I hate being fooled. You can only be fooled if you believe.
I hate being disappointed. So every day I strap on my cynic's armor: helmet, chainmail, breastplate, gauntlets, snark, smirk and wry look.
My one confident prediction for this election is that a) someone will be elected, and b) they will be a disappointment. That's my 80 proof cynicism.
I backed Hillary because Hillary is tough. Because she'll fall down seven times and stand up eight. Because she's smart. Prepared. Because she does her homework. Because her enemies have reason to fear her.
I'm a big fan of overwhelming force, of hitting the enemy so hard they can't think straight. The Clintons know how to kill. This is useful and necessary. It's a dangerous world and too many Democrats lack an instinct for the jugular. Say what you will about Hillary and Bill, they know where the arteries lie close to the surface.
But this time the Clinton's bloodthirsty instincts have been wrong. I wrote some time ago that Hillary was pulling a shiv on Obama when she needed a subtler approach. She needed to go maternal with Obama. She needed to talk about how proud he made us, what a great guy he was, and then lay her wonkery upon us and leave us to draw the conclusion that we really loved listening to Obama, but weren't quite ready to put him in the top job.
Instead, Hillary unleashed the former President of the United States to act as attack dog. It was disproportionate force. It was too much and too fierce and hard to watch. And when this assault by the Billrog failed to finish off the skinny black kid, the audience sympathy was bound to turn. It was thrilling to see the frail-looking newcomer take every blow and stay on his feet. Americans love underdogs.
Alan Stewart Carl writes: "It’s over between the Clintons and me. And I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one feeling that way."
I do feel that way, though not to the point of voting for a Republican -- after the last eight years they need chastising. They need to go to their rooms, think about what they've done, and not come back downstairs until they have some new ideas. (Or at least some old ones they've recommitted to.) So, I won't vote for any Republican with the possible exception of John McCain. But enough with the Clintons. Enough. Just go away. Just leave us alone.
Don't bother telling me all the reasons Obama isn't ready. I know them. Don't bother pointing out every half-formed policy, every wrongheaded position. I know. Hillary's more right than Obama. (And McCain's more right than Obama on a number of issues.)
But it's about more than policy papers now. Its about being sick to death of Atwater-Clinton-Rove politics. It's about being nauseated by the idea of more automatic, tit-for-tat partisanship, more strategic divisiveness. Enough of Republican fear-mongering. Enough of the Democratic politics of envy and resentment. Enough of using patriotism as a weapon. Enough of triangulating. Enough with the seething and the ranting and the rage-aholism.
I'm not giving up all my cynical armor. I'm keeping the snark and the smirk and the wry look. But I'm taking off the chainmail. I'm taking a chance. I'm throwing in with Obama.