Friday, February 15, 2008

I Think I Might Have to Start Writing About Politics Soon

I fear that the end times may be nigh; Joel Stein of the L.A. Times has written a cogent, perceptive, on-target piece about the fervor with which Barack Obama is being supported. Yes, Joel Stein. Cogent, perceptive and on-target.

End times, I'm telling you.

Equally as insightful -- but far less surprising -- is Charles Krauthammer's column on the same subject.

Many have made the comparison of Barack Obama to Chauncey Gardner from Being There; an empty vessel into which people pour their own hopes and dreams. I see him more as Kevin Fogerty, the Boston city councilman unseated by Woody Boyd on "Cheers." If you haven't seen it, Frasier becomes annoyed because Councilman Fogerty does nothing but spout platitudes, and the rest of the "Cheers" gang (who, as has been noted, were not a real gang) eats them up:

Fogerty: Kevin Fogerty, city council. I hope I have your vote on election day.

Frasier: And why exactly should I vote for you, Mr. Fogerty?

Fogerty: Well, because I'm a hard worker, and I take a stand.

Frasier: On what, exactly?

Fogerty: The issues of the day.

Frasier: What are?

Fogerty: The things that concern you and your family... the most.

Then...

Fogerty: Maybe we need someone to blame. Maybe if we pick some faceless person at city hall to be responsible for all our problems then we won't have to accept any responsibility at all. Well, people, I say now is the time to start looking in the mirror. Because... if this thing is going to work, we are all going to have to make it work. The way a bunch of people made something work at Lexington and Concord. You may remember it. It's called... America!

(everyone applauds, and then Fogerty leaves)

Frasier: But he didn't say anything! Thank you, people, for proving my point. The voters of Boston are sheep.

Woody: Wow, I thought that was just a Hanover thing.

So far I find Barack Obama to be honest, decent, sincere, and devoid of ideas. Maybe he'll impress me yet, but, if I were a Democrat, I might worry that, at some point between now and election day, the passion of Obama supporters -- which at this point is tantamount to religious fervor -- will subside in a big way. That can happen, and it can happen fast. Ask Howard Dean.

(of course, as a Republican, I worry that it won't subside quite soon enough)

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