Friday, August 24, 2007

Mr Furious Heartily Endorses… Barack Obama

It's early. It's waay early. But the more I see of Barack Obama, and the more I see from Hillary and everyone else, the more I realize how much I'm impressed with and drawn to Obama.

I haven't been shy about the fact that I do NOT relish the idea of Hillary being the Democratic nominee, and there are a variety of reasons—that I think she could actually lose being the biggest one, but strategy and victory aside, she doesn't bring enough change—she brings back a posse of nineties retreads on her coattails who I want banished from the Party's power structure. She's too connected. She's too indebted. And she will rejuvenate a demoralized GOP base for the election and the duration of her term should she win. No thanks.

I won't be naive and pretend that Obama isn't also a politician. That running for President won't force him to bend to influences I prefer he resist. He is not a perfect person, none of them are. There's something about Edwards I don't like—and he is realistically the only other guy in the discussion. Biden is, well, Joe Biden. He's a good quote, but he is bought and paid for. I like Chris Dodd, but he doesn't have a chance. Bill Richardson knows how to run an ad campaign (or allow someone else to), but I just don't think he's viable. I have to work with the system the media is going to force on us, and it means picking one of The Big Three and backing them.

I'm picking Obama, and I feel really good about it. This isn't a Hillary-block. This is a guy I think will be a good President, and more importantly, will be good for the country. Watch the following videos and tell me I'm wrong.

I'll let Mrs. Obama introduce her husband...

Here's Obama on "The Daily Show". Now I recognize that Joe Biden, even John McCain can look and sound good across from Jon Stewart, so this is more for entertainment than persuasive value...

A lot can change between now and the time I cast a primary ballot, but at this point Barack Obama will have to really piss me off to lose my vote...

UPDATE: Ugh. Another reason not to support Hillary...


Toast said...

I haven't seen the Daily Show appearance yet. (It's on DVR so I'm not going to watch it online.)

I'm on the fence about Obama. I absolutely loved his '04 convention speech. But I've been more or less annoyed with him since.

My chief complaint is the "above it all" tone he uses and the constant calls for "unity". I know that shit sells to the mushy middle, but it rubs me wrong. I don't want to "unify" with the right. I want to destroy them. I want to see them explicitly and emphatically repudiated, and Obama's not going to do that.

In addition, he talks about faith and religion way too much for my comfort. And he has that damned preachery speaking style where even if he's talking about marginal tax rates it sounds like he's reading the gospel.

All that said, I think I do prefer him to Hillary. Not to Edwards though.

And it's just too friggin' bad about Dodd. He'd be the best president of the bunch, but he has no profile.

Mr Furious said...

I'm not gonna penalize Obama for the faith stuff. Yet. He seems to pick his spots with that, and when he does it, does it well. He's so good at it, I have to give the the benefit of sincerity.

Even as Hillary seems to be honing her message, even in ways designed to appeal to me I just like her less and less.

I want to like Edwards, but there are a few things holding me back, and they have to do more with style than substance, I'm sorry to say, but they cut at the heart of your issue with Obama.

1. Edwards's failure to stand up to or even hold his own aganst Cheney in the VP debate has been a defining failure in my eyes. He was awful, and I really cannot get past it.

2. He's too smooth, and too polished. He looks like he's giving a performance to a jury. I'd love to see his Jack McCoy act as Attorney General.

3. The haircut. No, not the fucking haircut, per se, but the fact that it happened at all, and he didn't squash that bullshit at the beginning. One. If your schtick is poverty, don't be in that situation—and if it does, fucking point out the fact that every candidate has to pay that much for tv prep (except Kucinich and Gravel). That's how much I have to pay a stylist for a NASCAR shoot! That's what shit costs!

On the other hand, if that's what you pay for a haircut normally, deserve everything you got.

Mr Furious said...

Toast, read this interview Obama did with Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network.

He's fucking good. He hits the notes they want to hear, but he does NOT pander. And he calls the religious right out repeatedly.

He walked into the lion's den, and kicked some ass.

Mark Kleiman summmed it up thusly: "... Obama's willingness to confront Robertson on Robertson's own turf illustrates his basic toughness. He as much as says that haters like Robertson are false religious leaders. He points out that getting the church in bed with the state is contrary to the Evangelical tradition. And then he goes on to say something that this audience really doesn't want to hear: that America is not just a Christian nation. And yet he makes his interlocutor like it, partly because he seems to be coming from inside the tradition rather than outside it.

Truly, an awe-inspiring performance. I doubt that any of his competitors, on either side of the aisle, could match it."

That's MVP stuff there.

Mrs. Furious said...

Mrs. Furious heartily endorses Mrs. Obama!

Toast said...

He's so good at it, I have to give the the benefit of sincerity.

I don't doubt his sincerity at all. For that matter, I don't doubt that Joe Lieberman is sincere with his pious paeans to faith. My problem with politicians bringing faith into politics isn't about their sincerity or lack thereof; it's that I don't think religious faith has any place whatsoever in our political discourse. It cannot be a qualification for office, and it should not be the basis for policy. So don't fucking bring it up.

That said, I'll go check out the interview.

Toast said...

OK, he's pretty good. Credit where it's due.

Oh, and I'm finding the Kleiman/Myers debate highly entertaining.

S.W. Anderson said...

"I want to like Edwards, but there are a few things holding me back, and they have to do more with style than substance . . ."

And so it was that John Kerry didn't quite make it '04. Then as now, what a shame.

Policywise, Edwards is sharp as a tack and a good bet to be a stake through the heart of all that's wrong with neocon domestic policy. Plus, Elizabeth Edwards knows what he and she are about politically as well.

As good and promising as he is, Obama needs to earn a couple more stripes. The country especially needs the experience, the D.C. savvy and the maturity of a Biden, Dodd or even a Kucinich right now.

That said, if Obama gets the nomination I'll do everything I can to back him. I certainly like him and I trust him to do his best. Same goes for the rest of the Democratic candidates, because they're all so much better than any of the Republicans, it's incredible.

S.W. Anderson said...

A further thought, regarding Clinton, and to a lesser extent, Biden.

Talk about maintaining a military presence in Iraq for a long time or indefinitely really, really puts me off. Clinton and Biden have both made noises of that kind.

They keep it up and it will be a deal breaker for me. where they are concerned. That goes down especially hard because I've been a Biden fan for some time now.

Mr Furious said...

"Obama needs to earn a couple more stripes. The country especially needs the experience, the D.C. savvy and the maturity of a Biden, Dodd or even a Kucinich right now. "

I don't agree. While electing an inexperienced moron again would be a mistake, I don't think Dodd or Biden, or especially Hillary have any great experience advantage over Obama that will actually come to bear on the job as PResident.

At this point I value judgement over experience. Especially when all three of those "more experienced" candidates voted for the war, and a whole host of other bad decisions over the courses of their careers. This isn't a single-issue election for me, but on the issue of the war, the inexperienced Obama was correct right from the start, and the rest of them were wrong.


And one of them still refuses to admit that.