Monday, August 18, 2008

Proposed theme song for devoted Obama supporters

The legions of Obama's most fervent supporters need a theme song. Something that echoes their belief that Obama is the chosen one, and reflects the glorious future his election will potentiate (after all, by his own reckoning, just electing him will cause the oceans to slow their rise and the earth to begin to heal). I nominate Stephen Stills' ode to hope, "Carry On". Some of the lyrics are quite apropos:
...The sky is clearing and the night has gone out. The sun, he come, the world is all full of light [.... ] Now witness the quickness with which we get along. Carry on. Love is coming. Love is coming to us all....
Stills' lyrics also hold something for those somewhat skeptical of Obama's intentions and abilities:
Where are you going now my love? Where will you be tomorrow? Will you bring me happiness? Will you bring me sorrow?....
A fuller tribute to the avatar of hope and change is doubtless being penned by one of his acolytes. Perhaps it will be used at his swearing-in ceremony. Or we could use it to replace our national anthem in all 57 states after 8-10 years of benign Obama rule.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Barack Obama, political stamp collector?

Sen. Obama's CV is high on wow factor but thin on accomplishments. Its highlights include first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review, Illinois state senator, and Illinois junior senator. All fine accomplishments, and evidence that when he wants, Obama is capable of putting in hard work and possesses the discipline needed to rise to the top in whatever situation he chooses.

But what has he done with his accomplishments? As editor he did not publish, as state senator he was famously bored with the enterprise, and as junior senator he has even less to show. All of which leads me to think that Obama is simply into politics for the challenge (much the same way Bill Clinton was (is?) into humping women on the sly or others climb mountains - to see if they could do it).

Obama's phenomenal political talents allow him to establish a goal and then achieve it. However, once he attains his goal, the effort stops. It is as if he's pasted the stamp in his collection and immediately moves on to collecting the next stamp. Obviously, after being a senator, only one stamp remains.

Even as a community organizer, he often failed to follow through with his projects once the going got tough. His two school reform collaborations with Bill Ayers led to... what? Far easier to do well in the political arena, where accomplishments are more easily quantified. But his political career has been equally bland. Each success has been met with increased boredom and a search for new challenges. Hardly a wonder that his ego is outsized, after all what has ever stopped him in the past? His schedule is set by his ambition rather than any inconvenient political realities.

Doubtless a big ego is necessary for political success, but I would like to see a politician who has something to point to as they moved up the political ladder. I worry that once he is president, Obama will lose interest, or worse, not realise what he let himself in for. On the other hand, perhaps once he pastes that final stamp in his collection he'll decide that being one of the better presidents is also a challenge. If he keeps his motivation - perhaps his biggest challenge, he has that chance.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stalin's Georgia advice taken up by Putin, Medvedev

Stalin was a native Georgian, and at one time something of a nationalist. He changed his tune after joining the Communist party. This is what he said following the USSR's reannexation of Georgia in 1921 (Georgia had been annexed following the Revolution, and then given its independance the year before):
...You must draw a white-hot iron over this Georgian land!... You will have to break the wings of this Georgia! Let the blood... flow until they give up all their resistance! Impale them! Tear them apart!
Putin, an admirer of Stalin and his methods, evidently agrees.

Labels: , , , , ,