Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 23, 2008
POLITICS: If Only Barack Obama Had Been Here, Lazarus Would Not Have Died

Obasm alert: In last Sunday's paper, Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times entered "if John Kerry is elected, Christopher Reeve will walk again" territory:

If you're wondering why Sen. Barack Obama's message of hope has resonated with so many voters across the country, consider the shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University.


Why are people walking around armed to the teeth?

The only reason I can think of is that too many people have lost hope.

On the stump . . . Obama has had to defend his faith, and jokes about his critics calling him a "hopemonger." But Obama's ability to inspire people -- in urban areas as well as in rural towns -- is a gift the country needs.

Young people are killing each other in the ghettos as well as in our nation's universities. So it's not just drug wars or street gangs driving the violence.

But while young people are dying as martyrs, adults with the power to make a difference are still arguing over the merits of gun control.

Obama is surging ahead because a lot of people are tired of believing they are powerless to heal an ailing nation.

Yes, without Obama we are but empty, dessicated husks waiting for him to breathe meaning into our existence. Hazel Stone, who notes that the problem with the NIU shooter was that he went off his anti-bipolar meds (I guess he stopped taking them after Hillary won Florida?), writes:

One experience-lacking socialist-wannabe with a skillful speechwriter isn't going to single-handedly dispense rainbow-spewing hope nuggets, no matter how hard you clutch at your Polly Pockets pillow, squinch your eyes shut and wish for it.

Via Stephen Green.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:06 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

Man that's rich with fisking material. I'll stick to this though:

...while young people are dying as martyrs...


Does she not know what a martyr is? Or is she saying gun control is a religion?

Posted by: WrittenInSand at February 23, 2008 2:52 PM

I guess its okay for you to fawn over Reagan with quasi-masterbatory gleefulness but when folks, many of whom couldnt vote as recently as 40 years ago in our nation's history, get a little fired up over Obama they are unjustified? In the words of Samuel Jackson, "Negro puhleeese".

Posted by: dante at February 23, 2008 3:36 PM

Crank, I would say you are missing the point, but I know you do. And of course, if Obama was on YOUR side (making it sound as though we are enemies, which we are, of course, not), you would wax poetic. I was a young kid when JFK came on the scene, so I remember, since I am a younger brother, but differently, how a single politician can galvanize you. It's a pleasure actually. People are talking about this election, and about ISSUES more than I ever remember. Obama is the same age as Clinton was, but nobody ever talked about Bill this way (of course, I remember his interminable speech at the earlier convention).

He can't walk on water (but I bet he treads fine), but like many, he just might be in the right place at the right time. I don't know, but what is coming out now is just how poorly Hillary Clinton and her staff have financially planned her campaign; and how McCain just might have illegally used his campaign lists as collateral for a loan. Neither is a disaster, especially McCain (to me it's not much of a deal), but if Clinton can't manage a campaign, if elected, she might do almost as badly as Bush. We can't afford two disasters in the oval office in a row right now.

Just remember, when this is all done, whomever wins:
1. It's presumably going to be a senator, which is almost historic.
2. When it's done, our differences are not really all that much. What divides us is not nearly as much as what unites us.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 23, 2008 4:22 PM

Let me first respond to "..almost as badly as Bush. "-I am tired of this BS! Bush has been a very good President. His leadership after 9/11 alone has been outstanding. If not for how he led this country, there would have been many 9/11s! Just because you don't agree with his politics, does not make him a bad President.

Next, let's stop idolizing JFK and RFK. They were not very good people or leaders. They had the no morals whatsoever. Yes, JFK inspired us to go to the moon, but he did not actually do anything but write the checks. The American scientists and engineers actually made it happen. They deserve the credit, not JFK.

Now Obama, he is not talking issues-just platitudes. He has no solutions other than usual liberal tripe. Hillary is worse, that is his only claim to fame.

Posted by: Lee at February 23, 2008 6:34 PM

I don't entirely agree with this post. But I do love the title.

Posted by: Jerry at February 23, 2008 10:50 PM

Darryl, even Clinton didn't get this kind of treatment, but he did inspire all sorts of ridiculous hyperbole of his own...that said, Clinton wasn't as wet behind the ears; he'd been a Governor for 12 years.

dante, don't compare Obama to Reagan. Your ignorance is showing.

Posted by: The Crank at February 23, 2008 11:45 PM

Crank, you're really losing it with Obama -- it's February, and you write daily attack pieces against his wife, against the press, against Che Guavera. It's really weird. And your extreme fear -- that he's gonna kill Johnny the Maverick in November -- is showing.

As for the experience angle, it's a red herring. Your man George was a state level executive, that's true enough, for six years. And before that a long career filled with astonishing failures and substance abuse problems. Obama had been a legislator for 12 years. I think the whole executive vs. legislator distinction is a canard, and even if the difference matters, he's been at it for twice as long as Bush.

And as for the"hyperbole" from the press and public at large, Reagan inspired the same thing. Only difference is that he was a GOPer, so you liked it.

