Vote For Me, I’m Tall

(why I cannot vote for Obama)

The political rise of Obama resembles the rise of George Bush so closely it makes me want to throw up on my shoes. It also makes me fear for my country. Obama and Bush both arise from grave flaws in our political culture, symptoms of a nation on the downslope: a news media so useless, it makes the First Amendment almost irrelevant; the rise of extremists, on both the right and left, with skewed power to warp the two major parties; and too large a segment of the voting public that picks candidates for trivial reasons: whether you’d like to have a beer with the President, lovely speeches, likability. Voters have the right to vote for whomever they choose for whatever reason. I can only hope that voters fooled by faith healer Bush will see through faith healer Obama. Because the faith healer game crosses party and ideological lines.

Unqualified Obama, having reneged on the hopey changey bullshit, now asks for my vote on purely partisan grounds: Bush is a Republican. McCain is a Republican. Therefore McCain = Bush. I cut the question along a different axis: Bush is unqualified. Obama is unqualified. Obama = Bush. Bush rose on the back of blind faith evangelicals. Obama rose on the back of ultra-left blog lemmings. Obama = Bush. Bush’s many failures have less to do with conservativism and more to do with his lack of ability. But how did he ever get into office? I look at Republican presidents going back to Eisenhower, and though I see plenty to protest from a liberal point of view, I see nothing like Katrina or Iraq. Bush is a malignant, tumorous growth on conservatism, an anomalous freak birth out of conservativism. If Republicans stank up the White House like Bush, they would never have run the table on Democrats over the past four decades. Why are we seriously considering, nominating and electing unqualified people to lead our country?

I hear talk about the ‘direction of the country.’ Repubs nominate Bush over McCain. The nation picks Bush over Nobel Laureate Gore, the Dems nominate Obama over Clinton. Same difference. That’s the wrong direction of our country. Something has gone wrong in our culture, and as a result, we’re nominating/electing unqualified leaders. That is the fundamental ‘issue’ in this election. For me, it will have to trump the other issues. I’d rather see the Republicans get back to being a conservative, pro-business party that I disagree with, than have Obama spread the cancer of Bushism into the Democratic Party as yet another national failure, a weak, unqualified President, a media phoney propped up by the radical left instead of the radical right. Same difference.

I’ve never seen a Presidential candidate who invokes childhood images of himself constantly like Obama does. Let’s count:

" ... 'the strongest experience I have in foreign relations is the fact that I spent four years living overseas when I was a child in southeast Asia' ... I was only 8 years old when the Weather Underground bombed the Capitol ... my white grandmother hurt my feelings when I was a little boy ...

Again and again, he plants and reinforces images of himself a child. And there's that boyish smile-defense mechanism he flashes to deflect reporters on the rare occasions when they press him. "Come on, fellas, I've already answered 8 questions." This is all deliberate. When Mark Penn joked that Obama’s Presidential ambitions dated back to kindergarten, Obama ops hyped the ‘controversy’: Penn was picking on a little boy in kindergarten. If you remember the briefly famous Iowa ‘switcher’ lady on Youtube, she said the attack on Obama in kindergarten was the final straw. “If my kid said in kindergarten he wanted to be President ... that would be an exciting thing.” Obama’s tactic worked. By repeatedly evoking childhood images of himself, he triggered a protective maternal response in the ‘switcher’ lady (who later switched away from Obama).

Obama deliberately tweaks the maternal instincts of the ‘switcher’ lady. But I’d bet he triggers a different instinct--the hunter-killer instinct--in Vladimir Putin. Just imagine the rush this predator feels at the prospect of Obama as U.S. President. The drip in his salivary glands. The throbbing in the reptile brain. Obama turns his cotton-tail up on the world stage. I don’t think it’s wise for the U.S. to tantalize a KGB assassin by electing prey.

I saw a joint press conference with Putin and Bush on Youtube. It was so sad. We’re talking Lloyd Bentsen-Dan Quayle territory. Bush actually said, ‘I hope Russia will embrace democracy like we’re trying to build in Iraq.’ Putin embarrassed our folksy, likable elected ‘leader.’ ‘Russia’s not really interested in the kind of Democracy they have in Iraq.’ And I thought to myself, we’re in trouble.

Would You Like to Have a Beer With Putin?
No, I would not like to have a beer with Putin. He’d probably slip cyanide in my drink just to keep in practice. But if I were Russian, I’d vote for him a hundred times. I’m not suggesting the U.S. elect a murderer for President. But it’s not too much to ask that we elect a leader who can sit down at the table with Putin and come back with his kidneys. Rival nations are led by brilliant, effective heads-of-state while we elect leaders for reasons like ‘he’s tall, he’s cool, he’s likable.’ That’s a doomsday scenario, in my view.

McCain says of the merciless Russian leader, ‘I look in his eyes and all I see is KGB.’ I look in Obama’s eyes and all I see is GWB.

