This will be my ninth presidential election as a voter. Prior to this year, my choices required little-to-no examination on my part. I was a Party girl. I voted the way my handlers told me. Some candidates were easier to rally behind than others, but Party positions were always easy to identify with even when the candidates were not.
Fast forward to now. Every day I find that I miss those days more and more, and my biggest regret about this entire campaign season has been that I could not drink Obama's Kool-Aid.
Yes, I said it. I have been at times literally filled with regret about it. I've tried to tell myself it was because it would be so much easier, and it would, but I also think it would feel more familiar. It's been really hard for me to weigh each and every major issue on my belief meter and compare to both campaigns, for in the process I discovered that neither Party really represents me as well as I'd thought, but that the Party I was most aligned with on the issues was also the Party I was least aligned with as to Party character.
I've made no secret of how low I feel the Dem Party has gone this cycle to win, from their secretive reorganization of primary procedures to their partisanship during the primary to their advocacy of one of the most uber-Liberal political agendas in our history to their copy-cats-on-steroid embrace of Rovian politics. That's what I mean by Party character.
Good Lord, the GOP has certainly not been without fault, but they have been behaving more like a disbanded Party from the get-go and consequently one that's been more open to compromise. They are trying to find their way again. Their Party identity is weak, but their Party character is not. No matter how much the Axelrod Smear Express tries to paintball as racist or over the edge McCain's ad attacks on Obama's character with his ideological "pals", it doesn't stick in fact because any other candidate with Obama's lack of experience and similar associations would have gotten the same attacks and worse. To not concede that is to show basic ignorance about campaigning, as this opinion column by Jonah Goldberg points out.
Still, this is used as an excuse to negate choosing McCain. I'm always annoyed by this...I mean, what would you have McCain do, just pull out and concede? And why is it not plausible that he resisted normal, traditional negative ads as long as he could? Why does he never get credit for that, particularly when it should now be apparent that had he embraced them much earlier he'd be in much better shape? I guarantee you that Obama has been and is systematically using negative ads. Now, why is it okay for him to use them and not McCain?
The bottom line on this is that the Obama tactics have won the argument, however, by playing it better. Time for me to realize that no, Life's not fair, especially in this battle, so condoning fairness as a point of argument is trivial now, irrelevant. What I must realize is a life philosophy of Obama's new generation of support, and so I must, as they say, get over it.
Then, here comes
General Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama. My fellow political blogger Sara wrote an entry today that I wish I had written. It's worth reading, because she rears that ugly inconvenient head of hypocrisy and applies it to this latest endorsement. I'll just share one of her points here:
But, can we trust Powell's judgment?
Hillary did, and look where it got her. Look how Obama and his supporters treated her, for trusting Powell's judgment.
I respect Powell's service to his country. And I think he is a good man. But, for this love fest that is now happening, between Obama and his supporters and Powell just seems so hypocritical to me.
His camp criticized Clinton endlessly for her vote on the war. But, Powell sold us that war.
I'm somewhat empathetic to Powell, because I do believe that he got involved with an administration (Bush) who considered him irrelevant, except when they needed him to support them. But, he's a big boy. He could have said no, and by showing some spine might have shed some earlier light on a rush to a war that had no real justifications (that we know about, anyway). If Powell knew about any, he was complicit (which I don't fault him for as I believe there could have been good reasons; but Obama Doctrine, based on that famous speech of his, should fault him). If he was lied to, then he was impotent, and that sets off all kinds of alarms for me, not the least of which would be Powell's plausible resentment towards or revenge against the GOP in making this endorsement.
I wish he'd stayed out of it and not endorsed. To me, that would have signaled he has the wisdom to realize he is too entwined in this to be any kind of beacon of advice. But as always today, one's personal position, reputation and future must be considered. And again, that's reality and must be accepted. We'll never know the truth, short of a confessional memoir, but perhaps Powell simply accepted reality, too.
I just wish I could shake this increasingly persistent tendency to channel H.L. Mencken. I think he might have been caught up in generational change himself. I'll research that and report back.