Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Tuesday: I Endorse

With Super Tuesday looming and in my role as grand panjandrum of Thought Experiments and Supreme Failure of the FIS, I feel it is time to do some endorsing. I am not alone. I gather Larry David has endorsed Barack Obama and the Grateful Dead are reuniting to celebrate their devotion to the senator. (People are saying Jerry Garcia won't be there just because he's dead. That's never stopped him in the past.) I assume Larry's backing is, basically, a stop-Hillary move since, judging by Curb Your Enthusiasm, he is terrified of women. The Dead are, of course, just going with the flow as they have been since the sixties - though, as we know, time is meaningless. Obama may be a bit nervy about these two endorsements, representing, as they do, incompetence and marijuana. But, since those two categories cover almost the whole population, I guess he can live with that. The Republican side is less interesting. I marginally favour McCain because I couldn't live with a president called Mitt and certainly not Huckabee. Anyway, a couple of years ago Simon Schama said to me, 'Hillary versus McCain, McCain wins; Obama versus McCain, Obama wins.' This still seems right. Hillary has become peculiarly horrible lately and I find it hard to imagine anyone voting for her after another nine months of exposure to her harshness and inauthenticity. So I endorse Obama. He has real intelligence and neither we nor the Americans have voted for real intelligence for some time now. In fact, I'm not sure we ever have. Elizabeth I was probably our most intelligent leader and she was just handed the job. So, on balance, it's Obama for the US and bring back the Tudors for us.


  1. I'd very much like to become a failed intellectual myself. But how do I do it? Do I have to talk about at length about, say, a representative selection of post-modern theory and convince you and the other officers of the society that I don't understand a word of it?

  2. Obama must look more substantive from a distance of several thousand miles, Bryan. I have yet to hear him say anything - anything at all - that rises above the level of a bumper-sticker sentiment.

  3. I wouldn't be too worried about having to raise your game to become a failed intellectual, Nick. Just maintain your current standards.

    Since the last two US elections were shown to be fraudulent, why do people continue to humiliate themselves in taking this vulgar masquerade seriously?

    Evidence of Electoral Fraud in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election: A Reading List
    by Michael Keefer
    is a good starting point.

    And the previous election, this BBC Newsnight piece on fraud in Florida.

  4. Oh, it's much worse than that, Andrew. You can trace fraudulent elections in the U.S. all the way back to G. Washington & co. Those that weren't technically fraudulent were manipulated by secret cabals of railroad barons and Texas oil magnates trying to keep the people starving, or at least addicted to fast food and television. The whole project was rotten ab initio and should be reversed, preferably under the direction of the Tudors.

  5. Hi Bryan,

    I am with Frank on Obama. I want Obama to be the real thing, but he is just a windbag of rhetoric so far.

    Here, he rebuts Bush's State of the Union Address: YouTube: Barack Obama's response to Bush's final State of the Union. He says nothing substantial, but alludes to his agenda.

    Let's step back a little further, and grant him that his rebuttal here does not need to have substance. Let's forget for a moment that he may or may not have purposely misrepresented Bush's actions and the actual state of affairs, for instance in Iraq, knowing he will not lead all American forces out of Iraq in the next four years, and take no points away for low blows and hits below the belt, as he attempts to become president himself.

    Let's grant him this, that this is how one becomes a president. We expect the white lies, the promises of what is unfeasibile, and the framing of the other side within the most dramatically acceptable darkness.

    But look at how he ended the speech:

    Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. We see half the country tune in to watch, but know that much of the country has stopped even listening. Imagine if next year was different. Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose. That's the kind of President we need in this country. And with your help in the coming days and weeks, that's the kind of President I will be.

    He imagines himself getting applause from both chambers, and every American tuning in to his State of the Union messages. I wonder if it brought tears to his eyes to write these lines, himself imagining the glory that would become his. How great a president he will be to allow us to share in his glory, with our individual hands clapping, giving each American an important voice in cheering him to his immortality.

    The problem now is the field. It looks like McCain versus Obama. We can only hope.


  6. It's not what Obama says, as such, that is substantial, but the way he says it. He has something. I can't be sure what it is exactly, but it's worth a punt. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts.

  7. Hi Neil,

    My instincts tell me that in that rebuttal of Bus, he was running against him, just as he runs against Hillary Clinton. We can understand that there is an election coming up, so that Obama's campaign actions are understanable. But when he acts like Bush is hos opponent, acts as if he is campaigning against Bush, then it is not about an election, it is about how history will ultimately write the story of the Great Obama.

