McCain, Obama Court Prince L
Like any other member of the bloggerati, I’m of course flattered by all of the attention hype about “Politics 2.0″ and our role in the `08 Presidential smackdown. But I was frankly overwhelmed by this piece reporting that both campaigns believe that an endorsement from this humble blog might be the royal road to victory:
Throughout the long primary season, both campaigns have relied on a corps of loyal bloggers to propagate their messages – harnessing the power of the internet to trumpet their virtues and spread every tidbit of malicious gossip about opponents through cyberspace. With the election just weeks away, and both Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain seeking to capture the theme of change, both campaigns have sought the endorsement of an obscure but unknown blogger known as Prince Lackadasia who writes a “A Little Bit of Change,” a blog that focuses on social justice issues from a Catholic perspective.
“Of course we’d like him to endorse us,” an unnamed McCain operative acknowledged. “I mean, the guy’s got the corner on the word “change” in the blogosphere. And really, it’s all about owning the word isn’t it? John McCain has been an outsider maverick senator for 26 years now. If anybody should be seen as the candidate of change, it should be him.”
A representative of the Obama campaign also enthused about the power of the blogosphere and Lackadasia’s potential role. “The power of the Web 2.0 for a political campaign is hard to overestimate,” she said. “I mean there are thousands of new blogs every day drawing in dozens of readers. You look at a guy like Lackadasia, he reaches maybe five, ten people a day. His endorsement would obviously give us a big boost in spreading our message of change.”
So why won’t Lackadasia endorse one or another of the candidates? Not because they are identical:
On just about every issue that matters most to me Barack Obama is clearly preferable. His approach to the economy is much more fair and inclusive, as reflected in tax cuts that would significantly benefit most Americans, not just the wealthiest. His health care policy would provide coverage for 20 – 30 million Americans who currently don’t have coverage, where McCain’s approach would extend it to only about a million more Americans. Obama’s taken a much stronger, clearer and more credible stand against the kind of irresponsible deregulation and financial greed that has brought us to the current fiasco. On foreign policy, he’s much more realistic. He was right about Iraq, and he recognizes that we are going to have to reach out with diplomacy to forge the kind of relationships needed to end it. McCain seems to think military victory and dominance is the only and most important element in our relationship to the world.”
So why not endorse Obama. “Well, apart from the sheer absurdity of it, Obama’s campaign is not even close to embodying the principles of Catholic social teaching that my politics are rooted in. It’s not just that he’s not a perfect social justice candidate, it’s that he’s not a social justice candidate at all. He’s got my vote, and I may even tell people that on my blog, and explain why I think he’s preferable. But there’s no way I can endorse him on the basis of Catholic social teaching.”
Lackadasia acknowledges that he is asking a lot of a presidential candidate. “Maybe the impossible,” he said. “at least for now. Certainly, whoever is elected, we are going to have to work hard at advocacy and lobbying if we want to see the social justice principles we believe in represented in public policy. Faithful citizenship only begins with voting; given the degree that government is captive to the interests of the privileged, it’d be naïve to think that you could really do the work of social justice by the ballot alone.”
So is there a presidential candidate that Lackadasia could endorse? “Well, Kucinich is good, but he of course dropped out when he didn’t even win the Mars primary this year. Everything Nader says about the corruption of our political system is true, but unfortunately that makes voting for him kind of pointless. I guess I’d have to go back to the campaign of the late Utah Phillips. His speech accepting the nomination of the Sloth and Indolence Party back in 2000 pretty much tells it like it is:
Mark Twain said, “Those of you who are inclined to worry have the widest selection in history”… Why complain, try to do something about it… You know, it’s going on nine months now since I decided that I was going to declare that I am a candidate for the presidency of the United States… Oh yes, I’m going to run…
Shopped around for a party… Well, I looked at the Republicans… Decided that talking to a conservative is like talking to your refrigerator… You know, the light goes on, the light goes off; it’s not going to do anything that isn’t built into it… And I’m not going to talk to a conservative anymore than I talk to my damn refrigerator… Working for the Democratic Party now that’s kind of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…
So I created my own party… It’s called the Sloth and Indolence Party… And I’m running as an anarchist candidate in the best sense of that word… I’ve studied the presidency carefully… I have seen that our best presidents were the do-nothing presidents… Millard Fillmore, Warren G. Harding… When you have a president who does things, we are all in serious trouble… If he does anything at all, if he gets up at night to go the bathroom, somehow, mystically, trouble will ensue… I guarantee, that if I am elected, I will take over the White House, hang out, shoot pool, scratch my ass, and not do a damn thing… Which is to say, if you want something done, don’t come to me to do it for you; you got to get together and figure out how to do it yourselves… Is that a deal?
(Quote courtesy Over a Candle)
© 2008, Lackadasia News Service.