Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama is Not Jesus, and Hillary is Not the Antichrist

At some point I'm going to write my own thoughts about this, but there are plenty of lucid and intelligent editorial pieces in circulation that address both halves of this (shouldn't-be-but-is) controversial proposition. Among the best - by which, of course, I mean the ones most in accord with my opinions:

Kathleen Geier at Talking Points Memo discusses how, even though she herself voted for Obama, she's beginning to get the heebie-jeebies from starry-eyed Obama supporters. She's not the first to raise the dread word "cult," but she may be the first to substantiate her misgivings with sound criticism of his campaign, or at least, some of his most enthusiastic campaigners.

Stanley Fish has been plumbing the depths of Hillary-hatred and dryly noting that the comments in response have provided further vindication of his thesis: anti-Hillaryism is quite out of proportion to anything it subject has done, and seems to feed on itself, independent of any external stimuli.

Paul Krugman observes with dismay the bitter divisiveness that's arisen in the Obama-Clinton race and bluntly opines that it's the Obamans that are contributing the most to it. Like Geier, but with considerably more exasperation, he voices skepticism that they can ever lay their differences aside to vote for a Democratic candidate that isn't Obama (i.e., Hillary).

As you may guess, I agree. This, you see, is my fear, too: that if Obama DOESN'T get the nomination, his supporters will be so mad they won't vote for Clinton, or worse, may actually vote for McCain out of spite. I fail to understand the reasoning - assuming there is any - behind the latter course: the idea that McCain is any more principled than Clinton, or any less of a politician, is simply ludicrous. I say this as someone who respects them both, but fears the consequences of a President McCain...

That said, it's looking to me like Obama's momentum, aided, alas, by the aforementioned anti-Hillaryism, as well as a collective Democratic anxiety to see this thing wrapped up, is going to carry him to the nomination sooner rather than later. But by now, as we've all learned, it's never a good idea to count a Clinton out. They're made of tuff stuff.

More on all this later....

Oh, and for anyone wondering if I'm ever going to talk about movies again, the answer is YES! Now that the writers' strike appears headed for resolution, I project a redirected focus on the Oscars as February 24 draws nearer. It will be an exciting race this year, that's for sure, full of worthy contenders (and the usual share of "wtf?"s).

In the meantime, to tide you over, M.S. Smith over at Where the Stress Falls has a characteristically thoughtful and well-observed piece on "I'm Not There" a film we and another of our friends finally saw this past weekend.

And lastly, Self-Styled Siren has a fine tribute and farewell to the great Roy Scheider ("Jaws," "The French Connection," "All That Jazz"), who may always remain underrated but will never be forgotten.


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