Thursday, June 26, 2008


2009 will close out the most fundamentalist Christian, right-wing, and philosophically authoritarian White House in U.S. history.

Signs are that it will be followed by the administration of a man whose political inner circle could become the most America-skeptic, left-wing, and statist kitchen cabinet in U.S. history. All built around a personality cult.

No wonder a secular, traditional, patriotic political independent like me feels this just is not my millennium.

We come from an administration where political loyalty and a sheepskin from Pat Robertson's law school was the ticket to authority in the Justice Department. Political loyalty and a skepticism about the universe being more than 10,000 years old was a ticket to blue-pencil authority over government science reports. Political loyalty and a correct position on Roe v. Wade, for pity's sake, was the ticket to getting a job overseeing the desperately essential work of building up Iraq after we took control of it.

We head for an administration where -- we'll see. At least one odious, unrepentant '60s rich boy radical friend of Barack won't be making policy decisions in the Department of Education or channeling millions of tax dollars to his pet causes. But only because the accidental searchlight of scandal happened to light on Bill Ayers. Every week or so seems to bring up another like him. Even at this rate and with seven months left, some are bound to get through.

Obama, in his short political life, seems to have been in a MoveOn-colored cocoon, so that when he sits down at a Pennsylvania farm wife's kitchen table he might as well be the leader of another country. Benevolent visionary or not, that difference remains.

McCain doesn't matter. I like him well enough, but this election isn't going to be about him.

I keep thinking of Harold Macmillan's quip that watching the Kennedies come to power in Washington, D.C., was "like watching the Borgia brothers take over a respectable North Italian city." This election is really about Hope: I hope the real Obama is more in his rhetoric than his friends.

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