Obama Reality Check

Experience, and particularly Barack Obama’s purported lack thereof, had been a rhetorical hot button throughout this suspenseful electoral race. I personally considered it a powerful argument in favor of John McCain not because I believe experience particularly hones political skill or renders a candidate more fit to govern, but because it provides the electorate with a reasonable estimate of what kind of shortcomings (and of what magnitude) to expect from that candidate. Voters could then assess this empirically observed predisposition for disaster and rationally decide whether they can live with it for the next four years.

The American electorate must not be nearly as risk averse as I am since it just gave Barack ‘Black-Box’ Obama a resounding vote of confidence. He managed to build a vast but unstable coalition around a deliberately vague platform of ‘all-things-to-all-people’ platitudes designed to be meaningful only in the mind’s eye of the uncritical beholder. Not only are his idealistic (read: loony leftist) supporters in for a rude awakening once Obama fails to fulfill their fantasies, but his staunchest critics too may be disappointed when their apocalyptic predictions are not fulfilled: Obama’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

The president elect has not said or done anything earth-shattering since delivering his victory speech, but so far the signals from his transitional team should be encouraging to anyone hoping for a centrist or at least non-ideologically leftist disposition from the new administration. Obama has already hinted at leaving the Bush tax cuts alone, is keeping Bush’s Secretary of Defense, has dropped his windfall profits tax proposal, and has aggregated an economic team which even Karl Rove considers respectable. While the leftist fringes are understandably experiencing buyer’s remorse, some seedy corners of the Right are swarming with hyper paranoid delusions fueled by the urge to preemptively demonize Obama before he has even taken office, let alone implemented any concrete executive orders.

Conspiratorial rumors about Obama’s birth certificate and of him being a Muslim or the son of a communist spy are not just bizarre and ridiculous in themselves, but they signal a failure at constructive political introspection from the Right. Republicans better address their shortcoming and work at redefining their message going forward. Immediately after the election I was concerned whether most voters were so emotionally invested in Obama’s success that they would airbrush his upcoming debacles. Now that the fringes of the Right are starting to agitate so soon after the election, my biggest worry is that some of Obama’s opponents may be so emotionally invested in hatred of their political rival as to lose the ability (and credibility) for mature political debate.

Author: Kejda

Born: Tirana, Albania Residing: New York, NY University of Waterloo, Economics '08

10 thoughts on “Obama Reality Check”

  1. TO: Whozitz
    RE: Heh

    Show us the authentic document with signatures and seals and the names of attending physicians and addresses of places where it took place….

    ….and this will ALL ‘go away’.

    It’s REALLY that ‘simple’.



  2. TO: Whozitz
    RE: Heh 2

    “….my biggest worry is that some of Obama’s opponents may be so emotionally invested in hatred of their political rival as to lose the ability (and/or credibility) for mature political debate.” — Whozitz

    I think you’re ‘projecting’ about that.


    [Projection, v., Describing in others what you do yourself.]

  3. TO: All
    RE: As Expected….

    …the operator of this ‘blog’ is incapable of allowing open discussion.

    But not to worry, I captured the pages after posting, just to be able to prove what an ass this cretin is.



  4. Well….

    ….isn’t THAT interesting.

    Before I posted item #3, there were no comments. Now I see the comments I made earlier.

    My suggestion to this blog operator would be to change his methodology to allow previously posted comments to be visible and thus avoid the sort of confusion resulting in item #3.



  5. Chuck Pelto,

    You seem capable of finding conspiratorial patterns where none exist, in more than one occasion. Not only do you sound deluded about Obama’s birth certificate, you also sound equally deluded about “the operator of this ‘blog’ not allowing open debate”.

    You may be deflated to hear that there is no conspiracy to “censor” you on this blog. I, the operator, get an email notification whenever a new commenter leaves a comment, which I then decide whether to approve. I just recently switched servers and for some reason, I have not been receiving email notifications in a timely fashion.

    I approved your comments as soon as I saw them (which was a few minutes ago).

    “…just to be able to prove what an ass this cretin is.”

    Talk about projection!

  6. America did this before with Jimmy Carter. They were just disgusted with Nixon. And, then the “beltway pick” of Gerald Ford. Carter promised “more” … but didn’t deliver.

    Obama? Too many Americans saw that John McCain wasn’t fit for the presidency. And, he lost republicans, before he lost democrats. Let alone, Sarah Palin’s appeal to the right! And, you can see why “just like the Edsel,” a well advertised product FLOPS.

    What will the reactions be to Obama? The next loss, if it appears comes in the Congressional election year of 2010. (While too many Americans remain DISGUSTED with the GOP!) And, Ross Perot gave an independent candidacy such a bad name.

    As Lincoln said, “A house divided does not stand.” And, Durban II may yet kick the struts out from under the democrats? It’s just too bad we can’t see the future from here.

  7. It’s definitely interesting going back and seeing what all of us wrote on the President before. I was definitely unnerved by the “birth certificate” type of junk, but didn’t think it would get this out of hand. I also thought President Obama would be far more centrist, and not let very liberal, radical views allow some of the worst bottom feeders of the Right credibility.

    I feel almost distanced from American politics now; it’s just crazies shouting at each other, and I don’t say that to be morally relative. I know I want a better Right, and I know I want to fix what’s on my side first, partly because what I’m seeing now is insanely ugly. But I also know that going around and screaming “Bush = Hitler” for 8 years didn’t help this mess, and it says a heck of a lot that Bill Ayers is a Distinguished Professor of Education in this country.
    .-= ashok´s last blog ..Heroism and Nothingness: On William Stafford’s “At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border” =-.

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