Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Obama gets all generational on us

Perhaps sensing -- after Hillary's shaky debate performance last week -- something blood-like in the water, Barack Obama has finally gone on the offensive against the Democratic front runner.

Today he charged that Hillary and the 60's era Baby Bombers are incapable, as a generation, of "bringing the country together and getting things done."

Putting aside whether this is either true or an effective line of attack, Obama's claim got me thinking: Who really wants a President that will bring the country together (and get things done.)

I know, being of the Internet, I'm a little skewed on this, but it seems to me there are an awful lot of people out there who are having a jolly old time being on team red or team blue. It's apparently fun to throw out invectives, screech about Republitards or Democraps and define yourself by what your politics aren't.

Even if these web-based crazies are a thin slice of the general population, I do think their feelings represent a hyper-condensed version of what a lot of people -- especially those who are going to vote in primaries or bring energy to the general election -- feel. And, quite frankly, a lot of those who are sitting on the sideline aren't doing so because they are waiting for some great transcendent candidate -- they are doing so because they are exercising their right not to care.

If we are a nation both divided and ambivalent politically, so what? Alabama isn't going to attack Delaware anytime soon. What does Obama think happens after we are united as a country? Would we all write a song together?

In fairness to Obama -- who tends to be light on the details -- I guess what he means is that the challenges we face in the future, like social security or whatever the looming crisis du jour happens to be, are best solved when we are united by someone like he thinks he is. But is that even true?

I don't see any evidence. I'm sure if something happened bad enough that nation wide cooperation was really required, the type of unity Obama speaks of would materialize no matter who resides in the White House. Now is the time for the rabid partisans to do their thing, and see who can be first to 51 percent.

Because Hillary's campaign has been so effective laying claim to vast amounts of left-to-center political real estate, it's been difficult for her primary opponents to find their niches.

But Obama's niche as the guy who is going to bring everyone together and then, vaguely, get things done . . . why that sounds like something Hillary Clinton and her 60's era cohorts would have dreamed up. Back when they were wide-eyed teenagers with flowers in their hair.

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