Something I've often found strange is the way in which some can argue a point at length and with passion, and at the same time ignore its simplest implications. For the last seven years, much has been said about the Bush administration's alleged shredding of the bill of rights, and I understand that some basis for this has existed in fact. If so, then the implication of this is that the office of the presidency has become far more powerful than the founding fathers ever intended, and dangerously so. Civil liberties are supposed to be a natural outgrowth of the system, not a gift to be granted or denied on the whim of any one man.
That having been said, what do we now see a large chunk of the democratic party ready and eager to do? Fast track somebody with a very limited political past into that dangerously enhanced office. The question for the would-be supporters is this: how much does one really ever know about somebody, until he has established a track record of performance? Without that, what does one have to go on? A platform? The discarding of those on attainment of office has been the stuff of bitter jokes longer than most of us have been alive. Some nice speeches? Good writers are easily hired. The fact that he's a passably good looking black man who can hold a crowd's attention?
If that's all it takes, then maybe I should add a second question. Is this the presidency of the United States we're talking about, or the presidency of somebody's high school student council? Because if our standards of choice are something so superficial as how fashionably beddable a candidate is, I think our electorate might be taking that collective trip back to high school, and not even back to senior year at that, at a time when the stakes are a lot higher than those represented by the choice of next year's prom theme.
The usual overwrought and factually unsupported charges of racism may now begin.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Posted by Joseph Dunphy at 8:30 PM