LATE NIGHT MUSINGS IN THE NATION'S CAPITOL
I'm finally sitting in my hotel in Washington, D.C. after a loooonnnnggg day of meetings and a business dinner and reflecting on what I feel for this city. I travel here several times a year for work, which has always been a kind of thrill since it's the center of our government and the hub of our political system, and because it fills me with pride to look around at so many memorials and distinguished, even famous, edifices my company has built and contributed to the skyline of our capitol city.
But this trip I'm reminded of my visit during the 2004 presidential election, when one of my priorities was to make it to DNC headquarters and collect all the Kerry paraphernalia I could to take with me back to Dallas. Kerry was not my first (or second) choice for Democratic presidential nominee, but I had no problem throwing my wholehearted support to him. I have no such inclination now. I still haven't decided if I can even bring myself to vote for Obama, who of ALL those running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, wasn't on my list at all. At first I assumed that Barack was simply attempting to raise his recognition level in order to support a run in 2012 or 2016. It just wasn't credible to me that someone with such limited experience, thin resume and practically non-existent list of accomplishments (apart from two well-selling and self-serving personal journals) could be a viable candidate for the presidency at one of the most critical times in our nation's history.
But thanks to a venal DNC, cynical party leaders, and a once-again complicit and trivial media, we have what is perhaps the most unqualified candidate of a major party ever. Jiminy cricket, even the totally inept Ulysses S. Grant had better credentials!
I feel like I'm moving through a fog of unreality. At every juncture I see shades of W's campaigns in 2000 and 2004. The fact that we're talking about a Democrat now instead of a Republican doesn't change anything. Lack of governing, executive or legislative inexperience, ignorance of public policy issues, and personal arrogance and sense of entitlement are just as worrisome to me in a Democrat as in a Republican (even W had more experience than BO, though I think it's fairly obvious that Obama bests him in the arrogance sweepstakes). Nothing matters except that the media is fascinated and charmed by The Chosen One (whether W or BO) and despises the alternative (Al then, Hillary now), and when the victor gets the spoils the media revels in its power and the glory of Access. Too bad for the rest of us.
I've voted nearly straight Democratic (two exceptions that I can remember) for more decades than I like to admit, not as a knee-jerk reaction but because the values of our party were, to me, vastly preferable to those of the opposition party. I can't say that anymore. I just plain don't trust that those time-honored Democratic values are shared by Obama or our current party leadership. And I'm unwilling to associate myself with a candidate in whom I can find no compelling vision for the nation, no core principles, no new solutions for the many, varied and critical problems we face, and no burning desire to advance the well-being of the common people that can compare with his burning ambition to elevate his own status (don't get me started on the faux presidential seal, the Invesco Field convention acceptance speech, the Brandenburg Gate rally, oh my!).
So it's a sad visit compared to four years ago. I so remember the elation The Sage and I felt in 1992 when Bill Clinton was, against all odds, elected president. We've been waiting a very long time to once more have that kind of confidence in our national leadership, and we surely thought that this would be the year that was.
And as much as I admire, appreciate and support Hillary, it just ain't about her. It's about Obama. And if I hear or read one more implication that if I don't support him I'm a racist, I'll be more than tempted to throw a really, really big wad of money John McCain's way.
Has anyone else ever observed that hotel toilet bowls seem to be much smaller and lower to the ground than those in our homes? Been meaning to ask that question for about 30 years.