Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack Obama: At The Adult Table

I remember countless holidays where I was banished to the kiddie table - out of range of civilized discourse, relegated to making armpit farts and flicking boogers. Worse was the adult folk patronizing me with their disgusted glances, mortified that their scion could belch the alphabet.

Tonight, Obama shook his head with disapproving maturity. Tonight, John McCain made fart noises with his mouth.

"Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers . . . my campaign is about the economy." Did that just happened???? It did. I almost did a spit-take (I haven't done a spit-take since Palin's explanation about Russia's proximity to her foreign policy experience.).

Tonight, McCain would have been better served with honest questions: "Health care plan? In what respect, Barry?"

The split screen did him no favors. At one point, my girlfriend equated McCain to Vincent D'Onofrio's bug character in "Men in Black." Without pause, I eagerly equated McCain's visage to Jeffy Goldblum's fly character in . . . well . . . "The Fly."

The point?: McCain's skin was thinner than soy paper, absolutely ineffective at shrouding the curmudgeon beast below ready to shed its apocryphal mask of gentility at first prodding. He was petulant, irascible and disconnected. He spouted fluff attacks in rapid-fire succession as if trying to eclipse a world record. It was a haphazard carpet bombing of a hunkered-down Obama, prepared for every twist and turn. Hell, even the much ballyhooed Bill Ayers reference seemed trite and tortured - almost as if McCain doesn't have a bone to pick with folks "pallin' around with terrorists" despite his previous message.

I thought Palin was the death knell for McCain. I was wrong - ask yourself this fundamental question and let it govern your vote: Over the past three months, which candidate demonstrated the consistency of character and a never-failing steadiness in the face of tough questions, tough issues, tough matters and tough world events?

Like I said before - vote the man in this election, not the ideology. Vote for an original leader, not for a partisan soundboard. Vote for the candidate who makes very clear in these three debates that your issues will always trump the petty squabbles of the Autumn election cycle.

Full disclosure: For the first time since I became voter eligible I have donated money to a presidential candidacy. After the second debate, I pulled out my American Express Elite-Yuppie-Intelligentsia-250k-per-year Gold Card (a platinum card is too fringe, too extreme, too Sheehan, just too elite) and authorized a $50 payment to Senator Obama.

Why? Because he's consistent. Because he's steady. And because for all the money I will pay in taxes (being in that upper 5% Barack never speaks to), it is a pittance compared to the potential economic loss I suffer without a job, health insurance and affordable education.

Laud the free market. We all do. But it cannot exist in a vacuum. And whether you are Joe Six-Pack, Joey Danko or Joe Plumber, Mikey Dollar Signs will be quick to interject that you cannot draw blood from a stone and you can't siphon taxes from zero dollars of income, no matter how high the rate.

In closing, yes I'm drunk. But sober enough to see that the "October surprise" is just how damn optimistic I am about a major party candidate less than three weeks from Election Day.

If Richard Lowry had little starbursts for Palin, then count me as flaming gay for Obama. My starbursts come with energy independence in a decade.

No comments: