Sunday, August 31, 2008

Counterlight's Peculiars Endorses...


Let's face it. I'm a middle aged gay artist in New York. An endorsement from me might as well be the kiss of death from a Martian.

Yes, I got issues with him; his retreat on FISA is the biggest one. I'm not happy about him waffling on offshore drilling. I certainly part company with him over the death penalty.

But...

I've voted in every presidential election since 1976 (I voted for Ford; yes, I'm a recovering Republican). I've never been more impressed with a candidate than Obama. It's not just the soaring rhetoric (which after 8 years of mangled English with a bad Texas accent is refreshing; I especially like being addressed as an adult instead of as a dimwit child by Daddy). It's not even the policy positions, though those are very important (National Health Insurance, Ending the War in Iraq, Restoring Equality and The Rule of Law, etc.). I've never seen a more imaginative, bolder, and better campaign than this one. Remember folks, he started out as a come-from-behind long shot with a lot of disadvantages (being black not the least among them). He prevailed over one of the most formidable political machines in modern times (the Clintons). That acceptance speech in the stadium in Denver was a huge political gamble, and it came off as a masterpiece of political theater. Obama's background in community organizing has proved to be a huge asset in motivating and mobilizing hundreds of little independent startup campaigns on his behalf. The splendid poster above is the creation of one of them; it's not an official poster of the Obama campaign, though Obama personally wrote to the artists to endorse it and to thank them.
How a candidate runs his campaign says a lot about his ability to run his presidency and about where his heart and mind really are. I've never seen this kind of spontaneous bottom-up enthusiasm for a presidential candidate.  His campaign doesn't just preach about enfranchising and including the Vox Populi in all its complex variety, they do it, and have made it central to their strategy to win.  I wonder how they will make it work in a strategy of governing.

Sure, he's not the perfect Progressive. But Eleanor Roosevelt and Eugene V. Debs aren't getting up out of their graves to run this year. I'm tired of throwing away my vote in a principled protest only to discover after Election Day that no one gives a rat's ass. I'm ready to turn the page on the Bush/Cheney years, and at least get started with cleaning up the mess. Barack Obama is better than anything I could have hoped for these days.

The artists group responsible for the poster can be found here.

11 comments:

Scott Hankins said...

Thanks. I've been struggling about whether I can post it, too. I can't. There's an IRS thing that must be considered, even though my blog is a personal blog. Nevertheless, I sure would if I could, and for just about the same reasons.

Blessings...

Counterlight said...

Just to be clear here;
I apologize if anyone takes offense at the off hand remark that Obama's being black is a disadvantage. It is only such in an attempt to win public office in a white majority country where racism still plays a large role in public and private life.
Of course there is no inherent disadvantage to being of African descent.
I'm a little puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm among some African American intellectuals for his stadium speech (including Dr. Cornell West). Yes, I did notice that he failed to mention the anniversary of Dr. King's speech and I agree with their complaint about that. While this is indeed a momentous event for African America, it's also momentous for the whole country, not simply because we may get a black president, but because the US may be going through a transformation of the political landscape as profound as that of 1980, 1960, or maybe even 1932. In that respect, I thought the speech was a major accomplishment.

BillyD said...

Dear Leader!

Counterlight said...

Dear Defeated.

Counterlight said...

Dear Marginalized

Counterlight said...

Dear Powerless

Counterlight said...

Dear Pointless

BillyD said...

Dear Defeated.

You think? I really think that Obama is going to win. Of course, I thought that Hillary had it locked up, too... But now that McCain has chosen someone who makes Obama's limited experience look like a lifetime in Washington, I think it's all up for him.

I still think the posters are creepy, though.

Counterlight said...

I'm not so certain Obama will win. We could easily end up with 4 to 8 more years of Republican rule. I thought Kerry had it all locked up in 2004.

With all due respect to George Carlin ("The only choice Americans really have is between paper and plastic"), voting does matter. See post below.

johnieb said...

Most of this year I was a lukewarm Clinton supporter (OK, I made a contribution); my personal bottom line is "If the Dems nominate a yellow dawg, vote fer it anyway; it's still better than a Republican).

The only exception was my first vote for Governor, in 1966; the Republican candidate was an Eastern elitist (Winthrop Rockefeller), the dems had been seized by a racist state supreme court justice: a Wallace wannabe. A lot of good Dems swallowed their primary defeat and elected a governor (R-Arkansas). As to Presidents, never a Republican nor a third-party candidate, though I've been sorely tempted a time or two to vote third-party. I may have voted Nader in '00, 'cause CT was a Dem lock, and I wanted to say we can get a LOT further left than this.

Can we defeat this Republican plague? Yes, we can!

Richard said...

Why do progs like you always assume its just dandy to force every little idea you get down everybody's throats? At least the right-wing reactionary Bible-thumpers are predictable, and if you just don't flaunt your every perversion in their faces they leave you alone. You progs are another story. You guys have no qualms using the Gubmint (the guys with the guns) to implement your do-gooderism despite mass opposition. Gee, just lay off it already.