Well, history has been made. Barack Obama is the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. This is a historic moment. Why? Because we are now officially halfway to having a presidential contest between the most undistinguished pair of candidates in U.S. history. The Democratic Party has shown the world why the ass is their symbol by putting forward their most inappropriate candidate since Franklin Pierce (1852).
The world has already seen that Obama is neither particularly nice, nor particularly bright. What the world cannot possibly know is what Obama will do in office if he wins the election. Why? Because, as a freshman senator with a scant record of public service, the only thing we know he can do is campaign. Whether he can lead the country - and whither he will try to lead it - are wrapped up in a big, shiny, surprise package marked "Don't Open Until 1/20/09." Perhaps the most merciful outcome would be that, like Jimmy Carter, he sweeps into office on a tide of shiny promises and national goodwill, then proves stubbornly idealistic, arrogant, uncompromising, incapable of making deals with either party; and finally fades away, four years later, having done little active damage and (with the blessing) not too much of the inactive kind.
In another week or so, when the Republicans inevitably nominate John McCain, the set piece will be completely arranged. Or rather, deranged. A John McCain victory would be only slightly better for our country than if the city of Washington suddenly sank to the bottom of the Potomac River. My 12th-grade poli-sci teacher's quip about a plane called "Air Head One," though never funny, will no longer be a joke. How Republicans can nominate a candidate with so little party loyalty is beyond me; how the country could select a man of such limited intellect, principle, and charisma - well, all I can say is, "Please bring back 2000 and Bush vs. Gore!" That didn't seem like much of a choice (it still doesn't), but at least we can hate those guys with all the good will in the world. But how are we supposed to choose between this year's nominees? They don't even got what Bush and Gore had.
Can anyone imagine a crummier choice? Not I. I believe the country's best chance in 2008 is to stir up enthusiasm for a non-partisan write-in candidate. I hate to say it, but the only one who probably has a chance is Hillary. Yes, she's scary. Yes, she's entitled. Yes, she's a leftie. But she's already spent 8 years sleeping in the Presidential Suite (including the 6 years Bill spent sleeping on the Oval Office couch). She knows how many states are in the union, how many stains are under the Oval Office desk, and where all the dead bodies are buried. The country survived 8 years of her; 4 more are merely chilling to contemplate (as opposed to paralyzingly dreadful). We know what kind of crap she'll pull; no surprises there. Know your enemy, I say. Write in Hillary in November, and save our country from having to choose between a Jimmy Carter of color and a postmodern Warren Harding!