Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Hoping against hope? That's just a place bet on Biden

In Obama's VP selection we see the audacity of 'hit and hope,' and the fatuity of change you can't believe in -- or as 'Write Ups' says:

In Barack Obama we have the candidate who is campaigning on the need to change Washington selecting a Vice Presidential candidate who is the epitome of Washington establishment in the form of Joe Biden.

This selection of a representative from the Washington establishment as his running mate represents neither change nor hope; with the harnessing of the apostle of 'change' to a poster-boy for the status quo, what we see here is not change, but the sound of politics as usual.

Obama's choice of VP candidate was being looked to with interest as a means by which to deduce what, if anything, Obama's mantra of 'change' might look like in practice. In fact, as Obama offers voters less and less in the way of policy or of anything substantively different to the prevailing status quo -- or even any idea of what he might actually stand for beyond the viciously altruistic directive, "I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper"-- it is now more and more obvious that the only 'change' an Obama presidency would represent is little more than a change of skin colour in the White House.

Is this any sort of 'change' that's worth 'believing' in?

The only reason to get excited about the prospect of a black man in the White House would be the ready indication that in the America of the twenty-first century, a candidate's character is a more important measure of his suitability for the job of President than the colour of his skin -- but in paying attention to the colour of a man's skin instead of to the content of both his character and his policy platform, it's only too clear that that colour is still being made more important than character.

To say that again a different way, to vote for the black man in order to send a message that racism is no longer an issue has the paradoxical effect of proving that race really is the issue, since what your vote says is that you're unable to separate the non-issue of a candidate's race from the very real issue of his character, and whatever policy positions his character leads him (eventually) to adopt.

And once you do separate Obama's race from his policy positions, what exactly is it that one's left with? Nothing at all, really, beyond some faded signs reading 'hope,' and a tattered banner crying 'change.' Nothing, in other words, to believe in.

UPDATE: Robert Tracinski's opinion of Joe Biden is priceless:

I have occasionally referred in [my columns] to a congressional hearing being dominated by the fulminations of Senator Blowhard. I mean it as a generic name for any preening, grandstanding politician. But the concrete example I always have in mind is Joe Biden. He is the kind of politician who thinks that the purpose of any congressional hearing is not its nominal topic, but rather the opportunity for everyone to hear the great and important things that the senator has to say. He's not always sure what it is exactly that he has to say—and his listeners aren't always sure, either—but Biden is always sure that it is great and important. ...
This vice-presidential selection confirms my overall judgment of who Obama is. He is Peter Keating, the bright, ambitious young conformist from Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Like Keating, he is handsome and charismatic and good at figuring out how to make people like him. But he has no substance of his own to offer, so when he actually has to make a decision, he panics and tries to figure out what everyone else thinks he should be doing.


  1. "to vote for the black man in order to send a message that racism is no longer an issue has the paradoxical effect of proving that race really is the issue,"

    Political correctness being inherently racist as it acknowledges a supposed inferiority and attempts to correct it.

    I pick horses without seeing the appearance, just by the facts on the sheet.


  2. who gives a fuck?

    McCain will win!

  3. McCain has *nothing* to offer genuine libertarians. I am at a loss as to why NZ libz/objectivists are endorsing him - see SOLO for fawning praise.

    There are a lot of faux libertarians around, who use the title to claim independence from the Right, all the while carrying water for the Right's most liberty-infringing policies -- for example, anti-choice, warrantless wire-tapping, torture, endless war, anti-immigration and multiculturalism. All of which are on McCain's ticket.

    Which is one of the reasons why NZ needs a new libertarian party.

  4. Ruth, are you aware what an endorsement of a candidate actually is?

    You know, it's already abundantly clear you don't read, and transparently obvious that you resort instead to making stuff up, but could you kindly point me to anywhere on this blog in which I endorse McCain? Anywhere at all I endorse anti-choice, warrantless wire-tapping, torture, endless war, anti-immigration and multiculturalism?

    Or would you like to just admit you've been interviewing the inside of your eyelids again.

  5. I never said YOU endorsed McCain my dear. I do recall you have criticised him in the past, in fact.

    You know full well that many in your party endorse him - how about Sandi,Claudia, Perigo, Lineberry, to name but a few. Supporters like KG endorse him. Most Americans on SOLO endorse him. Anyone who doesn't is usually run off.

    How about YOU open your eyes...eh.

  6. Yes, that Ruth is a funny sort of chap...

    Everyone I talk to who has met her says she is a lunatic...and yes, gosh, seems this is so.

    (apparently she 'drinks')

    Like all alcoholics she is best ignored...

  7. "Most Americans on SOLO endorse him. Anyone who doesn't is usually run off."

    Oh yes? 'Endorsements' like this, I suppose you mean:

    "McCain's a political whore, but Obama makes him look like Captain America."

    You really should read more, Ruth.

  8. Elijah, nothing wrong with being someone who 'drinks.'

    Some of my best friends, etc.

  9. Ha ha...and mine! ..('twas just my wee joke)

    I want Obama to lose, and McCain is the way to do that, but not sure I 'endorse' him (unless, as he may well do, he announces a 'balanced budget' policy) and stops all this nonsense about the United Nations


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