And truly Morally Incompetent.
In his latest column in The Australian Adams shows that he's certainly a light of other days...
I'm grateful to a reader for giving me a great gizmo. It's a credit-card-sized clock that flashes, to the tenth of a second, the time that Bush has left in the White House.One has to admit that it's a pretty funny gizmo to have if you're a Bush hater.
As I tap out these words Bush has 214 days, six hours, 14 minutes and 31.6 seconds left, and I'm willing the microchip to move things along; 214 days, six hours, 14 minutes and 29 seconds is still too many days, hours, seconds and tenths - more than enough time for the lame duck to remember that the presidential seal features a Roman-style eagle and behave like a headless chook. Urged on by the neo-cons and theo-cons, the worst president in history could wreak even more national and international havoc.George W Bush will not only not be rated the worst president in history but will annoy the heck out of the left by being very highly regarded for being one of the few Western leaders who had the moral courage to take on the worst form of extremism.
So it’s better to focus on the fact that the presidential election that will replace Bush takes place in early November, two-and-a-half months before inauguration day. To stay with the avian, should Donald Duck win office as a third-party candidate the world could feel like the cat that ate the canary. Even John McCain would be a considerable improvement – despite the fact he’s abandoned all the principles that made him a “maverick”. He was for the reform of campaign funding, and pro-choice on abortion; he was against torture and took a progressive stand on illegal immigrants. These ideas, he told us, represented his core values. And he’s dumped them all in the interests of getting elected. Every other day, another 180-degree turn. Oh McCain, you’ve done it again.If Adams would like to look up what the McCain-Feingold bill is then perhaps he wouldn't make such an ignorant statement. Further, if he looked at Obama's record on the issue he'll see more flipping and flopping than a fish out of water. McCain is still against torture and he still has a 'progressive' stand on illegal immigrants so I don't know where Adams gets the idea that McCain is anything other than solid in his beliefs.
I’ve been barracking for Barack since he made his debut on the national stage with a splendid speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. So I’m hoping he’ll storm home. But as I wrote months ago, Obama faces the immense risk of assassination. During the 82 days of Bobby Kennedy’s primary campaigning it was widely believed he’d be killed. Nixon thought it highly likely, and the FBI’s Clyde Tolson thought it highly desirable (he was clearly echoing the hopes of his boyfriend, J. Edgar Hoover). Right-wing shock jocks and columnists called upon patriotic Americans to blow Bobby’s brains out – and the candidate himself, when asked what stood between him and the White House, said: “Men with guns.”Adams 'wrote months ago' that Obama faces the 'immense risk of assassination' and compares him to Bobby Kennedy. He then goes on to talk about right-wing shock jocks while completely failing to tell us that Bobby Kennedy was killed by a Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, ostensibly over Kennedy's support for Israel. His brother, JFK, was killed by a communist, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Martin Luther King Jr was killed by James Earl Ray, a man with a criminal record including burglary, armed robbery and mail fraud. Hardly a rogue's gallery of right wing death beasts, is it? Perhaps it's Adams' own understanding of the violent instincts of the Left that lead him to fear for Obama's safety?
Otherwise Obama risks the death of a thousand cuts, the wearing down of the candidate, employing the many weapons of bigotry. Apart from the rabid, racist right who’ll call a spade a spade, much of it, most of it, will be in code. And it will appeal to the national subconscious.It is pure projection that the right is racist. The right is perfectly happy to vote for a black man or woman for president as long as they agree with their values. That's why Michael Steele is chairman of GOPAC, for example. Who has included more African-Americans or Hispanics in senior roles than George W Bush? Certainly not any Democratic president hitherto...
It’s one thing to vote for Obama in a primary. That’s no risk. Voters can enjoy the pleasures of being progressive, of expressing the belief in a “post-racial America”. But they’re not actually sending Obama to the White House by choosing him over Clinton. They’re identifying with the movement of history – or, to use a word I detest, the zeitgeist. They can focus on all the reasons it’s time to support an African-American heavyweight in something other than rock music or boxing. It’s a feelgood thing to do.If there's something that the Left excels at it's doing the feelgood thing. No doubt about it. Horrible outcomes but, gee, I feel good about myself for having tried.
It’s quite another thing to vote for Obama in the presidential elections. From now until election day millions of voters will be looking for reasons not to vote for him. And the Karl Rovelutionaries in the Republican camp will be doing everything they can to help.I suppose they would. That's their job.
McCain promises a clean campaign but the opportunism he displayed in changing positions on the very issues that enabled and ennobled his career will come into play. At best he’ll claim a disapproving distance from the hate-speak and innuendo while happily accepting any electoral advantage. It’s the oldest trick in the book. And we saw in McCain’s embrace of the looniest of evangelical preachers that he’ll gratefully accept an endorsement from anyone.Adams shows his intellectual laziness with this comment. John Hagee is no parallel to Reverend Wright and not even close. If any reasonable person was to listen to what Hagee said regarding Catholics and the Holocaust in context then it would be clear what he was talking about and that he is far from loopy.
Many voters believing themselves above and beyond racism will yield to it, in its various guises and disguises. Obama’s youth? His inexperience? His overenthusiastic pastors? His wife’s comparative radicalism? All will be used to eat away at the feeling of hope and safety that he was, in the beginning, able to provide. Barack was a walking, talking comfort zone. But the Sidney Poitier of US politics will be muddied somehow, anyhow, with the stickiest mud they can find or invent. And people will find excuses not to vote for him. Oh, it’s nothing to do with his colour! What a suggestion! God forbid! I’m all for a black president. But not this one. Not now.The irony is that Adams is talking about Democratic Party supporters not voting for Obama because he's black! Republicans would vote for a black person whose values they agreed with in a heartbeat, which is why they were clamouring so much for Colin Powell to run.
To their eternal discredit the Clintons rehearsed some of the Republicans’ dog-whistling campaign – and in a few states it worked all too well. So Obama will be prepared. And while his dream of a campaign that transcended race is a delusion, his colour is also his greatest advantage. We’re seeing unprecedented numbers of black voters registering and kids of all colours rushing to Obama’s. But dark forces within the American psyche, somewhat repressed of late, are about to be released. Remember One Nation in tolerant Australia?One Nation didn't beat the Labor Party, Phil, so I don't know what the comparison means.
If you talk to any young person at university and particularly those studying in the Arts faculties then they all sound like little versions of Phillip Adams. Like Adams their knowledge of history is abominable and, like Adams, they use pejorative terms against their opponents in place of the arguments that they haven't bothered to learn. Like Adams they think that being smart creates wisdom.
Obama is odds on favourite to be the next US president but not for any of the reasons Adams puts forward.