Thursday, January 03, 2008

I need to listen to my redneck friends more

So, last night I was talking to an older friend of mine. This friend, shall we say, is neither inclined to be kind to Democrats, moderates, leftists, or blacks. Er, he's basically a cantankerous old man who like the occasional racist joke. He doesn't tell them around me much anymore, after a few shouting matches...

So anyway, he tells me last night that of all the candidates from either party, the only one -- only one -- he thinks is a decent guy is Barack Obama. This pretty much blew me away, and apparently I should have taken this as a sign of things to come. Congratulations to Mr. Obama. I was hoping for a stronger Edwards win, but it looks like both Edwards and Clinton were overtaken by the huge wave of new voters that Obama brought in -- and good for him, too.

I have a number of severe reservations about Obama, but if you're going to win a tangibly meaningless electoral contest, this is the way to do it. A lot of the commentary around an Obama win has been about America's image in the rest of the world, as if terrorists are going to put down their guns and bombs because a black kid from Chicago made it big. I think the reality is a bit more pedestrian -- the most important change will be in America's view of itself. Some of this is going to be good -- black kids knowing in their core that they can make it, hopefully -- and some of it will be bad -- the inevitable "see, we've got a black president, racism is over."

But now John Rogers really, really needs to get those t-shirts made.

One other thing: Clinton has just lost -- badly -- the most important thing she had going for her. A whole bunch of her supporters are going to be rethinking things if she's still in 2nd after New Hampshire. Edwards is expected to do much better in Nevada and South Carolina, meaning Clinton could end up racking up a few more 3rd-place finishes. If Obama wins in South Carolina -- not, ahem, the most African-American-friendly state in the Confederacy Union then it's pretty much over, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe so, but please keep in mind that saying "he's one of the good ones" has a long, venerated history among certain groups of people. It doesn't make anything post-racial or whatever.

Also, whatever the state is as a whole, South Carolina's Democratic caucus probably has a decent base of support for Obama