Monday, September 01, 2008

Dead Horse: September 1st(Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes it's difficult for me to write according to the perceived dictates of blogging, by which each post is supposed to be about a discrete topic, ostensibly separate from the topics that precede and follow. For example, when I look at the miasma of events in recent weeks I try to give them a context, at least within my own noggin. South Ossetia, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, the "pre-emptive" Minneapolis police raid(also here (via), hurricane Gustav, the forced resignation of Pakistan's corrupt strongman(and the continued non-resignation of our own president), they're all connected, at least in my mind.

Yesterday I called my father, whom I hadn't talked to in a couple of months, and I expressed my disappointment with Obama. My pop is intelligent enough not to fall for the "historical opportunity" song-and-dance, and he's not the sort to be reactively aghast at the thought that somebody might think that the meaningful differences between the two parties is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Nevertheless, he said that he felt the differences that do exist do matter, and that you don't have to be crazy about the nominee to vote for him, because at least he's not McCain, etc. You know, the lesser-of-two-evils argument.

The cartoonishly earnest change-fetish segment of Obama's supporters get a lot of media(and blogosphere) attention, but, win or lose, it's unlikely they make up that big a segment of the voting populace, or even of the people who will end up voting for him. I suspect that the number of voters who choose Obama in November who take a more sober approach like my father are far larger. In a recent comment thread at Jonathan Schwarz's ATR, Nell of A Lovely Promise argued that turning away from the Democratic ticket because you're hoping to hasten the decline of the US empire was a form of "armchair Leninism", and noted that it's pollyannish to expect that a more enlightened state would inevitably emerge from the rubble-- and I suspect she's right.

(cross-posted at Hugo Zoom.)

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