Monday, February 18, 2008

Dear Senator Obama

By Kvatch

OK, I'll admit it: I'm in a quandary here. You man John Edwards is out of the race, and frankly I don't think you're qualified to be the president. I'm not old enough to be excited by perceived similarities between your campaign and the 1960 Kennedy campaign. Likewise, I'm not young enough to be filled with optimism merely by listening to your speeches. In fact, you and I are just about the same age, and if I had as little time on the national stage as you, I wouldn't consider myself qualified to be President either.

True, you were a member of the Illinois State Senate for 6 years, but that run for the House of Representatives didn't work out so well. And since then, you've developed a habit very common in your Gen-Y supporters: You've started job jumping. In other words, you get bored with a position and move on. Hell, your US Senate seat wasn't even warm before you decided that your time had come. So what should we expect 14 months into an Obama administration? That you've had enough and are going to run for God?

Add to that the fact that, since starting your campaign, you've acquired an unfortunate allergy to Senate roll call votes. Since I'm not naive enough to believe what you say on the stump, the most reliable guide to your views is your voting record. It's the touchstone of the pressures that you might be susceptible too. But you seem to have concluded that if you don't vote no one will figure you out. Your vote in favor of stripping immunity from the telecom bill? Admirable. Your refusal to vote on final passage? Transparent and cowardly.

In short, I wish you'd go back and prove that you can serve your constituents though till the end of your term. Then...maybe...I'll consider you qualified to serve the rest of us.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might want to take a look at your man John's voting record before you throw sticks. I live in NC and Edwards' no vote record is an ancedotal joke around here. Edwards also was a junior senator when he ran the first time for prez. So, what's your point?

10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I'm very much old enough to remember Kennedy's campaign. The other choice was of course a cheap chiseling crook and a paranoid with delusions of grandeur reminiscent of a syphilitic.

Still I think he was like Obama, a great speaker with an ability to inspire that served us well, but yes, he was a womanizer and his inexperience almost got us into a nuclear war.

None the less there isn't much similarity between the son of extreme wealth and the son of a African immigrant other than a way with words. Providing inspiration isn't difficult - look at how Bush inspired us to drive off a cliff and to smile as he picked our pockets.

You never know anyone until you're married to them or elect them president and Edwards is as much of an unknown as any of them. Had he been the candidate, I would have supported him, but he's not and I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot by refusing to support the Democratic nominee.

11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Kvatch, I'm just looking at my post and it sounds terribly snarky. It wasn't meant to sound so mean, forgive me. You'll have to make allowances as, although we are different in many ways, I'm still Libby's sister. :) By the way, welcome to the bloggerhood!

11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Capt. Fogg... Who said anything about refusing to support the Democratic nominee? I'm nothing if not a pragmatist. I'll vote for whomever the Democrats nominate, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like an alternative. (You know...not a 'Nader' alternative :-) ).

Rockync... Well, I didn't think much of the Kerry/Edwards ticket either, but Edwards this time around had better, more thoroughly thought out, positions on most of the issues I care about.

The plain fact is that neither Clinton nor Obama is going to be the 'agent of change' that everyone hopes for--the former because she's a consummate insider with a vested interest in the status quo; the latter because he simply doesn't have the experience to get anything done.

11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My contention is no one has any experience to be president because there's no other job like it. In that regard, they are all on the same footing. I think you put too much store in Edwards abilities. I've always found him a little wishy washy. Now if Elizabeth Edwards was running, I'd back her in a heartbeat. That woman has real moxie! "Experience" is vastly overrated.

12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I still don't like any of them and you're Kvatch, neither is going to deliver change in any meaningful sense. I keep hoping for some Mr. Smith goes to Washington type to come out of the shadows and save us. I keep hoping to win the lottery too. I'm not banking on either.

1:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither democratic contender will change anything as they are both polarizing choices. Hillary because of Bill and Obama because he's, yes, I'll say it, he's black.
It's a crying shame that this is the best this country can do. Either one of these two or John McCain.
I'll say it again, McCain is the only one with even the potential of going against expectations.
Since nothing will truly change, I just think it's McCain's time and it's his turn.
It won't be the first time I went republican, I also voted for Bob Dole when it became clear just what kind of man Bill Clinton was. My problem with Hillary is that when she found out what kind of man he is, she stayed, a real Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man" kind of girl. I'm sure you all remember that reference.

