Obama Christ, Superstar?


Publius worries about and yet cannot resist this phenomenon:

Obama seems to be filling a spiritual void that many modern secular progressives (like all humans) tend to develop. Whether the enthusiasm stems from youth’s susceptibility to romantic idealism, or instead from the longing caused by the slow lonely grind of professional life, something is causing these people to see in Obama something more than politics. They’re seeing – and feeling – something higher.

There is nothing wrong with seeing in a future president a public discourse that could uplift us and perhaps mitigate the unnecessarily magnified ideological positions. But if a candidate is mere uplift, it's a worry. I don't think that's what Obama is. He has detailed proposals on healthcare, climate change, taxes, and a clear position on withdrawing from Iraq as swiftly as prudently possible. But any candidate can get some policy wonks to fill in the blanks. The ability to execute such policies, to bring people together to debate and pass them, is what a president needs to have. On the critical question of the war, only McCain and Obama will be able to execute different strategies and still reach to those beyond their core support. I think that matters. I think having a capacity to transcend pure partisanship in wartime is a good thing.

Yes, there will be partisan scraps in many areas. The divides within America will not evaporate overnight. The roots of that divide are there for a reason. The point is simply this: who will best be able to work against rather than compound this often toxic dynamic? Clinton, Giuliani and Romney would be the worst. Obama and McCain the best.

(Photo: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty.)