Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama/Has A Posse/Democratic Primaries

Its strange that I feel in no way qualified to discuss American Politics given that I was a TA for an upper years American Government class, but, I do... feel unqualified. So please forgive me if what I'm about to say sounds completely and utterly retarded, or possibly very self-evident.

I'd been meaning to read something by Barack Obama for a little while now; actually, probably since the Obama Girl vs. Guiliani Girl video came out, but I hadn't been able to find anything in paperback. Finally, thanks to Liz, I've got a copy of Obama's newest book, The Audacity of Hope.

The book thus far, much like Obama's incredibly moving and inspiring oration, talks about a new politics - or maybe more accurately - an older politics, where people would rally around the idea that in general we all want the same things, to be happy, healthy, have the opportunity to work, go to school, etc. After hearing this message through the Democratic Primaries I have been more than a little skeptical, often asking myself if you can really unite people towards these common goals when politicians have such diverging ideas of how we get there, especially as the two parties have moved progressively further left and right. So, I guess the question I was really asking myself was, are we, as citizens of the world, better off with someone to try to inspire us towards a new (old) type of politics (Obama), or someone who has proven they can play the game and understands how the machine works (Hillary).

For a while I had teetered back and forth, and the practical-both-of-my-parents-are-accountants side of my brain pushed me towards Hillary. I thought similar to some like LBJ (Lyndon Johnson, not LeBron James) would be able to work out compromises, offer carrots and sticks, and push through legislation to help mitigate and adapt to global warming, re-orient America's foreign policy towards multi-lateralism, universalize health care, but you get the picture. I mean, she's had an outstanding record, as I understand things, of working the phones, eking out compromises, and passing legislation in the Senate. In this way, I felt that President Obama would be all inspiration and would not be capable of 'getting things done' whatever that means; this was the point that Hillary's 'who do you want to answering the phone' ad hit on. Then it occurred to me, that even if this is true, that we'd be better off with Hillary answering the BatPhone, to which as Rosie has pointed out to me that there is no evidence to suggest that Hillary would be better anyway, maybe the election isn't about now. Perhaps the biggest hope we can have for Obama is not in terms of the legislation he passes or doesn't pass - I mean, I'm pretty sure the President can't introduce legislation anyways - but the way that attitudes are changed for the future. I think this election could be a tipping point for America to re-invigorate the social safety net, take action, or at least recognize the severity of environmental issues, as well as re-establish their reputation as a world leader. That kind of turn around won't happen with incrementalism (Hillary), it may happen with Obama.

As you may have guessed, I've climbed aboard the Obama bandwagon, and am crossing my fingers to see an Obama/Edwards ticket make John McCain look like a tired, cranky, old man. And no, I didn't hurt myself when I jumped on the bandwagon thank-you-very-much.

Now this is entertainment via Analog Giant via Disco Devil:
[mp3]Cocoa Tea - Barack Obama

If that wasn't enough... I guarantee this will push you over the edge.

Also, Rosie, a self-proclaimed 'Toronto Law Student Extraordinaire' has started blogging on Politics - both American and Canadian - at Per Dog, Per Day (he gives an explanation of the title) and he is well worth reading.

No comments: