Barack Obama and American maturity

Anyone who’s read this web-log, heard me rant about Mr. Obama as the second reincarnation of FDR (perhaps third, if we include the outgoing Mr. Bush), or knows anything about me recognizes that I have no interest in defending or desire to support our almost-president. I laugh, sadly, at those who have partaken of the “change” Kool-Aid, reminding them of then-Senator Obama’s support for, inter alia, the USA PATRIOT Act, the FISA “compromise”, and un-Islamabad-sanctioned raids, from Afghanistan, into Pakistan; I cringe at the thought of his Rooseveltian Fascism.

And yet, I recognize that his election might signify at least a partial maturation of the American electorate. I speak not of his race (Must we continue to wage the “Civil War”, one hundred and forty-some years after its ostensible Appomattox culmination — or must the penultimate and ultimate amendments in the Bill of Rights be eviscerated not only de facto, but de jure as well before we can finally call off the race-hawks?) Rather, reading, finally, Professor Bacevich‘s The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism — which, only forty pages in, I think might be the most important book that I’ve ever read —, I cannot help comparing President Carter’s unheeded, mocked call for Americans, in Bacevich’s words, “[to live] in accordance with permanent values. At least by implication, it meant settling for less” with Obama’s derided proclamation that “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.”

Mr. Carter lost his campaign for re-election to the “Great Communicator”, of whom Bacevich ably writes,

Reagan portrayed himself as a conservative. He was, in fact, the modern prophet of profligacy, the politician who gave moral sanction to the empire of consumption. Beguiling his fellow citizens with his talk of “morning in America,” the faux-conservative Reagan added to America’s civic religion two crucial beliefs: Credit has no limits, and the bills will never come due.

That this particular comment — or the belief manifested therein — from Mr. Obama played any measurable role in his defeating Mr. McCain is unlikely. However, even as I doubt that, particularly as gas prices have again decreased, erasing from our collective short-term memory the notion that we must, as Mr. Carter advocated thirty years ago, sensibly break our energy dependence, Mr. Obama will having any lasting impact on a perhaps irreparably (save post-Depression?) degraded culture, one of consumption and hyper-individualism-cum-“friendly” statism, I hold on to a wispy, nigh immeasurably small strand of hope that we are, ever slowly, maturing, opening our eyes to the utterly meaningless — and potentially catastrophic — state of being that we have created for ourselves.


On the silliness of deeming a sought-after girl’s “boyfriend” an obstacle

Don’t even ask what led to my working this one out.

Marriage is sacred in the eyes of God; what we today call “dating” rather annoys Him, I suspect. It lacks the noble nature of true courting, and, consequently, a poor lass bedeviled by a mere “boyfriend” is ripe for the picking.

Steve Carell: Awesome

Steve Carell has purchased a general store.

He said the purchase was more of an “emotional investment than a business one” and an opportunity to preserve a piece of Americana.

For being part of the “televised America”, Mr. Carell seems to have a wonderful sense of the real America. Good for him!

Average Joe (Stupid is the not-so-new Average)

Joe the Plumber wants to let the world hear the stories of Israel’s Average Joe’s. And he’s going to have the chance.

The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (WUR’-zuhl-bah-kur) says he’ll spend 10 days covering the fighting.

He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants to let Israel’s “‘Average Joes’ share their story.”

[ . . . ]

[H]e agreed with a McCain supporter who asked if he believed a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel.

Are we all now in agreement that “the people” are idiots, and that elitism is a good thing? Excellent.

Roland Burris is a colossal d’bag

Burris has declared, despite facts to the contrary, “I’m a United States senator.”

He isn’t.

While Blagojevich has signed formal appointments papers, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, has not, and Senate rules require that signature.

Burris, in turn, has gone to court hoping to win an order for White to sign the necessary paperwork, and has also threatened to sue to take his seat in the Senate.

“We are hoping and praying that they will not be able to deny what the Lord has ordained,” Burris said Sunday night.

You heard it, folks: The Lord has ordained that this man — who once called white opponents for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois “nonqualified white boys” (Apparently he hasn’t mastered the English language!); who helped to organize Chicago’s first Gun Turn-in Day, but opted to keep his own handgun, about which he claims to have forgotten; and responsible for the following

In 1985, Rolando Cruz was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for kidnapping, rape, and murder along with a co-defendant in a DuPage County Circuit Court. In 1992, Assistant Attorney General Mary Brigid Kenney, whom Burris had assigned to fight Cruz’s appeal, sent Burris a memo identifying numerous errors in the investigation and trial in Cruz’s initial conviction. Burris ignored Kenney’s warnings, and she resigned in protest.

In September 1995, DNA tests showed that neither Cruz nor his co-defendant were the contributors of the semen found at the crime scene. On November 3, 1995, a DuPage County judge acquitted Cruz on the basis of recanted testimony, the DNA evidence, and the lack of any substantiated evidence against Cruz. He was fully pardoned by Governor George Ryan in 2002.

— The Lord has ordained that this man should serve in the United States Senate, for the great prophet Blagojevich has proclaimed it.

This would be funny were it not so sad, were it not so utterly unsurprising in contemporary America politics.

What’s this, a web-log? What’s this, change?

Okay, so I have been dreadfully remiss in tending to Nathancontramundi. I’ve been busy receiving speeding tickets and enjoying time with the family and Christmas and not getting plastered on New Year’s Eve and applications to Ph.D. programs in political science (theory specifically) and trying to be a healthier person and trying to read more frequently and so forth. I have more excuses, but I’ll spare you the annoyance. What matters is that I’m back (or so I say!) and hope to get back to more regular posting. I’ve never been a particularly fantastic blogger, but I think that, once upon a time, I wasn’t too bad. Maybe I can return to that point, and perhaps surpass it, at some point.

For now, I just want to express my complete lack of surprise, and my utter disappointment, at President-elect Obama’s decision to name yet another Clintonista, Leon Panetta, to his administration.

Panetta was a surprise pick for [heading the CIA], with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.

I’m actually starting to think that Mr. Obama suffers from some form of schizophrenia. Calling for “Change” and proclaiming himself an outsider one day, he then asserts that this is not the time for America(‘s government, that is) to be led by inexperienced individuals (save, of course, for himself). And then he appoints to lead the CIA a man with no experience in the intelligence world. Yet he wants, presumably, as his desire to “win” in Afghanistan suggests, to “win” the “War on Terror”? Perhaps his health care plan will provide free psychological help?