Monday, February 18, 2008

ELF Becomes Disenchanted With Politics

No, I'm not really a total newcomer to the human race. But Saturday's paper particularly upset me, and it's still hurting.

The worst part was learning that Clinton is calling for the delegates she won in the Michigan and Florida primaries to be to be counted. We all know that the Democratic primary process this year is a total mess, but demanding delegates you won in a contest in which your opponent wasn't on the ballot because he was following the party's rules is tantamount to saying that you'll do anything to win, democratic process be damned. I voted for Clinton, and it's a vote that I'd been looking forward to casting for some time. But at a time when unchecked presidential power is one of the most serious issues facing our country, this isn't the sort of thing that I can shrug off.

Then there was McCain's vote against a bill restricting government interrogation techniques. I've never been a McCain supporter per se -- I disagree with his positions on nearly every issue of substance -- but like so many Americans, I've always respected him, and I was quietly thrilled to see him sweep the Republican primaries. He seemed competent, sensible, and principled (at least as politicians go), not least because of his stand on torture. Now, he seems to be doing an about-face and hoping that no one but right-wing Republicans will notice. (His vote supporting phone companies that assisted in Bush's warrantless wiretapping program doesn't inspire confidence, either.)

That leaves Mr. Smith, a.k.a. Barak Obama. He may not have much experience, but he says that we Can, and while I'm not sure exactly what it is that we can do, people seem pretty excited about it. And he did get this endorsement. I guess there's something to be said for electing a guy who makes people feel good. It may not be the only necessary qualification for Leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief in Wartime, but then again, he couldn't easily make things much worse.

4 comments:

katrina said...

The endorsement was unexpectedly cute. It even melted my icy, icy heart--but not too much. I find you pleasantly naive, elf. Politicians are scum. That's why even the appearance of non-scum a la Obama is so exciting for people. I personally will vote for anyone I think can beat the Republican, played in this movie by a really old guy.

elf said...

I definitely do have a naive side.

The truth is, I don't imagine that anyone who gets anywhere in politics can really be a nice person, or an honest person, or principled about very many issues. I just thought that maybe it was possible to be principled about a few issues, like democracy and not torturing people. I guess that was silly.

Sara Genessa said...

I have agree with the general consensus that politicians have to be at least a little skeezy--especially the president. The government is a gargantuan bureaucracy that requires political savvy and a good dose of treachery to get even benign legislation passed. Personally I think that's a reason to support Clinton over Obama. He might have potential, but Barack just hasn't been around long enough to know how to grease the wheels of government.

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