Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Got a Crush on Obama

(Subtitle: John Mccain is a Punk-Ass Bitch)

I need to start seeing Barack Obama's therapist.

Seriously. I just finished watching tonight's debate, and of the three debates this one was certainly the most decisive. In the first two, Barack Obama held his own and promoted his policies. In this last one, he shone. My question is how he did that with all of the incredible garbage John Mccain was spewing his direction. If i were him, I would have chewed off my left arm somewhere around the halfway-mark. Even just watching from home, when Mccain started to talk about Roe v. Wade I got so angry my leg went numb. Yet cool-hand Barack never once even fell out of his chair. So yeah, I definitely need some of whatever he's having.

But enough about me. Let's talk about a couple of the more interesting points of the debate. I apologize in advance if at any point I get incoherent or profane.

First, a quick run-down of the candidates themselves:
Obama, as I've already mentioned, maintained his composure in the face of some shit that might have gotten a rise out of Gandhi. Aside from that incredible feat, he also made great eye contact with the camera, maintained at least a semblance of respect for John Mccain, and showed great restraint in refusing to go on the offensive on issues like negative campaigning, while simultaneously standing his ground very well. The result was that he appeared strong, but mature enough to pick his battles, leaving Mccain looking rather childish and petty.

Mccain, as I've just noted, looked childish and petty. He was rude, interrupted constantly, and seemed to be sneering quite a bit of the time. He also rambled on the issues that were really important, only seeming to have a coherent argument when he was on the offensive. The result was that he came off as desperate, and not completely in control. In short, he looked like a punk-ass bitch.

Ok, so on to the issues:

Taxing and Spending: I can only imagine what the comedy shows will be making of John Mccain's new argument in support of his spending freeze idea. Perhaps metaphors were never John Mccain's strong suit, but I've never actually seen a surgeon go in first with a hatchet, and then a scalpel. I'd imagine thats because the result would be instant yet gruesome death. which, incidentally, is probably what would happen to this country if Mccain got elected. But seriously, the Republican notion that taxes are bad, spending is bad, and everything is just going to work out on its own is getting old. Its never worked, no reason why it should start working now. I don't know, for example, how Mccain plans to "reform Head Start" during a spending freeze, but i'd be willing to bet about a million dollars he doesn't know either. Benefits cost money, and people benefit from...benefits. I'm not mad about paying taxes, if it means I get roads, education, social programs, and all that good stuff. And if it meant i got GOOD education, why I might even be willing to pay a little more.

Healthcare: John Mccain clearly practiced his burns before the debate. Most of them were so incredibly petty (I'm looking at you, 'I so admire Senator Obama's eloquence') that I'm surprised he didn't bring Barack's momma into the picture (I hear the only reason your momma graduated high school is ben bernanke said she was 'too big to fail.'*). A lot of those burns backfired. But his healthcare burn was the one that backfired the worst, I think.
"if you like that," he said of Obama's health care plan, "you'll love Canada and England."
Now maybe I'm missing something here, but it's pretty widely known that citizens of Canada and England have access to far superior health care than we do in the United States. So either Mccain doesn't know that, in which case he's even more of a dumbass than I originally thought, or he knows that, but thinks the American public is too dumb to know that. In which case i'm a bit peeved.

Education: McCain REALLY ended on a bad note here. After Obama (to his detriment, I believe) opted out of ripping McCain a new one re: education, and left him with a pretty easy out, McCain refused to take it, insisting on a final snide comment to the effect of (sarcastically) "oh so because there aren't enough vouchers, we shouldn't have a voucher system." ...yes. I think that IS the point, Senator McCain. providing vouchers to a few select people while failing to reform the education system itself is essentially condemning already struggling schools to fail, and with them condemning all the children who did not get vouchers to fail as well. Not really a winning plan. I can't even talk about it more without getting angry.

I know this is getting long, and is not even that terribly coherent, so let me skip over the tirades I was planning on going into re: human rights (and John McCain's newfound disdain for them) and racism (John Mccain's new best friend). I think Obama blew McCain out of the water on the whole "negative campaigning" issue, so I'll let it lie. I will, however, leave you with this thought to ponder:

People have, throughout this long campaign, raised the idea of a cult of personality around Obama more than once. Obama's supporters are referred to as "obamamaniacs," "obamaholics," and "obamacons." Obama himself is jokingly referred to as "the one" (or more recently, THAT one). And I just want to address that issue, because I think it's an interesting one. I think Obama does inspire devotion unlike any politician has in recent history. I found myself looking forward to his closing remarks tonight like a dog looks forward to "time for a walk." Every time he gets two or more uninterrupted minutes to speak, I start getting excited. I expect that his soaring rhetoric will make me weep with joy and longing for what could be. (With respect to that expectation, the closing comments were a bit lackluster, but i assume that's because he's saving the good stuff for his acceptance speech come November.) When he talks, I find myself listening like there is nothing else going on around me. I have a lot of friends who feel the same. But is that a cult of personality? Or rather if it is, what exactly does that mean? I think the truth is that it's so incredibly rare not only in this country but in this world for people to have the opportunity to rally behind someone in a position of power who is intelligent, articulate, and appears to have a basic respect for the intelligence and dignity of 'the common man,' that when such a person does come along, people lose their minds. I don't think anyone thinks Barack Obama is god. People are just legitimately excited by the possibility of a president they can be proud of, who legitimately values human rights, and who might even just have their best interests in mind. Its possible we need to stop thinking about cults of personality, and start thinking about the reasons behind the severe dearth of inspiring "personality" that has shaped our lives since before I can remember.

thats all for now.

*credit to my friend lizz for making up that zinger


kidbonita said...

i was teaching so i missed the debate.
i'm not sure about england, but i know that canada's health care system is definitely imperfect. what about gordon who found out he had an aneurysm but had to wait months for the surgery? my understanding from folks who live in canada and use the health care system is that there is a lot of waiting for good care unless you have money to pay a private folks sometimes come to the US for procedures.

kaya said...

true, their healthcare is not always 'great' either, but i think most of us can agree that both canada and england have better healthcare than the U.S. in that everyone has access to basic healthcare... said...

how many "amens" can I put in this comment before you delete it?

Brittany said...

um.. remember when McCain noted NYC and New Orleans schools as EXAMPLES of successful districts. I near about had a fit from trying to hysterically laugh, cry, shout and faint all at the same time.