I only blog about politics when I want my older brother Dan to post a comment on my blog. He's an angry anti-war liberal into social justice and evidence that the mainstream media is failing to do its job. He would never write a 1,000-word blog entry on his latest tennis accomplishments or about taking drugs with his cat.
So like a child trying to get attention from their parents by engaging in their parents' hobbies, I will try to win my big brother's love by blogging about how awesome Barack Obama is.
A week ago, on a lonely Saturday night, I was surfing the web and found that I could get an Obama/Biden car magnet if I donated $25 to the campaign. I'd already given money to Obama during the primaries, but since I drive a Prius and the general election is heating up, I thought it was my duty to announce to other drivers who I support for president. My problem was that I didn't want to put a traditional bumper sticker on my car that would be there forever, like campaign herpes. ("Dukakis/Bentson '88!")
But a car magnet would be perfect! I could put it on during the election and then take it off after the election, returning the respect and dignity to my car that it deserves. So I signed up and donated some money.
Of course, I made the mistake of giving them one of my email addresses, 'cause I thought they might actually have useful info to send me every now and then. As Bush would say, I guess I "misunderestimated" the amount of mail a major political campaign would send out. Since last Saturday I have received messages from the following people, in this order: Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama (again), Jon Carson (National Field Director), Joe Biden (again), David Plouffe (Campaign Manager), Barack Obama (again), Joe Biden (again), Michelle Obama (again), and three messages from "Obama for America." If you're counting, that's 13 messages in a week.
I have not, however, received my car magnet yet.
So I was watching Obama's speech the other night at the Democratic convention, and I got swept up in the excitement, along with a lot of other people. Here you have this historic candidate, with a pedigree and life experiences completely unlike any president in history of our country, after a historic primary, who represents hope and a drastic alternative to the current administration. I saw the diverse crowd and the enthusiasm in the stadium, and I thought, "How can the Republicans possibly respond to this?" What are they going to say? "Hey, we have another rich old white man running to serve the primary interests of other rich white men! It's worked the last 233 years, why not four more? Change: Let's wait a little more!" Woo-hoo!
Of course that's not what they're saying. The Republican strategy seems to be, "He's got no experience! He's just an empty shirt! Hope with no plan!" (Forget for a moment that their whole strategy is discrediting Obama instead of lifting up McCain.) We already heard a lot of these arguments during the primary, which I think is bogus. Look over the course of his life and tell me he's all flash and no substance. If any president over the past 50 years had no substance when he was elected, it was George W. Bush. He had a resume, but it was a list of failures. Obama has excelled at everything he's done. And look at his varied life experiences. It would be impossible to have done all he's done and not have learned a thing or two.
I had all of these thoughts before McCain announced his running mate. When I found out that he's selected a relatively obscure arch-conservative woman, at first I thought it was a master stroke. How can the Republicans respond to Obama's historic run? They'll use a woman as a running mate! But then I found out more about Palin, I realized this was another example of Republicans not "getting" affirmative action. No wonder they're so bad at it: They see it as selecting any minority, regardless of credentials. "Hey, you want a woman? We got a woman!!"
If you want to know more about Palin, here's an amusing video someone sent me: