Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good Judgment and Gut Feelings


In 2003, I and a minority of Americans had a strong gut feeling against the war in Iraq, at a time when the vast majority of the country was cheering it on, and most TV journalists were going ga-ga over wearing American flag pins. You weren't considered a Patriot, or a good reporter, if you remained more objective, like the late Peter Jennings and ABC News reporters, who didn't wear pins, opting instead to report news.

Remember all those splashy and subtly pro-war "Operation Iraqi Freedom" cable news graphics (MSNBC and CNN joined the party just as eagerly as Fox News Channel) that pretty much presupposed that 1) the war was just, 2) the war was necessary and 3) the war was actually about freedom? At times Dan Rather and the supposedly liberal CBS News operation were among the worst offenders and, in my opinion, biggest cheerleaders.

Many of us in the anti-war camp were not fooled -- nor were we shocked and awed -- by snazzy graphics or Republican sophistry -- including Colin Powell's U.N. testimony regarding weapons of mass destruction.


In 2007, I have another strong gut feeling regarding the presidential election. Any of the Democratic candidates will be an improvement over Bush, and I think that just about any of the Republican candidates would be an improvement over Bush, too.

But there's one candidate that gives me a strong gut feeling. That this candidate is the right person, at the right time, with the right message.

I'm voting for Barack Obama, and I'm not changing my mind.

Obama also had a strong gut feeling against the War in Iraq way back when, and unlike other leading Democratic candidates he was a vocal opponent of it as an Illinois state senator. (Remember, at this time he was a man with higher ambitions, such as the job in the U.S. Senate, so taking such a stand was not motivated by political polling, just inner conviction.)

How can you describe such opposition, this public disapproval of a popular war from a politician with goals beyond being just a state senator?

It's called "terrible politics" if the year is 2003, but "good judgment" in any other year.

God Bless America. Vote Obama.

TODAY'S MUST READ: Frank Rich's Obama column in the New York Times.

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