Posted by: Mike at February 24, 2008 8:23 AM

Mike, you should check out liberal blogs like Matt Yglesias or newspapers like the NY Ties, which by your standard are clearly prostrate with terror at John McCain's impending victory ;)

Obama is, at present, a formidable candidate. Then again, he's leading McCain nationally by less than the leads that Kerry had over Bush in mid-February 2000. I happen to think that he can be beat if the focus of the campaign shifts from his godlike healing powers to his actual positions on actual issues. Much unlike Reagan, whose stands on the issues of the day were as well-known as those of about any candidate in memory.

Posted by: The Crank at February 24, 2008 11:27 AM

It's also intriguing that the majority of Crank's posts are devoted to constructing attacks on Obama from whole cloth, as opposed to promoting McCain's virtues.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 24, 2008 11:28 AM

Crank is correct to suggest that Obama is not invulnerable in a general election, but he overstates the Repubs fighting chances. The basic mistake youre making is to assume that the electorate is closer to the Repubs on the issues. They are not, there has been a shift caused by the backlash to Bush. Obama's views on the war, on choice, on health care, on the need for class division healing are all what the public is looking for, at least right now. McCain's punchers chances depend on appealing to whatever national security and racial fears are present in independents, but, even then, he doesnt turn out the base or new voters like Obama. One thing I've yet to see Crank fess up to is the historical dependence of Republicans on subtle and not so subtle appeals to fear and race at the national electoral level. That dog is just not going to hunt this time, odds are. But he's right that McCain can win, just not via the route he's touting, and not with the same chances.

Posted by: frank at February 24, 2008 11:49 AM

Indeed Frank, the voters are closer to the candidate that hangs with the Weather Underground's unrepentant domestic terrorists, the candidate that made attempts to void the second amendment in Illinois. Obama talks a great game, he has lead a leftist life. That, not the race baiting Clinton attempted, is what McCain will stress during the campaign. By the way, how does his populist platform work to heal class division? By the general he'll be playing some of the Edwards music loud and clear.

Posted by: abe at February 24, 2008 3:28 PM

Uh oh. The experience card. How about McCain's experience living in Charles Keating's pants for the better part of a decade and then (literally) getting into the pants of a lobbyist less than a decade later. Quite the guy.

Posted by: jim at February 24, 2008 4:57 PM

1) Reagan had much more experience in governing than either the Dem canidates.

2) Bush 43 has done a damn fine job of keeping the fighting int he correct theater, as far as I'm concerned. Rather there than here. (And if you think it wouldn't happen here again, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn and some ocean fron property in Arizona that's for sale. Just send me..oh, 10% down ....)

3) The adoration of Obama is getting out of hand. His campaign looks more and more like a cult than a political activity. No specifics, no questions, just beliefs in "hope" and "change" whatever the hell that means.

4) The O -man is from Chicago and cut his eye teeth backstabbing a well respected state senator...enough said.

5) Both Obama and Hillary have held positions calling for no real leadership and for a very brief time.

6) Both Obama and Hillary have (when pressed--which isn't often enough) positions so far to the left that isn't funny. And all for the "good of the children."

7) I supose the author of the article believes that if Obama gets elected every crook, thief, gang-banger, etc. will just go home and be good little boys because they will have "hope" in a better tomorrow. Puhleeese!

Posted by: joated at February 24, 2008 6:38 PM

Painting a bullseye on the backs of our troops "over there", so we don't have to "fight them here" is an odd way to "support the troops".

Obama is a Lefty? Do his corporate backers know this? If you really want "change" you're SOL again this year.

Re: The Dems lack of leadership. Funny how the current occupant got a pass on this because the media felt he was the kind of guy you'd want to have a beer with (and the general election was vs. a guy with a long list of accomplishments).
Just that fake "liberal" media, I guess.

joated's point #7:
The crook, thief, gang-banger, Conservative, etc. will not just go home and be good little boys.
Obama is naive if he thinks when he "reaches across the aisle" he's not going to get smacked by a 200 lb. mallet.
"We got your 'hope' right here!"

Posted by: Robert in BA at February 25, 2008 12:50 AM

You can smell the fear through the computer screen.

Posted by: jim at February 25, 2008 1:51 AM

Mike, you should check out liberal blogs like Matt Yglesias or newspapers like the NY Ties

Do I have to? As Bartleby said, "I prefer not to."

Crank, you and I may disagree on most things political, but at least you're entertaining, and you know your sh*t about baseball.

The Times & Yglesias? Uhhhh, not so sure.

Posted by: Mike at February 25, 2008 7:31 AM

Painting a bullseye on the backs of our troops "over there", so we don't have to "fight them here" is an odd way to "support the troops".

You joking, right? You can't actually think an all-volunteer military would rather terrorists be running amok in the States, can you?

