Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Daniel Larison on the candidates
There has been an obsession in some quarters with Obama’s possible role-model role for young black men, as if there were not already successful and admirable role models before now... the absurd preoccupation with Obama’s election as the mechanism for transforming the black community away from whatever it is the observer doesn’t like about it (which is, incidentally, one of the secondary sources of controversy over Obama’s association with Wright — he “let down” his admirers who probably thought that Obama was “better” than that), which is in turn based to a large degree on thinking of that community as a monolith in terms that are... at best outdated and generally obnoxious.

His nods to conservative reform proposals are head fakes. Obama doesn’t make substantive concessions on domestic policy, whereas on foreign policy he is much closer to the mainstream consensus, whether we are talking about Israel, the “war on terror” or any other question of national security and foreign policy. He isn’t making head fakes on national security at all, because he is, in fact, consistently supportive of an activist and fairly aggressive foreign policy on everything except Iraq.

“Reform, Prosperity, Peace”. My first impression is that you would have had to work very hard to find a slogan that contradicts McCain’s policy views more completely than this one.

You have to be on some kind of medication (as Joel Osteen often appears to be) to think that Joel Osteen represents anything remotely similar to the televangelism of Jerry Falwell. It is deeply worrisome that McCain finds Joel Osteen inspirational... the message he preaches is false and deeply antithetical to any sort of traditional or conservative Christianity, which is probably why it is hugely popular and why McCain sees some advantage in throwing out Osteen’s name.

Osteen is representative of the latest strain of American Christianity that draws on the nonsense of self-actualisation and prayer-as-wish fulfillment with some of the prosperity-gospel heresy thrown in on the side.

What is notable is how concentrated the Obamacon phenomenon is among bloggers, columnists, academics and conservative elites. Or perhaps a better way to put it is “limited to” these people, since there is no groundswell of pro-Obama sentiment on the right.

A repeal or amending of the PATRIOT Act is not likely forthcoming under an Obama administration, when he voted to reauthorise the Act in 2006.
Did I mention he’s a ghoul on abortion?
We are again treated to just how fair-minded (and pro-choice) Obama is (“I understand your deep conviction on this matter, which I am now going to dismiss with stock soundbites about the safety of women”).

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