Saturday, March 8, 2008

Obama and the unDemocratic party

i try to be party-nuetral and avoid politics in general, but the times we live in have forced my attention to one seemingly exemplary human being and one thoroughly reprehensible system.

it seems that the Democratic party is poorly named. their choice for who is going to be their candidate for the presidency could be close enough to a tie that neither candidate will outright win through the primary process. instead, the Democratic candidate will be selected through the entirely undemocratic process of about a thousand superdelegates hand-picked by the party chairperson choosing who they prefer through negotiation, public ballots, and the inevitable private promises of favors.

how is this different from the party chairperson simply selecting the party candidate like they do in China?

well, this process involves pointless debates, excessive TV time, and increasing amounts of mean, but meaningless slander.

the Democratic party is anything but democratic. it is the unDemocratic party.

as it happens, i think Obama is a cool cat. he sounds intelligent and honest, thinks on his feet, and seems to have a real desire to do what is best for my favorite country (sorry, Lithuania). also, he has a short enough political history that it seems he can still be trusted to actually do what he thinks is right, because he doesn't owe anyone any favors.

but if Clinton gets more primary votes, she should be the party candidate. that is the way democracies are meant to work. if she gets more votes and the superdelegates negotiate to select Obama, he will lose some of his ability to do what he thinks is best because he will owe somebody something.

if Obama can get to November without selling his soul, i think he has the chance of being the first president in several decades that could actually be worth following, who could make it through an entire term without being openly manipulated (Bush), paralyzed by petty scandals (Clinton), controlled (Bush), incompetent (Reagan), so unpopular he couldn't get anything done (Carter), the openly corrupt creator of the credit bubble we are seeing pop now (Ford, when he allowed us to go off the gold standard), a crook (Nixon), or unintentional (Johnson). which brings us back to Kennedy. it has been almost 50 years since we've had a president that we could trust to do what was right and be popular enough to be able to do it.

Obama, if democratically selected by the unDemocratic party and elected by the nation, could be the first person since Kennedy to be able to do some good in our political system. if he is unDemocratically selected, he will be tainted and will become, like Carter, too unpopular to matter or, like most of the presidents listed above, too in debt to his supporters to accomplish anything good.

Clinton and McCain, on the other hand, have both already cut their souls into so many pieces, each sold to the highest bidder, that any good that may come from either of them would be purely by accident. even so, a democratically selected and elected McCain or Clinton would be preferable to an unDemocratically selected Obama.

we need a clean person selected through a clean process, but a dirty person selected through a clean process would be preferable to a clean person becoming a dirty one because of a dirty process.

and that is what happens when i have coffee for the first time in more than a week.


leila said...

hmmm. i read this a few days ago, and it's made me think about the way in which i talk about politics and politicians.

i think you might find it interesting.

love from leila

shaun said...

re: talking about potential candidates, i see no conflict with this.

votes are private, but that doesn't mean i can't share my thoughts. i see no reason why i wouldn't express my personal opinion that a certain person is well-suited to a position or that another person seems to be a poor choice for that role. i see neither of those sorts of statements as backbiting, politicking, or engaging in partisan politics.

i understand that we don't nominate people and i certainly understand that partisan politics are problematic.

most of my post, in fact, is about how the system is clearly broken, how it has placed a disastrous series of players who have acted in shameful and selfish ways as our leaders.

i think that Obama will act in less shameful and selfish ways if elected. i think this has nothing to do with his party affiliation.

i have no similar hope for any other major candidate.

so far as i can tell, i haven't overstepped any bounds or standards. if you think i have, i'd like to know.