2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I think experience is overrated. In McCain and Clinton's cases, the longer they've served in Washington, the more time they've had to become beholden to corporate lobbyists expecting something in return once they get elected.

Like you, I'll vote for any Democrat who wins the nomination, but I won't rule out Obama just because he lacks experience. He has intelligence and character, and he's already proven he can put together a good team. That's half the battle in my opinion.

2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I never said you did contemplate the ultimate evil of voting Republican - and of course I always ask myself why, out of a country of 304,000,000, we can't come up with better people. I'm just saying that the worst of the Democrats seems a safer choice than the best of the Republicans.

My first choice would have been Kucinich, but he doesn't have the looks, isn't tall enough and doesn't seem like some good old boy you'd meet at a tailgate party and that's what America wants.

God forbid that Nader crawls out of his coffin and runs again!

3:04:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

To be clear, I also intend to vote for the Democrat. Jim, I'm glad to see you back in the comments, but at the risk of chasing you off again, I have to tell you that I think voting for McCain would be suicidal. It would be like Bush, only with a bad temper.

Kathy, that's a good point too. I'm also thinking the best bet is someone who isn't as entrenched in the Beltway yet. Let's face it, it's a crap shoot and we're unlikely to get what we want anyway. Might as well give someone new a chance. Of coure, I could change my mind, I have many times already, but I definitely won't be voting GOP.

3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My contention is no one has any experience to be president because there's no other job like it.

Rockync... Interesting, I've always felt that the skills that make one a good governor tend to be the ones that make for a good President--born out by the fact that GWB was such a bad governor of Texas that even Republicans wanted him to win in 2000...and leave! ;-)

Libby... My letter to Senator is coming...

3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...


I can't get the image of McCain sniffing Bush's armpit out of my head. He seems to be promoting the same imperialist and jingoistic rhetoric and he doesn't shy away from pandering to religious liars and extremists. It seems impossible to actually predict what attitudes lie under the will to power.

Yes, he might surprise us, but he might more easily not.

I'm far less concerned about "what kind of a man" some candidate might be than about how he will bend the law to his mission, how he will ignore the country and listen to a select few and about how he will do what he doesn't like when he has to do it.

No matter what kind of man Bill might be, we had the largest and longest economic expansion in history; we had a much smaller government; we had a vastly smaller debt; we had fewer people on welfare and we didn't have vampires and werewolves appointed to the Supreme court.

3:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, Libby... But, if experience truly is overrated, then shouldn't Carter have been more effective than he was? Right man, moral man, high aspirations...inexperienced. Might Obama become the Jimmy Carter of the 00's?

To address Jim's comment--something I've mentioned on a couple of other blogs--I believe a vote for McCain is a vote to essentially do away with the Constitution, and once it's gone (as it almost is now), we'll never get it back in the same form.

3:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't see how voting for McCain is any different than voting for the wrong democrat. I think McCain has ability and experience that neither Clinton or Obama has.
In addition, the thought of a government totally in the hands of Reid, Pelosi and Obama is just horrifying.
Giving the democrats total control of the government is just as bad as what we had for the first six years of Bush.
I also remember when McCain was a darling of the dems because of his feud with Bush. These people went so far as to want him to run with John Kerry on the same ticket. Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.

3:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, Kvatch, good point there!
If I was a Texan, I'd sure want to be shed of him any way I could. But, you would have thought they could have hid the body better...

Experience is overated because no president runs the government alone. He has advisors and cabinet members, etc. If a candidate can choose his A Team well, he's halfway there. It doesn't look good when members of your chosen team jump ship in the heat of battle.
As Libby points out here:
"Let's face it, it's a crap shoot and we're unlikely to get what we want anyway. Might as well give someone new a chance."

Hey, Libby, feels like old days, sitting around the table debating politics with Dad. :)

3:40:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Jim, it's a good point that giving one party total control is a bad idea. We're both old enough to remember that the Dems didn't do so well with that the last time they had it and that's partly why the GOP succeeded in gaining control. But given what we've seen in the last seven years, I'm more willing to take my chances on the Dems. At least we have a slim chance they'll respond to public pressure. The GOP just doesn't give a sh*t.

Kvatch, I'm looking forward to your love note to Hill. I expect it will be just as good as this one.

Rocky, I wish we could have a good sit down with Dad on this. I miss those fiery debates.

3:57:00 PM  

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