The one about the politicians[Note: This is about politicians, not politics. If you have an opinion about a particular issue or favor a particular party, that's great, but I don't care.]
Recently, ikeMay wrote about his prediction for the 2008 Presidential race and got me thinking about it, something which I didn't really want to do. So now I'm spreading the misery by continuing the conversation.
While I respect ikeMay's opinion, and I have some respect for Sen. Obama (a qualified some because I haven't seen him do anything yet) I don't believe it's in his or the country's best interest to run for President. Setting aside his race and his name, both of which, let's face reality, many people are going to have a hard time with, Obama doesn't have enough experience in foreign affairs and diplomacy. That's clearly not a prerequisite for the job, as other less qualified persons have held the job (with varying degrees of success, but that's not the issue). However, I don't think this country should base it's future leaders on the precidents set by former Presidents, especially when it comes to LACK of qualifications.
No, I think the Democrats have a better shot with a more seasoned politician in someone like Sen. Joe Biden or Sen. Tom Daschle. Of the Democrats identified by Wikipedia.org (admittedly, not the perfect source) as potential 2008 candidates, those are the only two that have both the name recognition and charisma to make a serious go at it. Not that I have any qualifications or expertise in handicapping political races, but I just don't see anyone else able to go all the way. Sen. Chris Dodd has announced his candidacy, but (as I see it) his record of being divisive makes him far too negative. Gen. Wesley Clark is sharp as a tack and dead-on-balls accurate in his assessments of overseas military involvements, but his lack of qualifications at home on domestic issues makes him difficult to support for other members of the Democratic party. Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Gore, Hart, Kucinich -- these men (kidding, and woman) all have tainted pasts or low TV-Q with which I think the majority of the electorate will have trouble and the Republicans will exploit. But when I said before that I didn't think Obama was qualified for the TOP job, that doesn't mean I think he couldn't ride shotgun. I think a Biden - Obama campaign, while functionally weakening Congress should they win, would be a very strong ticket and sets-up Obama with some world-stage experience for the future.
But the problem with politicians is that they too often do what they see as in their own best interests, and I truly believe that. Does anyone convicted or under investigation for taking bribes (and other influence peddling) seriously expect me to believe that they're doing so in the name of good? Thus, I don't think any of the above persons would ever intentionally take second-chair, even if it makes a better ticket/Executive for the country as a whole.
The other thing politicians aren't good at, although this one I agree with, is admitting when they are wrong. One of the things the current administration is most criticized for is refuising to admit a failed policy. But let me make an argument IN FAVOR of refusing to admit failure: They're our leaders. The best example I can think of is the scene in the movie U-571 when the senior officer is criticized by the senior enlistedman for admitting he doesn't know what to do: "You're the skipper now. And the skipper always knows what to do whether he does or not."
This is where I'd make a lousy politician, because I have no problem admitting when I don't know the answer or when I'm wrong. (Fortunately it rarely happens. But still.) If I were a representative of the people, I wouldn't necessarily vote the way I think on an issue. I'd vote based on the way the majority of the people I represent think and I could be completely independent of either party. America is split pretty evenly down the middle in terms of conservative v. liberal right now, so why must politicians always choose one side or the other? I've heard politicians criticized for listening too much to polls. That is among the stupidest things I've ever heard. A politician cares what his constituents think and that's a BAD thing?
Ahh, forget it. I want no part in politics.