinks and says. And what he’s done and not done. Smoking, or not smoking, doesn’t count. To slam a candidate for quitting smoking makes no sense. Smoking is a deadly habit. If public image is one reason that gives a politician that final bit of willpower to quit smoking, I can find no fault with that. Talking about Obama’s smoking or non-smoking distracts attention from the threat he represents -- hard-left politics in the garb of a reasonable moderate.

Except for the last remark about something called the "hard left," I agree completely with David Frisk.

And Julie (and Peter), for Heaven’s sake, don’t start smoking!

Steve, I will take your reasonable advice. I’ve occasionally been at conservative meetings where preppy and boehemians types smoke cigars in protest against bougeois, saftety-conscious careerism. But I just don’t like it, not even Cuban cigars and pipes. I can see the point and the pleasure in almost any other vice, but the joy of smoking just eludes me. And I’m all for judging the candidate by what he thinks and says--and not by how much he eats or whether or not he smokes. That I thought was my point...

And I’m all for judging the candidate by what he thinks and says--and not by how much he eats or whether or not he smokes. That I thought was my point...

Ditto that, Peter and very well said. Also Steve: don’t worry. My allergies preclude the possibility of my ever taking up smoking in any serious way. Whatever momentary pleasure I may derive (for unlike Peter, I do see the point and the pleasure in smoking--gambling, on the other hand, not so much . . .) it’s just not worth it in the end for me. It’s like having a hangover every time you even "sip" wine.

I smoke. I know whereof I speak.

Steve, I really do hope you can quit. But even if you can’t, I’d still vote for you anyway.

I don’t vote for quitters.

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