On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose. The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.This is somewhat surprising and troubling since the Cubs have actually gone to the World Series sooner than the Tribune last endorsed a Democrat. Is McCain now cursed? Perhaps it's worth a bit of scrutiny.
Start with this, which suggests the endorsement wasn't all that "surprising":
On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign.Prophesy fulfilled. Moving ahead:
...as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.Which part of the 120+ "present" votes constitutes effective? Surely they aren't referring to gun control or babies born alive? And surely they know the exact living room or law firm from which that career began--we await confirmation. But "inspiring" U.S. Senatorial career? That's news to some.
It gets thicker and heavier, though:
Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.Like bashing plumbers who dare question his dedication to the middle class then not apologizing for his supporters when they dragged him through the mud? Or like "Truth Squads" formed in Missouri containing elected officials threatening to crack down with the force of law on anyone employing politics as usual? Or bashing the sitting president while talking policy with foreign leaders behind his back? Or making irrational pledges to invade nuclear countries unilaterally if they don't acquiesce to our demands? Maybe the Trib needs to occasionally check the actual news wires every once in awhile (or maybe they only subscribe to AP and Reuters).
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008.No great argument there, but how does it make sense to cure that problem with an even bigger spender?
He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.There they go with "angry". The press was so eager to paint McCain as angry that they've painted him as angry without him ever showing any signs of anger. Count me as one who figured he'd eventually blow his top but it hasn't happened. One can argue his reaction to the bailout bill was a strategic blunder, but I won't--had he returned to DC and screamed "no we can't" Congress would have followed; the bill would not have passed; the stock market would have dropped anyway and with no rescue package the meltdown would have been entirely his fault. He had no choice.
McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.Biden, anyone? But there's a nifty turnaround on Palin. They say McCain made a mistake by removing his "not ready to lead" argument in picking the Sarahcuda, but picking her didn't change the fact Obama isn't ready to lead, it just took some of the luster off it, ie, if he's not, she's certainly not. Yet the Trib is endorsing Obama due to his superior leadership. Go figure.
BTW, perhaps they'd be kind enough to list all the qualified GOP women he passed over so we can discuss--personally I didn't see that made as much sense politically. He is trying to win--that's still OK in AmeriKKKa, right?
We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him.General Petraeus or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois--not popular with some Democratic constituencies.Please do tell us more about his thoughts on education reform. Do they match Ayers's views? Does the answer have something to do with Obama being eight?
He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate--not popular with Washington politicians.Bravo, we need more. But it wasn't a big news story, he didn't go that far out on a limb, and not much got done. If the Trib really wants reform perhaps they need a second look at the ditzy unqualified chick.
We're getting to the end now, where the final howlers lay:
Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.And it would be nice if we could pin down all those aspirations before the clock runs out. As to "unprivileged", are they kidding? He attended private elementary schools, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law--at least we think he did based on the sketchy memories of the few who recall him then. Oh well, perhaps he'll release his transcripts soon along with all the instances where he was denied jobs or promotions due to his race. We await.
When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.Count me as one who was inspired by that speech as well. He's a good speaker (although McCain was funnier at the Alfred dinner last night). But the reality is he's spent a year driving a wedge between rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, black and white, elite and hick. His message of hope and change has withered under the hot lights of win or lose. All indications say he's lying about his past and lying about our future.
But again, maybe we should blame the Cubs. Or Chicago players of some kind.