Tuesday, September 16, 2008

False mavericks

There's an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry thinks his dentist has converted to Judaism just for the jokes. In his outrage, he goes to see a priest. He says to the priest, "I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism just for the jokes." To which the father says, "And this offends you as a Jewish person." Jerry: "No, it offends me as a comedian."

I've sort of been feeling the same way lately. With the so-called but not really "maverick" pairing of McCain-Palin, I'm starting to get offended by how flippantly that word is used to describe them. Maverick. And it offends me not only as a liberal, but as a Dallas Mavericks fan. Go find some other word to sully, Republicans!

Anyhow, I've been worried lately. I'm sure everyone feels it at some point or another, but this election feels beyond critical to me. This is a crucial time in American history and we can't afford to make the wrong choice. One more misstep and it could be curtains for our status as an "elite" nation. Maybe we're already past the point of no return, but I somehow doubt that.

I once fell for the McCain "maverick" tag, and I think, at that time, he was a maverick. He questioned Bush and worked across the aisle. But now he is too wrapped up in Karl Rove's political baggage, and to the point, I believe in this case, of no return. It's a shame, but take heart: Obama is the better candidate.

He fills the needs of the nation right now. A nation that is down on its luck in the worst way, and wondering if things can get better one more time. He preaches hope, which is what we truly need, and is widely mocked for it. I hate to be one of those people who ignores issues and experience and instead votes based on character (which is somehow, rather ironically, how we got in this sticky situation), but I truly believe that the most important trait a candidate needs in this election is the ability to repair our fractured image abroad. To me, Obama is the unequalled man for the job. His eloquence, ability to cross not only party lines but cultural and social divides, draw crowds and then satisfy them (look at Germany!) is invaluable in the current shamble-state of America's image abroad.

Obama's folks like to point out that McCain voted with Bush 90 percent of the time. It's in almost every formal statement they release. "The American people can't take a 10 percent chance on change." Likewise, the McCain folks like to point out Obama's relative inexperience and, lately, his declining poll numbers. These, too, are in nearly every formal release.

These poll numbers are what worry me. Folks say that America is split right down the middle because of the recent close elections. It's deeper than that. Even those on both sides of the spectrum can hardly unify behind a candidate in their own parties lately. Hillary took the fight to the end, as she should have. Howard Dean was a better fit for what we needed in 2004, but the weaker candidate, John Kerry, emerged from the back of the pack (luckily, Dean is in a position of considerable power now, so at least we retained his services somehow). Al Gore was the winner in 2000, and by far the superior candidate in experience, composure, and diplomacy. It took people a movie to figure that out. It took America two terms of Bush and a crashing economy to figure out that they had made a mistake. Even Republicans admit it was a mistake -- McCain has willing tried to distance himself from Bush (good luck). Either way, I'm worried because we can't afford to make a mistake again.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dirk for president (of Germany).

16 September, 2008 21:52  
Anonymous glenn said...

true... but he got close when he was the flag-bearer at the olympics!

17 September, 2008 08:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they chose to use the word "Maverick" because it is just a more exciting way of saying nothing. Besides, it is safe to predict that the Dallas Mavericks and McCain will have at least one thing in common--a whole lot of hype followed by a prolonged series of losses that devastates fans and creates the need for more preposterous mascots. Mavs Man in a bikini, posing with a hunting rifle? MEY

22 September, 2008 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everybody knows the mavs man can't wear a bikini because of the odd shape of his genitalia.

22 September, 2008 15:43  

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