2 comments on “Speeding in Reverse

  1. Reasonable people can disagree about the relevance of Obama's experience and to what degree that impacts his readiness to be President. Reasonable people can also disagree about fiscal policy, the role of government in morality, the historical and current benefits (or lack thereof) of affirmative action, and so on.But to the extent that organizational effectiveness in a campaign reflects on a candidate's ability to run the executive branch, I don't think anyone would dispute that Obama ran the most organized, professional, well-oiled campaign in memory. He raised more money and spent it more effectively; he had a dramatically larger portion of the populace engaged and donating time and/or money; his IT operation was huge in scale and innovative in approach. To me, those things speak to at least some of the qualities that are desirable in a President. I do think you're wrong about how Obama's victory speaks to the opportunities available to minorities in the US. I was in Tanzania in March, and told people who asked (lots of 'em!) that I did not believe that a black man could be elected President in the US. My rationale was that our elections tend to be close, within a few percent of popular vote, and that the color of Obama's skin would make enough of a difference to enough people that he wouldn't win the nomination, and if he did, he wouldn't win the election. It's what I believed, and frankly, not knowing at the time about the upcoming financial crisis and the relative ineptitude of McCain's campaign, I still think it was a reasonable position to have.Wow, am I glad to be proven wrong. But it wasn't a foregone conclusion; plenty of people were as skeptical as I was. So I think it's fair to say Obama's victory impacts the conviction with which black parents can tell their children "yes, you can be President." Maybe it was theoretically possible before, but I'm among those pleasantly surprised that it actually seems to be reality. Cheers-Brooks

  2. First, I appreciate your thoughtful reply. And, I agree it wasn't a foregone conclusion that a black person could be elected President. I also had doubts, though I was pretty sure he'd win.But that's my point. Sure, we've proven a theory, but at what cost? You want to exclude a debate about his policies and I'm saying his policies are the only thing that matter. His skin color is meaningless. I don't think the laid off workers his policies will create will feed their families with happy thoughts of electing a minority.You highlight the effectiveness of his campaign. I would argue his campaign was effective in creating this pie-in-the-sky picture of the future that anybody would buy into, until they dug into it's implications. Which is what I think makes him so dangerous, i.e., his ability to sell bad policy and make it a reality. At least McCain would have been ineffective in implementing his bad policies with a Democratic Congress.So, I guess what I'm saying is, we've elected a black President, which is historic, for sure. But when the new car smell goes away, what are we going to be left with? Based on his policies, which I've hardly seen anybody analyze or consider, I'd guess we're going to realize we've bought an old Pinto instead of the Ferrari we thought we were getting.

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