When people started getting onto the Barack Obama bandwagon last fall, I wondered what the attraction was. No one could really tell me what he stood for. Yes, he is bright. But so is Hillary. And he has only served a few short years in the Senate. About the only thing I kept hearing from him is that things were going to be different, things were going to change. Like what candidate ever promised to maintain the status quo?
Whoever the next president is, he or she (okay, it’s going to be a he at this point) is going to inherit a major-league shit storm, and I wanted to hear some specifics. I wanted to support Hillary, but just could not after seeing how she pandered to the worst in us voters. She was so very desperate to be president that she would say or do almost anything.
So gradually, through attrition (the candidates I most supported dropped out and Hillary imploded through her own possessiveness for the presidency) I came to find that Obama was the only candidate I COULD support. While not exactly an inspiring situation for me, I was hopeful that what all those smart folks saw in Obama would be revealed to me and would, indeed, make him worthy of my support.
And the one thing Barack Obama was NOT is Hillary Clinton.
While I still harbor that hope, I am sad to say that my skepticism is on the rise again. This past week or two, Obama has started to demonstrate his toughness, his very seriousness for the job of president by standing up to… well, not the Republicans. No, he’s been shining his ass at liberals, vowing to vote FOR the awful FISA extension, condemning MoveOn.org, distancing himself from the comments of Wesley Clark… well, there’s no need for me to list the ways in which Obama has demonstrated that he’s shooting right for the center and to hell with his liberal supporters. Read Glenn Greenwald, here.
What he’s doing, really, is transforming into Hillary “I pander to the center” Clinton right before our eyes. Now that he’s the presumptive Democratic nominee, he can stop worrying about what the more liberal side of the party thinks — he knows we won’t be voting for McCain. But a sad thing has already begun to happen. Where once there was great enthusiasm for Obama, I’ve begun to hear resignation.
“Well, he’s better than McCain.”
“Better Obama than George Bush’s third term.”
“What choice do we have?”
Indeed. What choice do we have? Well, Obama is going to have to do a lot better than this to win my vote. Any politician who squanders great fountains of enthusiasm in order to pander to the wishy washy center is no leader. He’ll get no mandate and he’ll have no support among his own party. In other words, he’ll be a washout as a president. That’s not someone I’m voting for.