The Unemotional Case For Obama

A meme is developing is that support for Obama is all emotion, fantasy, hysteria, etc. There's no question that the emotions behind Obama are powerful. And any fool can see why. His oratory does what oratory should. He is the greatest public speaker in American life since Reagan. And the shame and demoralization of the Bush-Cheney years - when we launched a war with reckless indifference to planning it, when we tortured prisoners and called it "enhanced interrogation", when we saw a government rendered so utterly useless that a hurricane made the US look like the third world, when conservatives added $32 trillion to the debt of the next generation, when a president made sophomoric jokes about not finding weapons of mass destruction he leveraged American global credibility on ... if you don't feel emotions in wanting to put this disgrace of an administration behind us, then you are not being rational.

But the strongest case for Obama is not emotional; it is as coolly rational as he is. I tried to express it in my "Goodbye To All That" essay. On the most critical issues we face - Iraq, the war against Jihadism, healthcare, and the economy - he makes more sense as a president than Clinton. And when you watch the knee-jerk opposition to him, I think it is actually more emotional and less rational than the support for him. Fear is more emotional than hope.

And defending Clinton on the grounds of "experience" and "substance" is a fairy tale on both counts, if you pardon the expression. Her legislative experience is one term longer than Obama's (and that's if you don't count Obama's state legislative record), is notable mainly for its uninspired diligence in constituency work, and on the most important issue of the day, Iraq, simply wrong. Her main executive branch experience was destroying a historic opportunity for healthcare reform through arrogance, secrecy and over-reach. Her "substance" claim is just as phony. There is no detail in her policy apparatus that isn't matched by Obama's. But you've heard a lot from me on this. Here's a video that shows a conservative cynic being slowly and rationally disarmed by the logic of young, shrewd voter.

A vote for Obama is a vote for reason over sentiment. Check it out:

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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