Why My Republican Father-in-Law Is for Obama on Experience

US Politics
on 7 Comments

My father-in-law, a crusty Republican, said the smartest thing I’ve heard about the Obama movement, though it has taken me months to understand it. Nearly a year ago he and my mother-in-law went to hear Obama speak and came home doing backflips. They joined the movement, have been there since. My father-in-law is a true Obamican. I was for Edwards then, and I said, "But Jack, he has no experience."

My father-in-law said, "Don’t you understand–that’s the best thing about him!"

I realize now that what he was saying is that Everyone is corrupted by our politics, even good people. The longer they are in Washington, the more inevitable it is that they are corrupted. And what the Obama movement sees in Obama’s youth and inexperience is that here is a good man who has not yet been corrupted, as he will be in the Senate, and so let us leapfrog him now into the presidency so that we will have a fighting chance to "end the mindset" that gave us Iraq, as Obama says. Leave Obama in the Senate, and in four years he will likely be disqualified for the job…

On my issue, the Israel lobby, Obama is only halfway bought. Yes he sold out his leftwing ideals on the question when he ran for Congress, as Ali Abunimah has reported. But the leftwing/global view of the matter is still his base of understanding, as he showed in his subtle references to the Israel lobby and apartheid in his speech to the Cleveland Jews….

7 Responses

  1. Oarwell
    March 10, 2008, 1:40 pm

    Would agree with your F-i-L, although his argument, seen in a certain light, is a grim commentary on America in its Late Imperial Phase. What is the French? Faut de mieux? A lesser of, if not evil, venality?

    And yet there is a gravitas, a natural elegance and lissomeness about the man that even this paleo finds intriguing.

  2. Ed.
    March 10, 2008, 2:02 pm

    Crusty, moron Jack thinks that 'no inexperience' is a formula for success?

    Phil, help dad out with that crust.

  3. Charles Keating
    March 10, 2008, 2:26 pm

    Obama actually uses his inexperience as a sales tool in his speeches around the nation–"all the hope isn't yet boiled out of me" as he puts it. As far as I know, he's the only candidate who
    expressly said to any audience there's more than one view of what it means to be pro-Israel. My god, think of that.

  4. Jim Haygood
    March 10, 2008, 4:14 pm


    In the past, "good inexperience" meant "uncontaminated by Washington D.C." That was a formula which worked wonders for several state governors, including Carter, Reagan and Clinton.

    The only reason Obama is competitive is because (unusually) all the candidates are Senators. If an attractive "outside the Beltway" candidate existed, it would be a different story.

    Note how, as an "outside the Beltway" state senator, Obama felt free to address a Chicago antiwar rally in October 2002. Once he went to Washington, all that youthful idealism evaporated. He started voting for the war appropriations, alongside Generalissima Hillary.

    The average fresh-faced politician gets sucked into the imperial Washington mindset within months. It takes extraordinary strength of character and nonconformism to resist the peer pressure. Ron Paul is one of the few examples in our lifetime.

  5. patrick
    March 10, 2008, 4:35 pm

    Obama touts his wisdom regarding the Iraq war and constantly states that he was against it from the beginning. He has been proven to be correct.

    However, when Obama made his anti-Iraq war stance, he was in the closed confines of Springfield, Illinois, not the AIPAC controlled halls of Washington, DC.

    Since Obama has been in DC, he has voted to continue the Iraq war funding.

    If Obama was in DC during '02 and '03 and being subjected to pressure from The Lobby, would he have been able to vote against the war?

  6. Ed.
    March 10, 2008, 5:27 pm

    Crusty, moron Jack thinks that 'no inexperience' is a formula for success?…
    Posted by: Ed. | March 10, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Impersonation-and-insult is a cowardly tactic, consistant with the ethics of Zionism.

  7. Charles Keating
    March 11, 2008, 12:22 pm

    RE: "It takes extraordinary strength of character and nonconformism to resist the peer pressure. Ron Paul is one of the few examples in our lifetime."

    I agree.

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