Friday, May 2, 2008

The only thing better than Tracy at Vision...

is PT in a Foytmobile. No link, but allegedly, PT discussed the possibility of running Indy in a 2nd or 3rd Foyt sled. Excellent career choice, Paul! After all, the Foyt boys are clearly able to handle their business. I mean, Darren Manning is in an absolutely stellar 18th in points. This has Borg-Warner written all over it!

Not to mention, 'ole A.J. is the epitome of grace under fire:

Best combination ever. Please God, make this happen!

In actual news, it appears that PT's only shot might be with Derrick Walker.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jeremiah Wright- Final thoughts (I hope)

So, what will be the impact of Jeremiah Wright? For Obama, clearly not good, as most polls are indicating. The question, then, is whether it is short-term or more permanent.

Personally, I'm undecided on that. The Conventional Wisdom would say, "Of course it is fatal." And it may well be. Perhaps many whites will simply no longer listen to him, questioning his judgment and "authenticity" (more on that in a second). If so, President McCain should get his cabinet in order.

On the other hand, Nov. is 6 months away. If this primary marathon has taught us anything, it is that a TON can happen in a few months. Will voters, after a time, get tired of seeing "Wright this, Wright that" dominating the political discourse? Possibly, depending on what element disturbs them most about the story.

Do people simply think this was a matter of poor judgment to not "disown" Wright yrs. earlier, while fully understanding that the Senator does NOT, in fact, believe in any of the nuttiness? Or do some now think he really IS a closet black radical?

If it is the latter, well, that is a shame, and unadulterated bullshit. Even a cursory, objective look at Barack Obama's life and career shows the total opposite. To believe he's some sort of stealth candidate means that you have to believe that the last 20 yrs., from community organizing to Harvard Law, ending in politics, experiences in which he was known for getting along with others, esp. those with whom he disagreed, was a complete act. Folks, no one can possibly be that stealth.

Still, if these facts are presented, I think you can turn some voters back around. The judgment issue, from a non-racial POV, is harder to tackle at first blush. To some extent, the dye has been cast: It either is a deal-breaker or it isn't. The only positive might be this: Time healing wounds and voters deciding there are more important issues to decide this on. I think this COULD happen.

I'll close with thoughts from other Gen Y'ers, from Sullivan. I think THIS might overstate things a tad, but in spirit, absolutely. If the thing that takes down Obama is Jeremiah Wright, it will be a true shame. Beat him b/c he's "too liberal," "not ready, "wrong on issues." All legitimate.

But don't let Stupid Old Politics, with Wright, be what takes him down. That risks alienating an entire generation, waiting for something new.

No, Obama is no saint. Most of us know that (see the Ethanol pander), but he is the best thing to happen to U.S. politics since Reagan. To defeat him over this will, in time, be seen as one of the saddest chapters in politics.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nothing Coherent Comes This Way

I apologize in advance for the rant that is to follow. Don't bother making sense of it. Not gonna happen.

I should probably credit/blame Andrew Sullivan for inspiring this. It was this post that started this "stream of consciousness" yesterday. Indeed, I have been feeling this as well, but I started thinking deeper.

Many, like myself, have become not just engaged in the process, but emotionally invested in a candidate (In my case, Barack Obama) this year. Personally, the post-Iowa high was something that I might not experience again for awhile in American politics. Conversely, I was amazed at my anger and sadness post-New Hampshire. The rest of the primary season has been full of this roller-coaster of emotions, perhaps culminating in Jeremiah Wright.

Now, as we all ponder (Or watch others ponder) whether Obama can truly overcome Jeremiah Wright or if it is all too late, a step back. Ultimately, that question will resolve itself, and the answer will reveal quite a bit about not just Sen. Obama but about where we are, politcally and culturally, as a nation. But we'll save that discussion for another post.

Have we all lost our senses and perspectives this yr.? As an informed college grad. and a liberal, I'm supposed to focus only on issues and policy. After all, personality was a significant factor in electing George W. Bush twice, and I have little use for his Presidency. So, when I see the humanity in Obama (Sully points out that, unlike Clinton and most pols., he's clearly no robot. His soul still, to some extent, exists for all of us to see), should I not just say, "Been there, done that?" I probably should, but I don't. For me, it is his humanity, COMBINED with his ability to analyze events in a cool way and his intellect that attracts me to him (along with Iraq and other issues).

But, from an even more human level, is this at all healthy? The Month of May and the festivities surrounding the Indianapolis 500 are about to begin. The Cavaliers are in the midst of a playoff run. Oh yeah, and I SHOULD be looking for more freelance work. That would be what any normal human being with my interests would care about.

And it isn't that I don't care about these things. I'm looking forward to seeing how May develops, with the first post-merger 500. I'll be blogging heavily about it. And yet...

And yet, I feel partially distracted by this political race. Why? For God's sake, they're just politicians, inc. Obama! Maybe its time to just totally back out.

