Friday 29 August 2008

Things You Do In Denver...

Swathed in imperial purple, his brow circled with laurels, Barackus Obama stepped forth from the marble propylaeum, raising one mighty arm to greet the acclamation of the multitude. As ullulating virgins strewed rose petals in his path, he strode forward and took his seat under the imperial baldachin, his feet resting on a crouching Clintonista, while eunuchs with mighty ostrich feather fans cooled his brow. There Barackus watched as an effigy of McCainus, bound in chains, was dragged past the imperial presence. As rare scents perfumed the air, a thousand doves were released to fly above the stadium....
Okay, in the event it didn't play quite like that. Obama is far too smart to succumb to a Neil Kinnock 'We're awright!' moment. He struck the right downbeat, dignified, humble, reaching-out tone. His message? In a couplet, 'I'm not John McCain, And I feel your pain.' (which reminds me of the brilliant Onion headline on Clinton's inauguration: 'New President Feels Nation's Pain, Breasts' - none of that with Obama, though). The political deadlock resumes. Imho, he'll be lucky to win from here.


  1. Wishful thinking, Nige!

    With John McCain seen as a welcome boost to sagging cold-war morale, the election process is skewed from the outset.

    Nothing like raising the temperature in Russia will be will be as effective in putting Obama out of the race! Once McCain elevates this theme to a crusade for America’s future, the people of that nation will acquiesce without resistance and align themselves with the forces of pure good versus pure evil so essential to that rhetoric...

    ( - and little do they know!)

  2. Time to cue another great Warren Zevon song: "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead."

    However, living here, I can tell you that B.O. is likely gonna ascend the throne in November. Even the conservatives want change!

  3. And John Cale, Susan (the song Things on Hobo Sapiens, which references, as they say, Warren Zevon)...

  4. It all seems quite the reverse of a generation ago. Now, it is Russia that is run by sharp-suited business types while it's America that seems to go for grizzled old warriors and nutty ideologues.

    Iran announced today that it now has 4000 uranium-producing centrifuges online. Iran + McCain + Putin. I think I might go and hide under the bed. We badly need one of those staples of the classical world, a fortuitous and completely unexpected diversion.

  5. it looks like Obama is getting a HUGE post-convention bounce in the polls. I think the debates will show a confused old man who answers every question with, "Well, back when I was a POW..." vs. a young man with some great ideas who actually grew up middle class. Did you see Obama's uncle (the one who helped liberate the concentration camps during WW2) at the convention? He was the cute old white guy sitting next to Obama's beautiful wife. That guy alone should be worth a couple of points in the polls.

  6. Perhaps Biden will provide the requisite Kinnock moment, Nige. He already borrowed a good chunk of the man's life once. Many years ago, I worked in a presidential campaign. The experience cured me of political activism and of placing any great trust in political solutions to society's problems. It has also enabled me to view these proceedings with a cold eye. At this point I doubt if Obama can win. He and his acolytes are incapable of seeing themselves as others see them.

  7. Apparently Jessica Alba thought his speech was 'incredible', and Fergie from the Black-eyed Peas also liked it. So that's nice.

  8. "He and his acolytes are incapable of seeing themselves as others see them." -Frank Wilson

    How do others "see" him, Frank? Inexperienced and frivolous? A vapid celeb? A senator with ties to a real estate felon? A Muslim?

    And his acolytes, how are we seen? As unAmerican whiners? Cowardly malingerers without the stomach to torture our enemies? Unpatriotic hairsplitters who favor losing wars?

    And McCain's crew see themselves as what? Torturers? Warmongers who lied a nation into a war? Close pals with Charles Keating? Fat-cats and war profiteers who couldn't care less about anyone who isn't making 5 million a year? Right-to-lifers who want to see coat-hangar abortions make a comeback?

    Some ARE out of touch with reality, but it ain't the 85,000 in Denver.


  9. If Obama doesn't win, I'm leaving the West.

  10. Lani Guinier (on NPR) and others have said that a Barack defeat will indicate the US is still bound to its slavery past. Barack himself says all the right things (ie., practically nothing at all, as one expects of a politician), but his avid supporters seem intent on undermining him. Most Americans don't believe that anyone is entitled to be president. And the gap between Barack and the American middle just begins there.

  11. Frank and Ron,

    I think you need to spend some time in a police state to cure yourselves of the nose-in-the-air contempt you express for politics. I can personally recommend Uzbekhistan as a cure for your attitudes. After four months there, I'll never again roll my eyes at the naive, earnest college student passing out campaign materials, or at the silly people with hats and signs at party conventions.

  12. Nah, Jeff it won't work- y'see I spent ten years in Russia and have also lived in various countries in Central Asia and I share Frank and Ron's healthy & intelligent scepticism.

  13. By the way, there's no 'h' in Uzbekistan.

  14. Chen,

    Apparently, your ten years in Russia has left you with a fatal case of Russian cynicism. I send you my condolences.

    I stand by my comments. When political activity is eliminated in society, all that's left is obedience to those with power. Because, of course, disobedience in such societies is defined as political activity. Yes, much of the political theater in liberal democracies is silly, but it's a precious silliness --- a silliness worth dying for, as many in my country have.

    Sorry about the superfluous "h" in Uzbekistan. Mea maxima culpa.