Monday, February 11, 2008

'Lectionation

Interestinger and interestinger. The primaries continue not to disappoint! Despite my endorsee John Edwards pulling out of the race a couple week ago, the Democrats have really done a lot to bring a sense of credibility back to the process this year. At their best, the presidential primaries are near the top of the American sports landscape, but sadly, recent years have been all too reminiscent of the Superbowls of the 1980s. This year’s contest is looking like the best since 1968, and while we shouldn’t expect riots or assassinations like that epic competition, this year stands very well on its own merits.

Coming out of Super Tuesday, Obama and Clinton were neck and neck on the pledged ballot scorecard, with Clinton’s sizeable lead in superdelegates making her the frontrunner. But Obama swept four states this past weekend, scoring big leads in three caucuses and the Louisiana primary. He’s now got a lead of ~60 pledged delegates and has cut Clinton’s lead in total delegates down to ~30. If the convention were today, we’d have exactly the situation I hesitated to hope for last week: Obama with the lead in delegates somebody voted for, but the party machine giving the nomination to Clinton.

Next on the ticket: tomorrow’s bouts in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, all primaries. Can Obama keep the momentum going? Will the beltway ballots boot Mrs. Bill? Tune in next time, sports fans.

Now, in other election topics: FramIAm has a post up asking people to share why they favor their candidate of choice, with Obama and Clinton apparently being the allowed choices. I was thinking of posting something there, but decided against it, for two reasons. First – as I’ve said here before – I’m not going to make endorsements, given how they’ve backfired on me in the past. (Sorry, John, sorry, Rudy.) Second, everyone seems to play so nicely over there, I’d hate to screw it up. It’s really better to offend people here on my own blog, no?

While I won’t make an endorsement, I do want to comment on something FranIAm wrote. Quoting from that entry:

...as someone who follows Christ with great passion and deep faith finds something about Barack's Christianity unsettling. How I wish I could be clearer. I will get to the bottom of it one way or the other.

Wow. At first I was just speechless, I didn’t know how to react. Then I started jumping up and down and did my best Roscoe P. Coltrane, “I love it. I love it.” (By the way, am I alone in having Bush the Lesser remind me of Roscoe from time to time?) Fran, this is fantastic, thank you.

I mean, it’s not all that uncommon for those on the religious right to question a candidate’s Chrisitan bonafides. Happens all the time, especially if a Republican candidate seems ‘soft’ to them on the litmus tests of abortion or, in recent years, gay marriage. But someone supporting the other side of the aisle, for whom GOP candidates don’t even enter the thought process? Now that I don’t hear every day.

I say it’s fanstastic. It made my day. Who knew the turbulent discordant house-of-cards patchwork the Democratic party hopes is its base might be splintered even along lines like these? It's like a new world of opportunities has opened up before me.

-- Satan

10 comments:

Ɯbermilf said...

Go ahead and pretend you're not the one who causes division and strife.

I know better.

Satan said...

Sure, I cause division and strife. I plant the seeds in some cases, in others I nurture it along. But I'm only behind some of it - really only a small fraction. You humans are amazingly good at it all by yourselves. Actually, it's a big reason why I find your species so interesting, and worth so much of my time!

-- Satan

FranIAm said...

I am not sure how to take such a comment... a compliment of sorts really, from Satan, but I will simply say thank you.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant... well you know the way that goes.

As for Obama, all my running from meeting to meeting and driving in my car while turning all the comments I've read over in my mind has brought me here...

I do not think he is sincere. Now I don't think Hillary is either, but then again, she is not presenting as such in the same way that he is.

Also I hear the voices of people who really smart but who are really worn out and tired by the current situation. (this sounds a little satanic to me, but just sayin' and with all due respect.) So the Satanic part to me is that the weary, weary hearts and mind clammor for comfort, for hope.

And it ain't coming from Obama IMO.

Nice trick Mister S! So that is how you sow the seeds of chaos, division, strife and confusion.

Hmmm....

Satan said...

FranIAm -

Hey, you're welcome.

A couple of follow-up questions to your comment:

1. When you say Obama (and Clinton) are not sincere, are you referring specifically to their expressions of religious conviction, or are you making a more general statement?

2. Do you find Huckabee's Christianity sincere?

-- Satan

Mauigirl said...

Hi, Came here from Fran's blog. I don't have a problem with Obama's Christianity, sincere or not, since I don't think it has anything to do with how he would govern - nor should it - other than how it informs his worldview. I feel his worldview is a good one. One of these days I'll get around to answering Fran's question as to why I support who I support but it is tied up with that worldview.

I'm of the mind that people's religion is best kept to
themselves and not paraded on the campaign trail. In that regard, all candidates are guilty of doing this. They are forced to by those that say the reason the Democrats have been losing is that they don't acknowledge the religious people in our country.

Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, I believe, and this is a liberal Protestant Christian church, in which I was brought up. I have no problem with him being part of that church (they support liberal positions) and even talking about it as long as he doesn't try to be something he's not.

Satan said...

Welcome, Mauigirl.

It would be quite a refreshing change to me if candidates didn't talk about religion reguarly on the campaign trail. But I don't think it's very likely. It seems to me that this country basically requires its candidates to make the right religious noises or they can't even try to compete. I don't just mean the obligitory media questions, either - I mean the campaign stumping in churches, the mandatory "god bless" invocations i speeches, etc. I'd love for a candidate to punt on all that. But they'd lose.

-- Satan

FranIAm said...

Satan- I find them both insincere in general.

That said, I find that when I hear Obama reference his faith(as I heard him do on NPR this past weekend) it sounds very hollow and tinny to me.

Hillary is actually very involved with some very religious types in DC and I do have this on good authority. That said, she does not flaunt it. So to that end, she is preferable.

Why does everyone need to prattle on about this? Who cares? Are you a good person or a shitty one?

Huckabee's Christianity - sincere or not. Good question and not easily answered.

In general, I find that that particular kind of Christianity requires a rigid linear type of thought and that alone can render some insincerity.

That whole "cause the baby Jesus tole me so" shit gets on my last nerve.

Satan said...

Speaking from personal experience, Baby Jesus didn't talk much. He was a baby! (Oh, and that Christmas carol line about "little lord Jesus, no crying he makes"? Try telling that one to Mary!)

When he was an adult, of course, he was quite articulate - a very interesting guy to talk to. But he was very much not into telling people what to do. Somehow I'm always suprised how much his alleged followers get him wrong. Even the heavily filtered, edited, and censored accounts that made it through to the 'New Testament' make his approach pretty clear. He loved to communicate through parables, and on the occasions when he gave straight instructions they often made so sense until later, when suddenly it would click and people would 'wonder and be amazed'.

That aside - I would not be too quick to doubt the sincerity of Huckabee's religion. His flavor of religion is very different from your own, and significant parts of his politics follow, but I believe it's quite genuine.

-- Satan

Diane said...

I think Huckabee's Christianity is probably sincere too. just because I don't believe in him... I know several conservative Christians who I don't agree with, but whose Christianity is quite sincere. I actually met with a couple of them yesterday, family friends who have known me about since I was born.

I was brought up that "we can't know the heart of a person". So, it's corny, but that's how I feel about Obama. I haven't heard him speak about his faith, only write a little about it in his first book.

Well, Satan, have a day dividing the houses.

Satan said...

Welcome, Diane. (Wow, A Lutheran pastor reading my blog!)

Seeing how you believe that "we can't know the heart of a person," do you find yourself put off by politicans that try to sell you the idea that that they've shared their heart with you? Perhaps more insidious are the arguments that the apparently heartfelt expressions are insincere, e.g. Clinton's tears after Iowa. But if we can't know the heart regardless, should just put it aside?

-- Satan