My real life friend posting as “bogofree” writes that Obama is a “disgraceful two bit Chicago hack”. Do I agree?
First, I’ll answer with another question. Was Richard J. Daley, the longest serving mayor of any city who ruled Chicago for 21 years, also a “disgraceful two bit Chicago hack”?
Wikipedia, accurately in this case, describes a “political hack” as “a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of the political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction.” By that definition Daley was a demonstrably successful politician so he can hardly be described as “two bit”. His son, Richard M. Daley will become the longest serving mayor if he’s still in office on Christmas day. Some people thought the first Mayor Daley was a disgraceful hack. As someone who watched the Chicago Democratic Convention riots during the Vietnam War I came to judge that Mayor Daily as a disgrace hack, and much worse.
I don’t know much about the current mayor to draw any conclusions.
President Obama has been a disappointment to me in many ways, but I think I understand that he is a political animal, a hybrid if you will. He’s not a purebred bleeding heart liberal animal like me. He’s a hybrid, a pragmatic liberal. My breed of liberal usually doesn’t get too far in politics anywhere but in Boston and Berkley.
Still facing a second presidential race it remains to be seen whether he’ll continue to sacrifice more of the personal convictions he intoned in his speeches. These eloquent words led many people to vote for him.
Any politician who has to swing the independents and middle of the roaders to win an election, especially a reelection, has to be a pragmatist, not a purist. Obama had to distance himself from his more liberal past in order to win. I continue to think that in many ways he still believes much of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s message about the inglorious America.
When it comes to war there’s a large segment of voters who glory in the view that our country’s identity is defined by a Pax Americana that is more like Pax Romana, enforced with spears, swords and pilums, and Pax Britannica enforced by the mighty British navy. The way these empires brought peace was rarely peaceful.
When it comes to America’s 21st century wars it will be up to historians some years from now to reach a conclusion that they brought peace, and in reality stopped international terrorism, the way World War II did.
Like many Democrats, independents, and Republicans, I have my doubts about what Iraq will look like a decade from now. Like even more American of all stripes I think Afghanistan was a politician’s war, and militarily a fool’s war, from day one.
Obama is a Chicago politician who became the first black president, quite an achievement considering his thin resume. It took Richard J. Daley only two years serving as a member and then chair of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee to be elected mayor, and then a few years to not only become one of the most powerful politicians in the United States. In that way these two master politicians are alike.
However, Obama has a little thing called the Twenty-second Amendment of the Constitution which will limit his sphere of influence to eight years. To achieve what he wants to I believe he has put some moral scruples aside and made decisions based on getting reelected. I hope he’s really a bleeding heart liberal who has doused himself with styptic powder in order make the decisions that are costing American lives in Afghanistan.
More than that, after reading about the vast beyond comprehension “Hidden world, growing beyond control” in the Washinton Post (highly recommended reading), I hope that he’s up to assuring that ordinary American’s civil rights are protected from the “some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work(ing) on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.”