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Giggling Past The Graveyard

Seven months ago I wrote:

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.

And a month later:

I support Obama for this reason: he promises to reach across the aisle, move away from idiot gotcha partisanship, and try to accomplish something useful. Emphasis on "promises." The fact that he promises this means he will at the very least have to go through the motions of non-partisanship. He will have been elected on that promise. Even if he doesn't mean it (always a distinct possibility) he'll have to at least make an attempt. That's more than we'll get from Hillary, who is ready from day one to start up the same tired old shit.

I am sick to death of the same tired old shit. I think the country is, too. We have three possible candidates at this point: John McCain who is, I'm sorry, the candidate of the past, representing a party in serious need of a long rest; Mrs. Clinton who embodies and defines the same tired old shit; and the new kid who promises it won't be the same old, same old.
I have not changed my feelings about Mr. Obama. He has neither surprised nor disappointed me.

Conservatives have flailed away at him. He's everything from a naive waif to a ruthless manipulator. They've tried everything. But he's still standing.

They even tried nominating the one Republican least liked by Republicans, the one Republican who had even a prayer of being elected this year, John McCain. But despite the fact that McCain comes in with a huge reputation for independence, despite the fact that he is experienced, witty and heroic, he has not put the skinny new kid away.

The Republicans play their same tired games. Phony outrage, attacks on patriotism, the spreading of lies and slanders, and it hasn't put Obama down. They've displayed their usual tics: the faux-hauteur, the bluster, the knowing giggles, the snark and the smirk. And Obama is still standing. They float around Obama like a cloud of gnats, coming at him from every possible direction, irritating without stinging.

The Republican party is a party without a clue. The Grand Old Party is not so grand, mostly just old. It needs to go to its room and think about what it has done. It needs some serious chin-stroking. It needs to take out its yellow pad and make some lists. The Republican party has become the party of deficit spending, cronyism, incompetence and recklessness. It is a party off the rails. A party out of touch with its own head and heart.

Obama isn't much more than a hope. That criticism is correct. He's nothing but a hope. And yet an exhausted, discredited Republican party offers even less.

I read the conservative pundits and bloggers with amused detachment as they fling their wild accusations, as they tool and retool their boogey-men, as they sneer and slander and giggle smugly to themselves. The sad, lost, silly heirs to Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan.

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“Giggling Past The Graveyard”

  1. Blogger David Says:

    I agree with you. And somehow, I find McCain's pick of Gov. Palin to be compelling proof that the GOP doesn't know what it stands for. If they think Obama lacks experience, why would they pick someone who barely has as much (I know how they're spinning it; I'm not buying)? If they play the tax-and-spend card, how do they explain the mess into which we've descended?

    I am my sister's brother: deeply ambivalent, permanently unmoored from party, deeply skeptical of all overt messaging; I've been only moderately impressed with Obama, about whom too much has been made.

    But there is, it finally seems to me, more honesty and less shit-digging shenanigans in his campaign, and in his party, than in McCain's. I just don't see what the GOP is about, other than winning.

    But I'll shut up because, as usual, you said it better.