Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Coming Obama Presidency

We're about a month from the election and I think it's safe to say that absent some kind of meltdown from Obama, he's going to be the next President. We're half way through the debates and I just don't see another game changer on the horizon. My guess is a win somewhere in the 50-46 range.
In addition the Dem majority in the House and Senate will probably grow. That's one of my biggest fears for the next four years. For all the talk about Republican lack of financial responsibility (much of it deserved) there is no constituency on the Dem side to control government spending. The opposite is true as the healthcare debate shows. The best case scenario is something like the one the realization that Clinton came to quickly, the financial house needs to be put back in shape before any grand social programs can be undertaken. I'm not optimistic.
I've talked about Obama's lack of foreign policy before and I still don't trust his instincts. The downside is the possibility that he will concede too much to the international community. The upside is that same community is getting their dream president and will no longer be able to blame bad choices of the American electorate for their own fecklessness. I don't think that's enough of a tradeoff but it could be worse.
I do have one very specific fear relating to the social fabric of this country. Obama has mostly (with notable exceptions) run as a post-race candidate. America hungers for this. My guess is that a vast majority wants to wish race away and ignore it. They think that MLK's dream pushes in this direction and they wish we could get there. At least that's the boat that I'm in and I don't think I'm alone.
Despite Obama's maturity on this matter, this election has become one of the most racially charged in memory. There have been a few outbreaks from the right suggesting that a black man needs to prove himself more to be qualified. These have mostly focused on his associations and some have been fair and some not so much. At the same time there has been a steady drumbeat from the left that almost any criticism of Obama is defacto racist. No matter how grown up Obama is, his allies can't make the same claim. This doesn't bode well for the future.
If I were advising Obama (and obviously I'm not) I'd wait until the next public outcry. I'd have him make a statement stating that he doesn't think all of his critics are racist and that it's flat out wrong to suggest that they are. Wrong for those individuals and wrong for the country as a whole. This would gain Obama respect from independnts and it would move our society forward.


Blogger DD4 said...

Oh, how I hope you're wrong. Obama scares me. He really scares me.

3:32 PM  
Blogger James Colby said...

I appreciate the comments, I know those weren't easy to say. I'm not ready to call a winner yet, but the way you said what you said gives me a lot of hope. I hope I could have the same civility and forward looking attitude if it were me.

I share your fiscal concerns. I'm not seeing leadership or responsibily from really anyone on either side of the isle and hurts as an American. I look back to the Clinton and see hope for a more realistic approach to the budget, but I haven't seen that approach from this Democratic congress, let's just say that Paygo doesn't seem to really have been implemented like they said it was. I think the successes of the Clinton administration did have a lot to do with the challenges of Gingrich, the executive efficiencies of Gore, the steady hand of Greenspan and the Military drawdowns that Bush 41 set in motion, as far the government is concerned. I don't know if any of those type of leaders will emerge, but bringing the war in Iraq to an end should save us about 100 billion/year and that's a heckuva start.

I'll admit, I don't have as much hope as I did a few weeks ago, but I still have hope.

12:26 PM  

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