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Oct 27, 2006 2:42 am


On Systemic Failures



Ok, I am going to try again.

What's wrong with Obama's candidacy?

It's that the very idea of his candidacy isn't shocking. It should be shocking to any proponent of rational governance given his meager experince. But we are so far from expecting rationality in American politics that we accept as a given that it is irrational.

Let me cast my net wider than I have been in this discussion by quoting (hold your fire liberals) Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation.

After the Iran-contra calamity he made a trenchant observation:

... our current system institutionalizes amateurism. Unlike European parliamentary democracies, we have no 'shadow cabinet,' no group of experts who are groomed by their party for decades before they take office. Our presidents can be peanut farmers or Hollywood actors.....

... If we are going to be a serious nation, we need a serious system for selecting our leaders and advisors.

Weyrich believed we needed to establish a shadow government. I am not sure about the wisdom of that suggestion. But I am sure that we all ought to be thinking hard about what's wrong with our system if serious people can suggest Obama should be taken seriously as a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

Again, it's not Obama who's the problem. It's us. It's us for being so desperate for idealism that we are willing to consider his candidacy seriously. And it's us for not realizing instantly that any system that produces an Obama candidacy is seriously (insert dirty word here) ______.




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Nonpartisan - 10/27/2006

Rick, I've finally gotten around to responding to your recent posts on this topic. The following link should go live Friday morning:

http://www.progressivehistorians.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=345

Cheers!