Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Andrew Ferguson in the current Weekly Standard:
In his endless campaign, [Obama] never stopped talking as if the clashing political interests and contending ideas of a big, complicated, self-governing country were all just a terrible misunderstanding. His final stump speech--which his campaign called, with customary pomposity, the "closing argument," as though the candidate had suddenly turned into Perry Mason--was drenched in togetherness. Right at the top he promised that his victory would "put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat. . ."

Obama's theatrical gift is such that his listeners seldom pause to think about what he's saying. He communicates through a kind of subverbal music, half-heard and absorbed rather than cogitated on. But consider that promise above. What kind of "politics . . . divides the nation just to win an election"? Well, every kind. Elections presuppose a divided nation; if the nation weren't divided it wouldn't need an election. Besides, politics, of whatever kind, doesn't cause the divisions; it expresses them and clarifies them. Experience shows that this method of expressing division is far preferable to the alternatives, which often involve bazookas. You will note too that he declares his contempt for a politics that pits Republicans against Democrats. Republicans pitted against Democrats? Horrifying. Please make it stop.

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