But that seems like a copout. Which brings me back to the essence of Barack Obama, and the times in which we live. For if you believe that this is simply another "interesting moment" in American history, then the very idea of Barack Obama is silly. If you believe that the current political system (Freak Show and all) is flawed, but still solid, then Obama is ridiculous.

But, given the Iraq debacle, Bush incompetence, Congressional incompetence, and the issues we face (the decline of American moral leadership, how to end US involvement in Iraq, healthcare, energy, and climate change, to name a few), I believe we're in a "pivot" moment, one in which we allow the status quo to do nothing, or one in which we finally deal with these things directly. We either allow the perpetuation of Boomer pathologies to engulf us all and embrace the Freak Show, or we say "Goodbye To All That." In such a moment, I find Barack Obama to not just be preferrable, but almost vital.

No, he cannot and will not solve everything. He is, in the end, just a politician. But I believe his approach to problems and, most of all, other people (including political opponents) is absolutely vital.

So, no, I cannot just totally back away from this. I care too damn much. Should others follow my lead? Probably not to my degree. Really, try to stay normal. But, at the same time, NEVER be afraid of giving a damn. For too long, too few of us have really cared enough, allowing the current governing class to get away with doing nothing. Will you get disappointed? Hell yes. Will you get angry? Absolutely. But that is the natural way of a tough political process.

Just, you know, try to have a life during the whole thing ;).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Say Goodnight, Jeremiah Wright

Sen. Obama responds, has had enough. Loyalty prevented him from doing this earlier. It is a loyalty, Rev. Wright, that you abused. Goodbye to all that.

Not to be an MSM killjoy now, but is it now too much to ask that we, you know, discuss "boring" crap like, uhhh, POLICY? Hell, I know the answer to that. Sadly.

Blind Squirrel Syndrome

Rush Limbaugh sounding sensible:

I watched some of Reverend Wright this morning at the National Press Club. It seems obvious to me that he's doing everything he can to wipe out Obama's candidacy, and I'll tell you why I think it is. I think that people like Reverend Wright -- and I think there are a lot of other race business hustlers out there, by the way, who think this -- really upset that if a black candidate is elected president, that they're going to be somehow diminished in their task, at keeping everybody in their flocks all revved up and angry about the ages old sin of slavery and the ongoing discrimination.

So it appears to me, if you look at Reverend Wright, listen to what he says and analyze it from the context or perspective of what's best for him, which is clearly all he's interested in, what's best for him is that if Obama loses, because then it's easy for him to say, "See, the white power structure doesn't want a black man to rise to the pinnacle of power in the United States of America."
It would certainly fuel Reverend Wright's future and continue to help him raise money and keep people whipped up into a frenzy. He's not helpful. Whatever he thinks he's doing, it is not helpful to Barack Obama.

I think that's a reasonable interpretation. Clearly, this IS the case with Al Sharpton, whose relevance drops sharply under President Obama.

Of course, the simpler explanation for Wright is that he's a crazy old man with an ego. YMMV.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sullivan self-corrects

One of the great things about blogging is the ability to have a running conversation with the cyberworld and most of all, yourself.

Those who have read him know that Andrew Sullivan personifies this characteristic to the utmost. Honest bloggers (like Sully) are thus able to reevaluate, learn from others, and admit errors in thinking. It is an element than can be used out of context or outright distorted, but it is an essential feature.

Today, Andrew reassesses Jeremiah Wright. Indeed, had he just made his speeches, that would have been fine. But he didn't. Clearly, I don't think he was always this ugly. Sen. Obama would not have embraced him if he were.

Perhaps old age and bitterness brought this ugliness, but it is clearly there, along with the outrageous ego. As Andrew, and a reader, point out, any admirable sense of loyalty Obama had toward the man has been washed away by Wright. Hopefully, the Senator takes advantage.

Please go away, Jeremiah Wright

I think Joe Klein's right here. His ego (and everything else) will kill Barack Obama, and he obviously does not care.

Obama himself and his campaign have had it with the man. Can't blame 'em.

Sully thinks it's a case of the MSM avoiding actual policy discussions. True, but this is becoming, unfairly, about Obama's character, which is always an issue.

Weekend wrap

Frankly, The IndyCar race in Kansas went about as expected. Ganassi domination, little drama for the lead, and, until the last 40 or so laps, a pretty strung out field. Not tertibly compelling, but hey, that's racing.

I did want to comment on THIS. I saw the interview too, and shook my head in disgust. I can live with hating on Scheckter, but the Viso quip was unnecessary. "I don't know him?" Classy. You've raced with him THREE times now, he showed early speed, and you don't know him? Get off the throne, Princess.

Yes, Viso made mistakes, but they were mistakes of aggression, not competence (speaking of, Wanker of the Decade to Marty Roth). The speed he showed yesterday was impressive. For now, I'll live with rookie missteps.