Thursday, February 14, 2008
J.D. and I had an interesting exchange of email this morning, and I thought what I said to him about a nice piece he has on his site -- go look -- might be worth mentioning here, to clarify my position on the upcoming presidential race:
Here's the pertinent point -- what I consider a reality check. Bear in mind, I like Obama and will vote for him if he gets the nomination:
... as much as I like what Obama has to say, and his manner of delivery, and I'd be happy with him running against McCain, I know to my core that he isn't going to be able to deliver everything he is promising. Carter couldn't do it, Bill Clinton couldn't do it, and they were both as smart as anybody since Jefferson. Hillary won't be able to, nor will McCain.
It's like wishing you could fly by jumping up in the air and waving your arms; it would be wonderful, but the aerodynamics aren't going to allow it on this planet.
The politics of hope are not the same as the politics of accomplishment.
This is Obama's biggest drawback. If he does get elected, the expectation level is astronomical. And while it is true that if you reach for the stars, you don't come up with a handful of mud, and that a man's reach should exceed his grasp, people who believe Obama is going to completely fix the broken state of the U.S. are living somewhere between Sleeping Beauty's Castle and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Yeah, if he gets the nomination, he has my vote. But I don't think he can walk on water. If it turns out I am wrong, then you'll see me hat in hand in a few years admitting it in public. But I wouldn't bet serious money that is going to happen.
Not cynical here, but realistic. We've never had a black man as President, true enough. But we've had plenty of bright and dedicated guys who held the job, and none of them were able to completely revamp the state of the nation for the better. We've had a few who have made it considerably worse: Witness Current Occupant. I think that Obama would work hard at it, but this isn't The Matrix, and he isn't The One, no matter how much people would like him to be.
Before anybody gets all excited and wants to hammer me over the head, remember, I will happily vote for the guy if it gets to that. And that I am an old hippie who would love nothing better than to see the Age of Aquarius get here before I shuffle off. Thing is, I've heard it all before, and yeah, he's different, but until I actually see him walking on water, live and in person, I'm not going to believe that he can.