Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Ones We've Been Waiting for?

Barack Obama famously thrilled us with the soaring words: "We are the ones we've been waiting for." So, who are the ones Senator Obama is poised to grace us with? Who follows in his train? Thus far the list has failed to impress. It includes two wacky preachers (Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger), two unrepentant terrorists (William Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn), a crook (Tony Rezko), a financier of terrorists (Hatem El-Hady), and a senator with chronic foot-in-mouth disease (Joe Biden).

The above-mentioned Bernadette Dohrn once honored Charles Manson and his "family" with a three fingered salute symbolizing the fork they plunged into the stomach of actress Sharon Tate to kill her. "Dig it!" she told a rally in Michigan in 1969. "First they killed the pigs. Then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!" This odious woman and her husband, whose organization, the Weathermen, murdered several policemen, hosted a fund-raiser in their home to launch the political career of Barack Obama.

Senator Obama has asked us to vote for him on the basis of his judgment, but, since he has no record to speak of, the only way we can assess his judgment is to look at the people with whom he has associated. They don't inspire confidence. For his sake I hope there aren't too many more of the ones we've been waiting for waiting in the wings.


Not Smart

Comes word that Sarah Palin's 17 year-old daughter is pregnant, and the lefty blogs are in a tizzy. What political dunces. Imagine how receptive women all across this country, wrestling with trying to balance family and career, and struggling with both, are going to be to hearing these adolescent male bloggers yelling about what a bad mother Sarah Palin must be to allow her daughter to get pregnant.

It won't be pretty.

We're also hearing that the young Palin daughter's pregnancy somehow puts the kibosh on mom's argument for abstinence-only education, but I don't see how. Are we to conclude that a program is a failure if it doesn't achieve 100% success? If so, then what should we make of the fact that one out four New York City residents, most of whom are products of schools with very liberal sex education policies, is afflicted with genital herpes. Whatever we can conclude, one thing is certain: Had these herpes sufferers practiced abstinence they wouldn't have herpes.

It's ludicrous to judge a program, or the wisdom of a mother's support for it, on the basis of one young girl's mistake, but then the media interest in Bridget Palin's pregnancy is surely not about abstinence-only education. It's about doing whatever can be done to make Sarah Palin look foolish.


History in the Making

Perhaps you've seen the comments around the web to the effect that should Barack Obama win in November it will put an end to a period of our history marked by the exclusion of African Americans from the highest reaches of power. Maybe it will, but I doubt it. I think it more likely that if Obama prevails it will be seen by those who are vested in perpetual victimhood and grievance as only a partial achievement. Obama will be seen as a transitional figure since, the argument will go, he's not completely black and doesn't have "slave blood". His father, we'll be reminded, wasn't an American, and Obama was raised by whites and doesn't hail from a genuinely black family.

In other words, until an actual descendent of African slaves in America is elected president, I expect that many blacks will see Obama's presidency as little more than Moses standing on the mountain viewing the promised land from a distance. The actual arrival will have to await, we'll be told, the election of an "authentic" black man.

Indeed, I doubt that even the election of an African-American woman would be seen as the full-throated herald of a new age, although it would certainly have historic resonance. Her election would not be completely satisfying to those of a certain mindset, perhaps, since it would still tacitly highlight the exclusion of black males from the opportunities enjoyed by even their African-American sisters in our society.

Despite how this election is perceived, it's guaranteed to be a significant achievement in our social history. We will have either the first president who is not of full European descent or we will have the first vice-president who is not a male. These are interesting times.