(OR: Big Blue Taxi took away my left wing of American politics)
Grand unified theory of American politics. A sweeping post on some serious issues with Obama's both-sides-now rhetoric that also happens to tell an admirably compressed story of movement conservatism in the US.
I'm still not entirely convinced that Obama's rhetoric isn't just rhetoric, but I find that lately, every time he opens his mouth, I start thinking about Edwards, and sometimes even Clinton. At least all three alternatives (Clinton, Obama, Edwards) are sane, as opposed to Huckabee, Romney or McCain. Right now, I'd be happy if we got any one of the democrats, because the species of conservative that breeds in the wild in the US is just crazy. That they are so well-funded, organised and embraced by institutions with money and power is very unnerving. Our local variety is much more sidelined, for which I am thankful, but as I've said before: when the US does things, it affects everyone. The president of the United States is one of the people that exercise the most influence on my life and well-being. Our local movement conservatives are energised and schooled by the US variety. Sooner or later, this could lead to something. For now, they are sidelined but they have powerful friends.
To wit: My cab driver today turned out, during the course of ordinary chit chat to be a central-ish figure in the Norwegian Christian coalition. He was a member of the board of so-fundamentalist-they-had-to-split-from-the-other-fundamentalists-newspaper Norge IDAG (because sometimes you need to capitalise words in newspaper titles so that people can tell you're serious!). He was fresh from a paid trip to Washington DC to a meeting where people of the conservative persuasion from around the world met the GOP candidates.
Our driver was all about Huckabee. Such a firm handshake, Huckabee. Also, never gave an inch on abortion. And I mean, really, what with US schools being positively awash with sodomy and perversity, you really need a man like Huckabee. ("They teach it, you know!" Of course they do. The stories I could tell you from GV Junior High School.) That firm handshake, that steady gaze - hearing the arguments, in front of those tv cameras, so you knew he wasn't lying - you really got the sense that this was a great president in the making. And he never voted for any law about abortion, and with that handshake, you knew he wasn't lying.
(also: Chuck Norris supports him. Run-to-the-hills-scary and funny! And he plays bass! Though not very well. I'm way better than he is. His right-hand technique stinks and while he keeps rhythm, his groove is bland and boring. Also, in this clip, he's playing Sweet Home Alabama which contains the lyrics "Watergate don't bother me." Seriously. Btw, remember that Bill Clinton played the saxophone? He wasn't very good, either. And Alan Greenspan played the clarinet very badly, they say.)
So anyway, I hope that the US puts its house in order now and puts the conservatives back in their cabs and church bands where they belong. Not deciding the geopolitical fate of the rest of the world.
...Time to get ready for primary season, anyway. I think I'm with Krugman on the Obama issue. I'm just about to start the health-care chapter in Krugman's latest book.
And almost just in time for Christmas: way to be in the spirit of Jesus.