Pulling the Welcome Mat on Obama

With the results in Iowa fresh in their minds, America’s mainstream media sonorously declared Sen. Barak Obama’s first place finish was America’s declaration that it wanted change.  Others in the media pronounced this is the long anticipated generational shift.  There are two problems with these conclusions.

First, as any first year student at a Jesuit college will tell you, one anecdotal incident does not a universal make.  In other words, the fact that ten percent of the eligible Democrat voters in a third tier state like Iowa voted for Obama does not make him the probable nominee.  All we saw in Iowa was the activist wing of the Democrat party, enlarged by a significant youth vote chose a fresh face and turned its back on the “good old boys” club represented by Sen. Hillary Clinton.
And second, the “change” that may have been represented in the Iowa vote is not the “change” advocated by the mainstream media.  One part of the media gushed that Obama represented a recognition that America must change and become a “friend” to the world and cast its lot with the internationalists (those who think that this country’s decisions ought to determined by the likes of France, Venezuela and Kofi Annan.)  Another part of the media concluded the Obama represented a chance to withdraw from the war and concentrate our resources on domestic issues like universal healthcare and elimination of fossil-fueled energy production.

Okay, I concede that Obama generates an excitement in politics that hasn’t been seen for a long time.  The press likes to relate it back to the days of John F. Kennedy but, like most other things political, they are wrong.  America’s youth was not energized to elect John Kennedy.  That generational change began with the protests against the Vietnam War — the war that John Kennedy started.  The energy from those protests was captured by Sen. Eugene McCarthy in an unsuccessful run for the Democrat presidential nomination and ended in the streets of Chicago as the Democrats ignored the “new generation” and nominated Hubert Humphrey, the consummate old boys club member.  While the energy from the “new generation” continued in resistance to the Vietnam War, it was lost in terms of a force in Democrat politics.  So much so that Humphrey and then Sen. George McGovern lost the presidential elections to Richard Nixon — one of America’s great lowlifes as a politician.

There is probably more to be learned from the actual events surrounding America’s last flirtation with the “generational change” than with the speculation and wishful thinking by America’s mainstream media.  History is likely to repeat itself.  Let’s remember that the Democrat Party represents the status quo — it is financed by East Coast inherited wealth, staffed by union bosses and populated by career politicians.  The first two are among the most rigidly bigoted groups in America.  The big money champions civil rights but makes sure that their sons and daughters marry within their own, that their clubs deflect those who are different, and that their businesses keep a tight lid on minority advancement.  The unions marched with civil rights groups but held minorities at bay preferring to ensure that their own children were hired and advanced before any intruders were given a chance.  The term limousine liberal was coined to reflect the practices of these groups and you can be sure that they are not going to allow a black man from Chicago with a Muslim sounding name be the nominee of “their” party — and it is “their” party.

For the most part, the Democrat old guard is behind Sen. Hillary Clinton.  People don’t like Hillary but that doesn’t make much difference; she has the machine at her beck and call.  And even if Hillary falls, the Democrats will not nominate Obama.  It is unlikely they will turn to former Sen. John Edwards because they don’t trust him — and with good reason, he is a former trial lawyer whose glibness is so transparent that no one actually believes a thing he says.  No, if Hillary falls, the Democrat machine will turn to another insider — probably Al Gore or John Kerry (both patricians raised on inherited wealth and beholden to the East Coast wealth and the unions).

But I don’t want to leave the impression that there isn’t a strong desire for change amongst the electorate.  It just isn’t this global shifting of policies that the press champions that the electorate wants; it is a pretty simple and basic desire for change.  What Americans want is a change in the concept of leadership.  They want to feel like their elected representatives are going to actually tackle the difficult problems of the day instead of using them to posture to improve their chances for re-election.  They want to feel like someone is paying attention to all of the tax money that is being spent so freely on pork barrel projects and other efforts aimed primarily at getting re-elected instead of getting something done.  And they want to feel that they are safe, in their homes, in their cars and in their country instead of watching one stalemate after another over such issues based solely on posturing for the next election.

And before the Republican become too smug, most of what is said here about the Democrats is equally true of the Republicans.  Voters threw the Republican out because they became the party of irresponsible spending, of favor trading corruption, and of stagnation in dealing with America’s real problems — social security, energy independence, illegal immigration, and national security.  The Democrats, for exactly the same reasons, have demonstrated their unwillingness and inability to deal with them too.  It is that type of frustration that drives voters to signal they want change.  No where is the saying “if you are not part of the solution then you are a part of the problem” more applicable than with the current political process.

Yes, the people want change but it is a change in attitude, in respect and in responsibility — not a change in direction.