Friday, August 01, 2008

Election Ruminations

I've spent the last three days out of the office at a conference, and so today is likely to feature the usual first-day-back-in-the-office activities: sorting through 200 e-mails on each of four work accounts; responding to a series of increasingly hysterical voice mails; and trying to extricate myself from all the tasks I was assigned because I wasn't there to defend myself. Sigh.

But the weekend is shimmering on the gradually-approaching horizon, and that will help keep me focused on the goal of getting to the end of the day.

Just a few general observations this morning before I head for the office...

The presidential campaign is lurching on, with the candidates continuing along their sad trajectories. Senator McCain's campaign has run a silly commercial featuring intellectual heavyweights Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie in an attempt to imply that Senator Obama is nothing more than a lightweight celebrity not ready to be president. As you know, I happen to agree with that assessment...Senator Obama's chief qualification for the job is that he isn't George Bush...but I thought the commercial was a cheap shot unworthy of either candidate and insulting to the public.

Senator Obama, for his part, is running a less negative campaign, although he is trying skillfully to navigate the rocky shoals of race. On the one hand, he must appeal to lower- and middle-class white voters who may be uncomfortable with the idea of a black president; on the other, he can't afford to give black voters the sense that he's "acting white" or selling out their interests. It's a difficult problem, complicated by the fact (in my humble opinion) that - at this point in his political career - he really doesn't have the experience and seasoning to be president. That said, I think he's going to win the election, in spite of my strong endorsement of the candidacy of Nobody (read the formal endorsement in my June 2oth post), if only because everyone is so fed up with the current administration. Senator McCain, although he has a reputation as a maverick, is too closely aligned with the unpopular and unfortunate policies of President Bush.

I'm reminded of this wonderful quote from Henry L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore: "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."

Oh, well. The Republic has survived Calvin Coolidge, Millard Fillmore, and Richard Nixon. We'll survive George Bush (but sweeping up the broken glass will be hard). And we'll survive either Barack Obama or John McCain.

But Australia is looking pretty good.

Have a good day. Cartoon Saturday is coming!



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I hope that whoever wins is a one termer.

Mike said...

I think Australia has a point system to get in just like Canada. Being old is worth negative points.