Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The word began to circulate in Texas in the days preceding the primaries on March 4th, regarding Barack Obama.

All Hat, No Cattle.

In Texas, this is one of the worst accusations you can toss. Basically, it means that the object is an empty suit, a poseur, a person pretending to be something he really isn’t.

My kids, who have reached voting age (22 and 19, respectively), have repeatedly asked me which way I’m going to vote in the North Carolina primary in May. My first hope has been that – by that time – my vote will matter. After the results of the Texas/Ohio/Rhode Island/Vermont primaries, it now appears that we are headed for a brokered convention, in which case votes DO matter, indeed.

My second concern, and one that I’ve expressed freely to anyone who will listen, is that Obama is a lightweight, who can’t handle the job. Sure, he’s eloquent and young and easy to look at, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of running a government, he would be the equivalent of hiring a kid right out of business school to run General Motors.

To make matters worse, the press – which apparently has one major crush on the guy – has let him slide on some very important issues.

Since I’ve decided that - if the choice comes down to Obama, Hillary, or McCain - we’re screwed whatever happens, and because I have been skeptical about Obama in particular since – oh – his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, I’ve decided to turn up the heat a little.

Here are some very important facts that voters should know about this Golden Child.

First of all, he claims that if he had been in the Senate at the time Bush wanted to send troops into Iraq, he would have voted against it. Well, good for him. Hindsight is always so crisp and clear – that is, unless you’re Obama. The fact is that Obama wasn’t in the Senate at that time, but he WAS in the Illinois State Legislature. While serving in that body, he voted ‘Present’ OVER 130 TIMES. In the Illinois Legislature, ‘Aye’ votes carry measures, and ‘Nay’ votes defeat them. ‘Present’ votes don’t count.

And what were the bills that Obama sidestepped? They included measures that would have:

*Prohibited partial dilation and extraction abortions (what the right-wingers like to call ‘partial birth' abortions)

*Lowered the penalty for first offenses for carrying a concealed weapon from a felony to a misdemeanor

*Required mandatory adult prosecution for firing a gun near school grounds

*Protected the privacy of sexual abuse and sexual assault victims

*Prohibited strip clubs and other ‘adult’ businesses within 1000 feet of schools and churches

*Would have required parental notification for abortions (TWICE), and would have protected babies born following failed abortions (TWICE).

I’m not going to debate the worthiness – or lack thereof – of any of these measures. My issue is that Obama refused to man up and take a stand pro or con on them. If he really believed that they were bad bills, then he should have grabbed his balls and voted ‘Nay’. Voting ‘Present’ – OVER 130 TIMES – indicates a significant lack of character, and perhaps even an attempt to mollify politically sensitive groups. In other words, rather than ruffle feathers he chose to fly under the radar (pardon the mixed metaphor).

I really don’t think we need someone this spineless in the Oval Office. At least Hillary – and I do believe this was the WRONG decision – voted Aye on the authorization bill for Iraq. Her explanation is completely plausible – she was lied to, along with the rest of the Senate, by an unscrupulous president and his Neocon handlers, who had planned to invade Iraq come hell or high water since 1998. Many extremely honorable people voted to authorize this abortion of a war, most of them because they believed the constant string of lies coming from the White House and the Department of State.

Obama says he would have voted against the authorization? More likely, he would have voted ‘Present’, as he had on virtually every other controversial measure that came before him on the Illinois Legislature floor.

A message of some nebulous change is guaranteed to resonate with the people after almost eight long years of government by fascist proxy, with Halliburton and The Carlyle Group pulling Bush43’s string every time he opens his mouth. Obama’s problem, however, is that this is ALL he says. He hasn’t actually outlined any proposals regarding how he intends to achieve all this change, except to warrant that it will occur if only you will vote for him. This is Oprah Optimism at its very worst, with the fate of the world in the balance.

To paraphrase Edward Abbey, “change for the sake of change is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Sure, we need a few changes around Washington, but don’t make me guess about what they will be until after the election.

Nothing I’ve said here should indicate that I endorse either Hillary Clinton or John “Die Hard” McCain, however. I think – in presidential terms – they’re all minor leaguers. The difference is that Hillary and McCain, at least, have made it to the AAA division. Obama is still burning the bench in Class A.


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