Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama selects Joe Biden

Barack Obama has made his VP pick, and it’s Joe Biden. This was a mild surprise for me. It’s not a total surprise, as Biden had been mentioned as a possible pick for at least the past week or so. However, I was expecting Obama to go with a pick that would continue his historic candidacy by selecting someone other than another white dude. Bill Richardson was my choice, as he’s Hispanic. The African American/Hispanic ticket has “historical” written all over it, and the media would be more than giddy covering it.

Or Obama could have gone with one of the women that was being considered. Other than Hillary Clinton, that is. I felt that for Obama to have nominated Hill would be to strike a Faustian bargain; and he would be getting two demons for the price of one – and they’re married to each other, to boot! From the sound of it, Hill wasn’t even in the radar. I think Obama saved him a world of trouble avoiding Hill.

Which brings us to Joe Biden. He’s not a bad choice – I just feel that Biden was too safe a pick. No guts, no glory, as they say. According to at least a couple of articles, Obama picked Biden partially because he hopes to court the Catholic vote. Now, there are still some Catholics who won’t vote any other way than Democrat – even though the Democrats support views that are inconsistent with Catholic views. This blind loyalty is very depressing, as it means that the Dems won’t be motivated to change their ways if they know that they can count on enough Catholics to vote for them.

I stated before on my blog that I want the Dems to change back to the party they once were – the one of FDR and JFK. For one brief second, I thought that Obama might be that person – until I saw his voting record. The change Obama wants is not change at all, but rather, the same – as in “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. The selection of Biden is one example of things “staying the same”.

For me to have believed Obama’s promises of change, he would have selected a prolife running mate. But I knew beforehand that it wasn’t going to be the case, as he has one of the most solid prochoice voting records in Congress; including having voted against the “Born Alive” bill, which would have protected the unborn that were in the process of being aborted who managed to be born anyway.

In truth, Obama selecting a prolife running mate would have been truly startling. It would have meant that he was that serious about wanting change, as such a selection would have been a great example of “reaching across the aisle” to help foster the very change that he had been speaking of in his campaign so far. Alas, it was not the case, as Obama only reached out for someone on his side of the aisle – no change, none at all. Same-o same-o.

If John McCain ends up selecting a prochoice candidate, then that will be it for me. I’ll be voting third party. He can’t claim to believe that life begins at conception and then turn around and select a prochoice running mate. It would make him a hypocrite. I’ve never been comfortable voting for the GOP, and they’ve largely given lip service to the prolife cause anyway. For McCain to select a prochoice running mate would prove that the GOP had been leading us all along.

I’ve been asked before why the prolife issue is so critical anyway that I make it a “make-or-break” when it comes to candidates. The reason is this: We can’t enjoy all our other rights unless we are born. Sure, some of us are not born in ideal circumstances. So what? To decide to abort just because someone isn’t born in “ideal circumstances” is a specious argument. What are “ideal circumstances” anyway? Let me relate my own origins, and perhaps we can get a better idea of “ideal circumstances.”

I was born to a single teenage mom living in poverty. Would you call that ideal? Not only that, I was the SECOND son born to that mother. If anyone could have been aborted, it would have been me. And yet, with a lot of help, my mom raised us, and those boys went on to not only finish high school, they also both went on to finish college. One even went on to get a Master’s degree (namely, me).

I am living proof that the circumstances at birth do not have to be a guarantee that this will always be how that child will live. My brother has a high-paying job and is married happily to a wonderful woman, and they have three beautiful children – three children that may not have ever existed as the gleam in their grandmother’s eye had she given in to her fear years ago (and she admitted to me years later that she often cried herself to sleep worrying whether she was doing a good enough job as a parent) and aborted my brother.

Our circumstances could have held us back, but they did not. Instead, they made us stronger, and they made HER stronger. She herself won’t tell you that she did it alone – she’ll say that she had a lot of help. My brother and I grew up in an extended family, and while we were poor, we never knew it until years later.

It’s this kind of environment that I believe espouses the true “old school” spirit of the Democratic Party – not its current manifestation of fearing the future and thus aborting it – both literally and metaphorically. Long ago, FDR said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That’s what Obama should have considered when selecting his running mate, and that’s the opportunity that he passed on to instead grab hold of the very fear that FDR had warned us about. This to me demonstrates that it’s not the same Democratic Party that I grew up with, and thus, it’s why I can’t vote Democrat anymore.


blackink said...

"Alas, it was not the case, as Obama only reached out for someone on his side of the aisle – no change, none at all. Same-o same-o."

You know, J.P., I think you know that you're being disingenuous by suggesting that Obama should pick an anti-abortion rights activist rather than a pro-choice candidate. What's more, Biden lines up with Obama on a number of other issues, thus making him a reasonable selection.

Picking a candidate solely on the basis of one issue - and one that you don't agree on at that - would have been the height of foolishness for Obama and the Democrats, especially in a year with the women's vote (as you might imagine, they have a serious interest in any law regarding their own reproductive rights) up for grabs.

When Obama talks of change, I think he refers to bringing change to a White House that in the past eight years has abused its authority of the executive branch, driven us into a tremendous deficit after years of surplus, lowered the U.S.'s standing around the world, turned the Justice Dept. into a political arm used to go after enemies, plunged us into a massively unpopular war and on and on.

I imagine that you'll argue that abortion supercedes all of the above as issues of importance. And you're free to believe that. But don't expect other Democrats to feel the same way.

John P. Araujo said...

I fully understand why Obama went with the pick that he did. I had no illusions whatsoever that he might pick an anti-abortion running mate. You had mentioned the women's vote. Undoubtedly, Hillary Clinton's supporters are probably still not happy (and that's probably putting it lightly) over how things turned out for Hillary, so Obama couldn't exactly pick an anti-abortion candidate without virtually assuring a death knell for his candidacy, because to do such a thing would have been seen by them as rubbing salt in the wound. I understand the new dynamic or paradigm in the Democratic Party - I just don't like it. But despite having disagreements with some of my views, you still replied to this particular blog entry. A lesser man would have simply ignored the entry and stopped reading my blog altogether - but not you. To me, that shows the kind of man you are - the kind that doesn't let disagreements stop him from discussing the issues. And for that, amigo, you have my gratitude. :-)