    We have a serious egomaniac on our hands. That's my instinct.


  8. Rus, do you know *any* politician who is not an egomaniac? Come to think of it, a megalomaniac?

    I'm for Obama. My dream ticket is Hillary for Prez, Obama (who lacks experience) as V. P. On verra.

    BTW, have you Brits noticed how much Huckabee resembles actor Robert Lindsay (he who plays the Admiral in the Horatio Hornblower miniseries)?

  9. i can tell Hilary will be terrible because she's three terrible things in one:

    1. An American woman.
    2. A power woman.
    3. Insane.

    This is not a good combination.

    Perhaps Obama knows if he gets the seat his actions will in any case be so limited by the need to appease the financial powers that be, that empty rhetoric is just about all there is. Why say you're going to cut war spending and create a real education system, for example (which would i suppose appeal to many) if you know you'd never get away with it, too many people don't want military spending to be cut, and too many people don't want a widely-educated populace.

    It's a case of choose your sock puppet, i fear; though for sure some sock puppets seem worse human beings than others, capable of worse acts.

  10. Nick, you need to understand all of it and then reveal you are unable to do it. But, anyway, you're in.

  11. I think Simon Schama was right. I don't think Obama's surge will be enough on Tuesday, though. If it is, then pollster Zogby has quite a feather in his cap. If not, one must question Zogby's ethics (yet again). Frank is right about Obama but so is Neil. The problem is that my instincts tell me he won't prove to be nearly as good once in office as people hope. But I'll vote for him if he wins the nomination. I doubt he will. If he's elected, I don't expect much in the end, as I believe that Obama has displayed a rigidity rivalling that of GW Bush and Jimmy Carter.

  12. Anyone but Mccain. Don't be pulled in by his cuddly exterior, the man is far to the right of Bush on foreign policy. He'll be trigger happy with that nuclear button like a pig in shit.

  13. I haven't heard much about Bush from either side, good, bad or indifferent. He must be a liability to the Republicans if not an embarrassment. But I haven't heard the Democrats criticising him too much either. What's going on? Have I missed something? Are they holding fire until the primaries are over? Or is it considered unpatriotic to attack a sitting President?

  14. He's a lame duck, hence the one refrain that (elliptically) refers to him is O.B.'s "It's time for change."

  15. Yes Susan, I noticed the Huckabee/Lindsay lookalike thing - thought it was just me (it often is) - glad to be validated! Incidentally, Lindsay was brilliant as a megalomaniac (local) politician in Alan Bleasdale's GBH (did that ever reach the US?)

  16. 'Hillary versus McCain, McCain wins; Obama versus McCain, Obama wins.'

    Handsome, black and disarmingly down-to-earth, Osama is performing one of the most formidable political feats in the history of American electioneering. But the blind admiration you share with almost everyone for the romantic contender, is more than matched by America’s conservative racial apprehension.

    Mark my words, he doesn’t stand a chance.

    If Hillary failed little would be lost, but she’s going to wipe the floor with McCain.

    Dreamy - The only true prophet!

  17. What's in a name? Republican victory means more war, more torture, more off-shore concentration camps. Democratic victory means more impotence in the face of Republican litigators revisiting scandal on the Whitehouse with whitewater on the one hand or Chicago slum lords on the other. Neither relevant but both brought front and center to neuter any democratic agenda.

    American elections became irrelevant in Florida and Ohio. American democracy died in Abu Graib and Gitmo.

    Now .. back to our regularly scheduled programming .. Britney's in rehab again!


  18. In Massachusetts, when you are registered as undeclared into one party or another, you get to choose which primary ballot to vote on. Once you do this, you declare your party, and to change back or switch parties, you need to go to City Hall.

    (Interestingly enough, this could created a strategy to vote for someone you are against. Let's say I was a thusly declared Democrat who favored Romney, but felt that Romney would lose to Clinton, yet win against Obama. I might vote for Obama, then.)

    As I walked the chilly quarter mile to the Greenhalgh School down Cumberland Road, I was pretty sure I was a thusly declared Republican, however. I am, and voted for McCain. It is an interesting feeling to vote for someone I would have opposed in the past, but feel pretty good about today, the economy and Iraqi occupation being what they are.