Do you people even think about the crap you post? You're testing whole new levels of dumb here.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 25, 2008 10:35 AM

Dante writes, referring to some of Senator Obama's supporters as "...many of whom couldnt vote as recently as 40 years ago in our nation's history..."

to what group of supporters is he referring? Of course, many of those who are so enthusiastic about Senator Obama today weren't even born in 1968 so I guess technically he could be correct on that point and the 26th amendment wasn't certified by President Nixon until 1971 so, yes, 18-20 year olds as a group were mostly voteless in 1968. Meaning, for the most part, anyone 60 or younger today couldn't vote 40 years ago - is that what Dante meant or was there some other group that was unable to vote in 1968 that I'm missing?

Posted by: Maryland Conservatarian at February 25, 2008 11:51 AM

The hysteria reflected in Crank's post seems to be a good barometer of how scared he (and his following of wing-nuts) are of being out of power.

As for comparing Obama to Reagan, agreed. Obama is not drifting into senilty, as his wife consults astrologers to set policy.

Lee, Bush has been a very good President? Have you been in a coma for 7 years? Nearly every sane and educated person looking objectively at his crony capaitalism, foreign policy of torture, rendidtion and war crimes, lies to bully the country into war, etc., finds that "slap on the forehead" laughable.

Posted by: Magrooder at February 25, 2008 1:33 PM

For all the bellyaching on this site and from the Clinton campaign (ironic isnt it?) about the media's supposed fairytale worship/kidgloving of Obama there is a surprising lack of discussion about the way McCain has pulled the wool of the eyes of mainstream journalism. McCain has masterfully cultivated the media into his camp (and yes even the NYT, who endorsed him) primarily by being accesible in a way others havent been, and yet the resulting image....that of an independent thinking, I say it as I see it, principled , above the fray politician absolutely contrary to his actual record. He's a political chameleon who is CONSTANTLY changing his positions on EVERY major issue from Bush's tax cuts, to his own immigration bill, to judicial appointments (Gang of 14 remember that?), to supporting the war to criticizing it to supporting it, to launching his career with daddy-in-law's money to supporting public financing to, yet again, opting out of pf now that it benefits him, etc etc. The "I'm a maverick who stands his ground against special interest talk" sure doesnt hold water in light of Keating 5 or his advocacy for lobbyist friends clients. And yet he is portrayed by MSM as some indepedent thinker who never accedes to political opinion or the pressures of partisan politics. His singular political talent -- and aruably accomplishment -- has been his ability to reorient the public's perception of him in a positive direction IN SPITE of his record, not because of it. Just as Giuliani haters took the mayor to task for overmilking 911, it can be said that McCain relies entirely on his military service and captivity to gloss over an affair or two, a letter or two or thousand, let alone the character implications of his ever shifting votes. I laud the guy for actually going to war when other politicians dodged it, but that doesnt mean he'd be a great president or commander in chief. It's time that the public and media to scrutinize both Obama and McCain with greater thoroughness.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 25, 2008 2:07 PM

Where was the hysteria in this post? The hysteria is in the importance that the media and many on the left are giving president Obama's campaign. The idea that Obama as president is a cure for depression and deliverance from all bad things that happen in this country is simply ridiculous. No one is served by applying simplistic solutions to complex problems.

It's not Obama's fault, but it's certainly creepy, and all of the baseless adulation is certainly something that should give us all pause. The reaction of some on here is telling... this post was criticizing the journalist who wrote this piece, not the candidate himself. Don't you think some of this hyperbole is a little odd?

Posted by: Joel B. at February 25, 2008 2:13 PM

You think an all-volunteer military gives a shit where they fight the enemy?
If they did, wouldn't they pick a location with nice weather year round?
They go where they're told.

BTW, the terrorists were fighting in Iraq (we're told), at the same time as the Madrid and London bombings.
Weird for an enemy that can only fight in one place at a time, don't you think?

Posted by: Robert in BA at February 25, 2008 4:52 PM


I'm certain they'd prefer "anywhere but home" to "home."

And I was under the impression that Madrid and London were located in Spain and the UK, not the United States. It's not the US President's job to protect the British and Spanish from terrorists.

Posted by: Joel B. at February 25, 2008 5:51 PM

I know where Madrid and London are located. My point was that we've been told the enemy can't fight in 2 places at once (fight them there, so we don't have to fight them here).
The enemy CAN fight us here, but they don't have to because we've given them plenty of targets there.

BTW, it's the US President's job to protect the Constitution of the United States.

Posted by: Robert in BA at February 25, 2008 7:18 PM

Brilliant, Robert! The President's only job is to protect the Constitution you say. Maybe he can throw himself upon the glass case containing that document and call it a day.

I think they call the President the Executive in that he must execute the law of the land, including the AUMF for Iraq.

And I guess your stupid position is that our soldiers would rather be here in the States trying to combat terrorists in the shopping malls and office buildings their friends and family frequent. That's world-class leftist idiocy.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 26, 2008 11:27 AM

I don't remember using that word sponge.

BTW, I love this riddle:
Q. What's black and white and red (herring) all over?
A. A debate with a Conservative.

Posted by: Robert in BA at February 26, 2008 3:47 PM
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