When I read the news these days, I am constantly dumbfounded by how petty and stupid our politics have become. Here, for example, are 10 things about Barack Obama that seem to get some folks on my side of the aisle all excited but about which I really could care less:
- Where he was born. He's the President. Get over it.
- His college grades. He's a smart guy. A lot of smart guys don't have great college grades.
- He smoked pot. As long as he's not toking when deciding whether to have one of his drone killers bump somebody off, I'm okay with it.
- He occasionally misspeaks (e.g., referring to sons or the current flap about a "Polish death camp.") Anybody who speaks in public is going to misspeak occasionally.
- He went to Jeremiah Wright's church.
- He supported Derrick Bell's crusade to get Harvard law to hire more minorities.
- His religion or lack thereof.
- He shook Hugo Chavez's hand.
- He and Michelle celebrate with fist bumps.
- He took a principled position against wearing flag lapel pins (which I think are silly) and then caved.
If you want to have a serious conversation about Obama, here's 10 things I take very seriously:
- The way he screwed GM and Chrysler's creditors
- The amount of debt he's piling up
- His determination to avoid entitlement reform
- His embrace of industrial policy, which inevitably leads to the government trying (and always failing) to pick winners and losers
- His attacks on the profit motive, business, and finance
- His embrace of assassinations by killer drones as a routine practice
- His dismal civil liberties record
- His "evolving" to take positions that are politically advantageous at the moment
- His efforts to bully the Supreme Court
- His smug paternalism and holier than thou attitude
Why rightwing bloggers and talking heads waste so much time blathering about crap that doesn't matter instead of those that do is one of the leading reasons I'm feeling alienated from the right.
Instead of spending so much time on the manufactured faux controversy of the day, we ought to be talking about the things that really matter. Not least of all, because there's a strong case to be made against Obama precisely on the things that ought to really matter.
Update: Over on Twitter, someone commented that:
good point but a bit hard to take from one who continually posted/tweeted about Romney's dog
Fair enough. But dogs are a special case. While it is not true that I like all dogs better than I like all people, it is true that I like most dogs better than I like most people. More important, how we treat our dog is a test of our character, of our capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship.