Judging by some of the comments that followed my last blog post, Obamapoligists are kind of touchy when someone messes with their worldview. I doubt if this one will receive any better a reception among Obama supporters, although it does suggest a credible reason for their man’s miserable performance during the first debate.
I think the generalization can be made that many of our elected officials and most of our Presidents have not been…well…very bright. There are, of course, some notable exceptions: Kennedy comes to mind, the prescient Jimmy Carter, and Clinton, although the latter sold-out to the banking interests, and became the catalyst, if not the cause of the 2008 meltdown. For the most part, we tend to vote for the candidate most like ourselves, at least the one who most reflects our values and worldviews. The results get interesting in a country where large numbers of the electorate are conditioned, almost from birth, to be wary of anyone who appears to be more intelligent, or better educated than themselves.
When Obama came along, I was struck by his calm self-assurance, and quiet self-confidence. I was somewhat reminded of Kennedy, but Obama never had Kennedy’s warmth and personal charm, he appeared somewhat aloof, as though he was above the struggles the rest of us are engaged in. There was a marked contrast between Obama and not only his opponent, but his predecessor as well. Obama was intelligent, articulate, and a hell of an orator.
Like Matt Taibbi, I didn’t watch the recent debate, I read the transcript instead. I agree with Matt’s take in this excellent piece, that one of the candidates lied his butt off, and the other candidate decided not to show up. Why was this? Why did Obama decide not to participate in the debate? There are all manner of speculations floating around, everything from “a no good, very bad day” to a case of the flu. My favorite is this piece from Dave Lindorff on CounterPunch.org. He presents a good case that the Obama no-show was more of a political tactic than anything else, one that could have far-reaching consequences. Continue reading