Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bumps in the Nicht

Another birthday has come and gone and I am no closer to my goals for self-improvement. Everything's on the back-burner at the moment, eclipsed by a major move that's coming up.

Politics goes on as usual, though I feel out of the loop here in the land of Loch Ness and fried Mars bars; though, if you really want to boil Scotland down to two things it would be 'dreich' and fake tans.

I met a famous singer on my birthday - Stephen Malkmus. It was ace, which was good because the rest of the day was dreary and tiring.

In reading some recent comments by Sarah Palin I am struck by the politics of commiseration. That is, the assumption that because someone is from a small town they understand 'small town issues', or because she has a child with Down's Syndrome that automatically makes her a nice, understanding person.

Okay, that latter part may well be true, but does it make her a good politician? Because folks, that is a good part of what people in Washington have to be. Whatever is said about egalitarian politics and the need of our leaders to understand the Concerns of the People, the machine that exists in Washington D.C. does not run on small-town goodwill or brownie points for being a good mum.

The Republicans keep talking about executive experience because Palin was Governor of Alaska (which is, yes, very far removed from Washington). It is true that a lot of Presidents were Governors; but it's not a rule or even a real test of ability (not naming any names here).

Obama may lack notches on his belt but he has direct experience with the Washington monstrosity of Congress/lobbyists/judiciary/cabinet/President etc.
Funnily enough, the fact that he hasn't been there very long is probably a good thing - less time to make enemies on the various committees and less time to get mired in Congressional to-ing and fro-ing.

I don't want a President that is interested in micro-managing the Concerns of the People because they once had a kid on the hockey team, but someone who can broaden their worldview enough to see how America fits in the larger puzzle.