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At 10:59 PM, Blogger mcnorman said...

Excellent post.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Duke said...

Different strokes for different folks. mcnorman thought this an excellent post; I thought it quite tedious.

The fact that you had to go on and on (and on and on) to say "I don't like him" makes me suspicious of your motives.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Canaan said...

Hi Duke. I write for people Mark Penn call 'long attention spanners' in Microtrends: "Some people operate on a totally different wavelength." We're the people flashy campaign ads are totally wasted on.

If I listed all my reasons for not voting for Obama, the post would be ten times as long--at least.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Duke said...

Perhaps you're looking past the man and condemning his flashy ads. I don't know. What I do know is that I share your attitude toward 'terrorism' and find the Republican administration the greatest international threat in this regard. I'm guessing you don't share this view but I'm for throwing the bums out.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Canaan said...

Now this is getting interesting. First, I don't condemn Obama's flashy ads and speeches, I ignore them. It's just advertising.

"[I] find the Republican administration the greatest international threat in this regard." If you make that 'Bush administration' instead of 'Republican administration', then I do share your view. Except the greatest threat is still Al Queada and, possibly, an alliance between Al Queada and a resurgent Russia. I don't see how we can let them reconstitute their empire.

I just don't buy the McCain=Bush thing. Bush is a freak. Historically, Republicans don't act like Bush. I distinguish my disagreements with conservatives from my loathing of Bush.

'We the People' picked unqualified Bush over qualified Gore. I'm for not repeating that mistake with unqualified Obama.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, I'm reading Color of Trees for the first time, and I like the story you tell.

Now, as for the opinion you've expressed with this post - well, let me just say that you seem to be a victim of your own finger-pointing. You claim that because Obama was elevated to the post of Democratic presidential candidate by an electorate all too eager to base their decision-making on trivial matters, you cannot vote for him. The election, you state, is about how our culture is "nominating/electing unqualified leaders." But, instead of offering up a substantive point to buttress your claim, perhaps by offering your own list of qualifications for a leader you'd like to see get nominated or elected, you resort to the same deficient reasoning you charge our culture with. You write of Obama's smile and his penchant for tweaking maternal responses, his time in kindergarten, and his "cotton-tail" in lieu of explaining your assertion that he's unqualified and unprepared for the presidency. Why? What do you know about Obama, not as a trivial celebrity, as you and the people you denounce treat him, but as one of two men who will assume the office? I do not prejudge your eventual critique of him, for that is the distinction of democratic reasoning, but I do expect that you will employ a rational and critical approach to your thinking without the use of hyperbole and free-wheeling indictments without so much as a hint of an evidentiary basis.

In a response to another commenter, you come as close to being a model citizen as ever: "If I listed all my reasons for not voting for Obama, the post would be ten times as long--at least."

Please, do yourself and all of us a favor by actually listing your reasons - and then, perhaps, we'll understand why you cannot vote for Obama as opposed to seeing why you just might be a victim of the same culture you find so wanting.

At 7:03 PM, OpenID theclamsman said...

"anon" -- Canaan doesn't HAVE to list the qualities of a leader he'd like to see when he's a Clinton supporter. Her qualities have been hashed over and over again, and if you don't know anything about her qualifications, Google is a good place to start.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"theclamsman" -- My original point remains for two reasons. First, Sen. Clinton did not win the Democratic primary. Second, Canaan still hasn't listed substantive reasons for not voting for Obama. My call for Canaan to list the qualifications of his ideal leader was an example of how he could begin to address the serious deficit in making his case.

At 3:43 AM, OpenID theclamsman said...

"anon": "First, Sen. Clinton did not win the Democratic primary."

No, she didn't. The nomination was handed to the little crybaby who screamed MINE since January, even though he lost the major battleground states and the popular vote. But the vote was so close that Obama and his minions had to strongarm and threaten any delegate who wouldn't "flip" for him, and that's why the DNC in Denver was BOGUS. There was no true roll call. If you were a voter in California, your vote didn't count because the head of the delegation passed. In fact, if you were ANY Clinton voter in ANY state, your vote did not count, or counted for Obama more than once, since during the first roll call protocol the delegates SHOULD have been called out the way the people voted, regardless of whether Clinton released her delegates earlier, so that the convention could record the vote accurately. This did not happen. Clinton trounced Obama in delegates in the state of Arkansas, yet Arkansas arbitrarily gave all of its delegates to Obama "for the sake of unity". Say what? No, I don't think so. This was FAR from a legitimate nominating process.

"Second, Canaan still hasn't listed substantive reasons for not voting for Obama."

I don't think he really has to, in this post. He has before taken issue with Obama, and to do so now would be repetitive. Canaan's ideal leader, as was mine, is Senator Hillary Clinton. Go do your own homework on her life. We did.


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