Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain Palin: Obama is Dull, But He is Really Shrill

There's Atheists and then there's atheists. The other day I read a piece in Newsweek, an organ of Camp Obama, by Sam Harris. Sam Harris is the leader of the Reason Project dedicated 'to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy. It will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific research and opinion polls, award grants to other non-profit organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition and bigotry in the world.'

Harris and HBO bigot Bill Maher a key player in the Reason Project smear and assault any and all religion. Harris attacked Sarah Palin as an icon of all Harris and Maher consider to betoo stupid to live. We are breathing their rarefied air it seems.

Harris is a punk philosopher, born in the age of 'don't hit him, he's weak.'

“Let me confess that I was genuinely unnerved by Sarah Palin's performance at the Republican convention. Given her audience and the needs of the moment, I believe Governor Palin's speech was the most effective political communication I have ever witnessed. Here, finally, was a performer who—being maternal, wounded, righteous and sexy—could stride past the frontal cortex of every American and plant a three-inch heel directly on that limbic circuit that ceaselessly intones "God and country." If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could.


Theocracy? What manner of coinage does Brother Harris Use? Still says 'In God We Trust' behind George Washington's neck on all the U.S. Minted quarters that I toss into theparking meters. Sam Harris and Bill Maher hate religion like the Inquisistion hated heresy. 'Bastinado, for you Mrs. Murphy!'

Well Sam Harris is an atheist. Thene there's Chris Hitchens, the British wit and critic of religion. Christopher Hitchens has no truck for Church-going, Psalm-singing Rubes, but he genuinely loves them.

Where Harris and Maher have entered the lists as God Mocking Knights of the Woeful Countenance, Christopher Hitchens observes the battle from the grandstands of intellectual inquiry.

He is not 'unnerved' by Governor Palin, but he is bored by Barack Obama, who is not a Muslim, but a devout Christian without a Church, until after the election.

Why is Obama so vapid and hesitant and gutless? Why, to put it another way, does he risk going into political history as a dusky Dukakis? Well, after the self-imposed Jeremiah Wright nightmare, he can't afford any more militancy, or militant-sounding stuff, even if it might be justified. His other problems are self-inflicted or party-inflicted as well. He couldn't have picked a gifted Democratic woman as his running mate, because he couldn't have chosen a female who wasn't the ever-present Sen. Clinton, and so he handed the free gift of doing so to his Republican opponent (whose own choice has set up a screech from the liberals like nothing I have heard since the nomination of Clarence Thomas). So the unquantifiable yet important "atmospherics" of politics, with all their little X factors, belong at present to the other team.

The Dukakis comparison is, of course, a cruel one, but it raises a couple more questions that must be faced. We are told by outraged Democrats that many voters still believe, thanks to some smear job, that Sen. Obama is a Muslim. Yet who is the most famous source of this supposedly appalling libel (as if an American candidate cannot be of any religion or none)? Absent any anonymous whispering campaign, the person who did most to insinuate the idea in public—"There is nothing to base that on. As far as I know"—was Obama's fellow Democrat and the junior senator from New York. It was much the same in 1988, when Al Gore brought up the Dukakis furlough program, later to be made infamous by the name Willie Horton, against the hapless governor of Massachusetts who was then his rival for the nomination.

By the end of that grueling campaign season, a lot of us had got the idea that Dukakis actually wanted to lose—or was at the very least scared of winning. Why do I sometimes get the same idea about Obama? To put it a touch more precisely, what I suspect in his case is that he had no idea of winning this time around. He was running in Iowa and New Hampshire to seed the ground for 2012, not 2008, and then the enthusiasm of his supporters (and the weird coincidence of a strong John Edwards showing in Iowa) put him at the front of the pack. Yet, having suddenly got the leadership position, he hadn't the faintest idea what to do with it or what to do about it.

Look at the record, and at Obama's replies to essential and pressing questions. The surge in Iraq? I'll answer that only if you insist. The credit crunch? Please may I be photographed with Bill Clinton's economic team? Georgia? After you, please, Sen. McCain. A vice-presidential nominee? What about a guy who, despite his various qualities, is picked because he has almost no enemies among Democratic interest groups?

Yep, Barack Obama is dull, but he is also shrill. Obama is negative - The Surge Can't Work! The Economy is Doomed! Americans Cling! Americans are Bitter! Americans Are Racist! Americans Are Not Elite!

Dull, but Shrill. There's Atheists and then ther's atheists.

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