If you've not seen it already, I invite you all to go to YouTube and watch the video labelled "Dick Cheney SO." With all the inevitable political jabbering and hype going on in this political season, it's a revelation to see how a simple non-verbal smirk can so eloquently sum up the tone, tenor and tactics of this disgraceful administration.
The video is eerily telling: Cheney cares not a wit about how the people who elected him (twice) feel about his and W's conduct of the war. I'm sure we'd get a similar condescending, amorphous comment from him on the economy too, as if to say: "Let us experts handle it...go back to your little lives."
Now I can't be the only one who feels a lingering outrage and antipathy for this arrogant, wrong-headed man, who has always pulled much of the strings behind the cluelessly resolute W. To be blunt, the sooner Dick retires to his ranch out West with his gun, the better. ("But mind the pedestrians, Richard!")
But enough negativity. On the other side of the spectrum, my 19-year-old daughter went down the day before Easter to register voters for Obama in Pennsylvania. I was duly admiring and impressed.
Even though it's helpful to have Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner throw parties to boost Obama's "cool factor" (not that he much needs it), the real energy and hope of this campaign are found in today's youth, roused from their accustomed torpor to begin taking charge of their futures, before we parents mess it up any further.
It seems they are the ones who most want Obama, the same man who delivered one of the most insightful and eloquent political speeches of our generation...the man who seems to be growing in stature and substance -- before our very eyes -- through his campaign.
Obama is a relatively fresh face on the political field, and even with his youthful, disarming bearing and inspiring oratory, the citizenry are bound to ask the "rational" questions like: "Is he fuzzy on the issues?" or "Can he be an effective Commander-in-Chief?"
I've watched and listened closely, and I don't catch any fuzziness or waffling that would make me doubt either his direction or his resolve. And looking back, I also note that numerous presidents have come out of nowhere in terms of visibility and done pretty well : think Bill Clinton, and further back, Truman.
Yet we keep hearing Hillary play the experience card as if it were an automatic key to the Oval Office. Clearly she is a bright, capable woman with some very good ideas, but as W. and Cheney reflect the present, she embodies the past -- and via her high-profile Senate career, a hefty slice of the bleak here and now as well. This must account for her own arrogance and defensiveness as she's sullied the tone of the Democratic contest.
Nearly 50 years ago, Jack Kennedy was well aware of his own inexperience going into to the Oval Office, and addressed it by scouring the country for the brightest minds in the country to join his team, achieving a pretty impressive line-up overall. He was also not averse to tapping the brains of past Presidents and statesmen like Eisenhower and Acheson.
Clearly Obama is doing the same thing, with folks like former Clinton foreign policy guru Tony Lake firmly in his corner, and accomplished figures like Bill Richardson pledging his support. And it is equally evident that like Kennedy, he is aware that his primary job is to set the tone for the nation, to lead.
Then, in formulating sensible policy that fuels the activism and idealism he creates, above all -- he must listen. And I think most would concede that Obama is a listener.
It's frustrating to have John McCain use this valuable time to advance his own platform, while the divided Dems continue to duke it out. But this makes it only more important that we nominate the person who can best unite the Party and move us on to victory in November. Given where things stand today, I think Obama will unite, and Hillary, divide.
But back to that ever-cuddly Mr. Cheney, to whom we should tip our collective hats. In the short time it took to prepare a response to a probing yet perfectly reasonable question, he crystallized all that's been wrong with this nation's governance over the past seven and a half years, why numerous Americans of all stripes are deserting the Republican Party, and finally, why an increasingly large block of our populace craves fundamental change, specifically in the form of Senator Barack Obama.