Friday, February 29, 2008

Couple of old war birds

As I lit a blunt last 4th of July two friends of mine who were not smoking weed at the time started moaning because they could not take a puff. Bryce was in trouble with the law and was being drug tested and Cod took some time off to find a job and stopped smoking in case of a urine analysis. Long time potheads not taking part in a blunt was a weird feeling for them and Cod remarked that they were a couple of “Old War Birds” because they had been through many battles with the weed. Battle Tested and Battle Hardened.

Which brings me to the Old War Bird John McCain and what he said today. “I have some news: Al Qaeda is called Al Qaeda Iraq and Al Qaeda is in Iraq.” Barack Obama fired back. “I have news for John McCain: Al Qaida was not in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain invaded Iraq.” That may not be the two exact quotes, but it is the balls of each. It looks like McCain is geared up to tangle with Obama for the next year, but we won’t know that until March 4 when the results for Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island and Ohio will be known.

Obama and McCain will be a sharper contrast than Clinton and McCain because I see McCain as Budweiser and Clinton as Bud Light and I don’t think that will work. Or Republican Light always loses vs. Republican. No more of the lesser of two evils: We need something to believe in. Last night in the 20th debate between Obama and Clinton, she finally said she would take back her Iraq War Vote after Tim Russert asked her what she regretted.

A few weeks ago when Hillary was still the perceived frontrunner, Matt Taibbi said on Bill Maher’s HBO show, “70% of the country is against the war and we have two pro war candidates, that shows you how fucked up the system is.” That was a keen observation by Taibbi. He can be right on, but he can also come across as a super-cynical-smartest-kid-in-class type, which I have also read him make fun of himself for. You know that guy that was brought up with a multicultural education but, never actually had diversity in his life; listened to rap but, didn’t know any black people. He wrote an article called The Obama Moment and sounded like he had finally got the Obama bug. He sounded more hopeful than I had ever heard him. But then he flipped the script after the Nevada debate and was disappointed with Obama’s performance calling him a “straw man.” I think Taibbi wanted more of a fiery guy up there but, Obama is not quick to get that way even when he is pushed. Last night Tim Russert and Brian Williams asked him about Minister Farrakhan’s support of his campaign and they also brought up the picture of him in traditional Somali garb that the Clinton’s brought out and Obama did not get defensive. He was cool and absorbed it.

To be an Obama supporter you still must have a little bit of the innocence of a boy wonder. . . still dreaming with hope for what might be able to happen. Hope in humanity and the ability to still think about the unknown. What if? The walls close in very quickly when hope is out the window. Many smart people decided to invade Iraq. And some of my smartest friends think it is the most worthless thing ever to vote. And 40% of the population has agreed over the years. And it is hard to argue against a statistic like that. . . maybe they are right. I have thought many times through my life, “maybe I am the dumb one or part of the dumb. . . ” To think that we as a nation of peasants will sway the powerful.

George Carlin has publicly said he has not voted since McGovern in 1972 and I just read something recently where he was very pleased to watch this Obama story unfold but, he was still not going to vote. He sits on the sidelines and is skeptical that even an Obama presidency would change anything. I agree that it may not change a thing. He [Obama] may not deliver on anything he has been talking about but, to me it is not the point. Obama’s job is to inspire, to lift the country’s spirits. We must do the work individually in our own lives; one man can’t change everything, but he may be able to change the attitude. I can’t agree with Carlin about sitting on the sidelines. To be a human in the community of humans everyone has a responsibility to participate. You don’t have to, no one is going to put a gun to your head, but I think you should as a the little boy idealist I am. Citizen Journalist, Boy Wonder Journalist.

Maybe by not participating in the system that is the biggest loudest way to say “I don’t agree with what is happening to our country.” But, that is a bleak way to go. I prefer to look at this way: "Something is happening in America something some of us did not see coming." Those are the words of John Lewis Democratic Rep. from Georgia who helped lead the March on Selma. He was a Clinton supporter and just defected to Obama.

I took the picture of Bat Cheney under the Southbound I-5 bridge next to Lake Union near Ivar's Salmon House.

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