I’ve had this in my head for a while, since I started getting nasty emails about this post. And I’ve been trying to write down my rationale coherently, and giving up. But now other people are talking about it, so let me try to say this in as non-condescending a way (to either side) as possible…
Obama strikes me as the kind of man who’s never had any real friends. Real friends. Where you sit up until 4am laughing about old times and bad dates and embarrassing memories, and telling goofy or overly-complicated jokes, and trying to go home but getting caught up in one last thing, and just maybe drinking too much. And then you laugh about that night, years later.
We never see pictures of him subtitled “Barack Obama laughs with his lifelong friend, Joe Schmoe.”
(And, correlatively, that’s why he thinks this is funny. Because he doesn’t have any frame of reference.)
And I don’t mean that as negative against him. He spent his childhood abroad, moved around a lot, and he’s pretty nerdy. It’s hard to make real, lasting friendships when you live like that. I can tell you from experience. And it’s lonely.
So he accepted the “friendship” of people who used him, and he ended up with jerks and losers and thugs as his entourage. There are times in your life when that’s better than being alone, trust me. But you do outgrow it, when you find a real friend.
I’m not making excuses for him. He could have ignored his ambitions, and made friends with other hilarious and awesome nerdy people. Ahem. People with no ulterior motives.
But I don’t think that his bad judgment necessarily makes him a bad person.
He clearly adores and respects his wife, and worships his kids. He’s obviously a workaholic, which, as an objectivist, gives him a point or two from me. And I believe that he loves this country — the people, if not the recent administration(s) — even though he has a patently retarded way of showing it. And, you know, he isn’t as in touch with his sappy, doofus side as I am, about it.
Yes, he’s apparently at least a theoretical socialist. And you will never see me defending higher taxes or rewarding suckers of the welfare teat with the benefits of my hard work. Ever.
But painfully naive ideals do not preclude being a good man.
My grandfather was a socialist, and he was a very, very good man.
I could easily be proven wrong in January, and I’ll have no hesitation in admitting it, if that happens. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least until he gives me good reason to take it away. Because that’s who I am.
In the meantime, if you’re one of those praying types, please send one out that he finds a real friend in someone sensible like Petraeus.
That’s probably too much to ask, actually. Let’s go with Lieberman.