Peggy Noonan (former Reagan staffer), writing for the Wall Street Journal (a decidedly right-leaning newspaper if ever there was one) about Barack Obama: "One wonders if in the presidency he'll be like the dog that chased the car and caught it: What's he supposed to do now?"
This actually very concisely sums up some of my own misgivings about Obama. But… the alternative is worse. I keep repeating that to myself, like a little mantra. I believe that. McCain is erratic, and he has no chance of (or seeming interest in) behaving moderately in the realm of foreign policy. Further, his age and health combined with the Republican's choice of Palin for the vice-presidency is utterly terrifying, and actually calls to mind Heinlein's prediction that the U.S. would become a religious dictatorship sometime in the early 21st century. Anybody willing to concede the possibility that a rapture-believing yet undeniably charismatic Christian fundamentalist Sarah Palin in the White House would work to accelerate America's move toward an undemocratic, imperial presidency with an inflexible, Bible-prophecy-driven agenda?
Therefore, with Noonan's caveat firmly in mind, I nevertheless reiterate my endorsement of Obama. For what it's worth. So, at the risk of seeming vaguely partisan, here are some supporting quotes. Or… are they?
Jon Stewart, a few nights back (and this is totally a paraphrase, since I didn't see the transcript): "Update from the Future: Space Emperor Obama has now successfully spread communism to the Zykon Galaxy."
And, in an interview Obama had with Stewart, after his infomercial on Wednesday night, Obama said, melancholically: "it's not very funny: cooperation." Why does Barack remind me of my father? He's more my age, than my father's. But his manner, his cool affect (and/or eerie lack thereof) definitely remind me of my dad, sometimes.
Obama's accent is my dad's, too: generic Western American (as befits a man raised in Hawaii, right?). The very complex vowel clusters of westcoast English, but none of the southern and britishish diphthongs that make my mother's accent so distinctive, for example, nor the upper midwestern level vowels that have tinged my own accent at least somewhat (although I still probably sound more western than midwestern). Obama can "talk black" if he needs to, kind of the way I can talk Minnesotan if I want to: years of immersion can give one a facility for switching accent-codes. But his fallback accent is very western and profoundly "white," and that's probably partly why this black man may soon be our next president.
Lastly, while cruising Second Life the other day, I found a political "lawn sign" that I thought was subtle and hilarious – see picture at right. It was attributed to Comedy Central (which is what sent me fishing around Comedy Central's website in the first place and led me to the Jon Stewart quotes above), but a bit of googling yielded zero results for phrases like "vote fossil" or "dirt first." So I will have to settle for a screenshot of the sign, since I can't find/verify the source for a proper attribution.
It's a funny moment, too, when Bill Kristol (editor of the very conservative Weekly Standard) channels Jesse Jackson ("Keep hope alive!") in support of John McCain. A bit earlier, Kristol said (again, I'm paraphrasing), "If you're a liberal, vote for Obama. If you're conservative, vote McCain. It's not a psychodrama, it's an election." I would basically agree with that… except, does that make me a liberal? Am I comfortable with that label? Seems like, only sometimes.
In unrelated news, I think this is very interesting. It is now possible to get the Chinese Internet Experience (i.e. censored) outside of China. I'm not sure what this would be for, but it seems to fit with the tagline of one of the people who commented on the article: Hack the Planet. I like it, though I doubt I have any use for it whatsoever.