May 14, 2008

"The emptiest vessel ever..."

Baseball Crank has a worthwhilepiece on the importance of experience in a presidential candidate...

.....And if one must speak of hypocrisy, it is rather amusing that we heard Democrats the past few years arguing that various Bush appointees were underqualified hacks who lacked the basic qualifications for their jobs (e.g., Miers, Mike Brown), but those same Democrats who were outraged at appointing unqualified people to mid-level jobs in the Administration are suddenly unconcerned about picking a guy without adequate experience for the top job, the guy who appoints all the others.

But for the same reasons why I rejected that style of argument when I came out in opposition to Harriet Miers (here and here) and Mitt Romney, Obama's lack of all the relevant types of experience, taken together, are very much a problem and quite arguably disqualifying by themselves, or at least very substantial reasons to be skeptical of his candidacy. Assuming he does hang on to squeeze Hillary out of the race, Obama is the emptiest vessel ever to get a major party nomination, a man who can't be judged on the results he has achieved because he's scarcely left a trace of results anywhere. It's all too easy to say "yes, we can" when you haven't ever had to be the guy people look to to say "yes we did."

He's never run anything at all, not even a small law practice like John Edwards. Besides his campaign, probably the biggest thing he's ever run was the Harvard Law Review.

He has nothing resembling national security experience or even particularly sustained advocacy on the issue before announcing his candidacy in 2007. The man has apparently hardly even traveled to Europe, to pick one example.

He is running in a contested election outside the insular world of Chicago politics for the first time and has never had any sort of responsibility for political leadership.

He's never served in the military and seems to have scarcely any experience even knowing people who served in the military.

His private-sector business background is negligible.

Are any of these things disqualifying from the Presidency? No. But electing a man who is so seriously lacking in all of them is indeed unprecedented. And that is and should be a central issue in this campaign......

I think Obama's lack of experience is central to his appeal to "core Democrats." They prefer it. Why? Because, as I've argued many times before, Liberals aren't "Liberal" any more. They have no belief in anything bigger than themselves. They wear "Liberalism" as a disguise, and to give themselves reasons to feel superior and important.

Their big fear is that they are going to be called on this. That they will be put into a situation where they will have to either fight fight for something, or admit they are frauds. That's why they hate the Iraq Campaign so bitterly, whether it's going well or badly. Overthrowing a fascist dictator and sponsoring democracy and freedom are Liberal ideas, and leftists still preen themselves on their regime-change in Nazi Germany. Iraq called this bluff.

Even the minimal experience Clinton can claim is associated with making choices. The latte-sipping crowd longs to float above all the gritty choices of practical politics, and just feel good about themselves. They want, for instance, to endlessly bask in the warm glow of the Civil Rights Movement, while ignoring the current plight of minority children in dysfunctional inner-city schools. And ignore the fact that black Africans are being enslaved right now, by Moslems in Sudan.

Posted by John Weidner at May 14, 2008 7:53 AM
Weblog by John Weidner