Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Honey, it's Joe Biden"

Saturday morning. 7 a.m.
The familiar voice of Scott Simons' Weekend Edition wakes us up.

"JOE BIDEN."

I'm brushing my teeth when I hear it. David is still in bed. I come out and before I can say it, he does: "Honey, it's Joe Biden."

Both of us had been pulling for a surprise announcement of Hillary Clinton as his running mate, so we're both initially a bit disappointed. How EXCITING a Hillary VP nomination would have been! Wow! But Joe Biden? He's been around so long, part of the Washingon establishment. I thought Obama was trying to change Washington. Guess he thinks he needs a long-time insider to do that.

Knowing she'll still be asleep in her dorm room, I text Lovely Passionate Feminist, who left me a message last night to let her know when we heard something. Two word text message:

J-o-e B-i-d-e-n

Two hours later she texts me back:

W-h-y-?

Apparently she shares our initial ho-hum response.

But as the day has gone on and we've heard more about Biden's strengths, and heard him and Obama speak in Springfield Illinois, I'm getting a little better feeling about it...

The guy does have a wicked wit. That'll help. People love that...

His experience in foreign policy matters will help...

He wrote the legislation helping victims of domestic violence. I didn't know that, and I like it. A lot....

He only owns ONE HOUSE...

He can be a good attack dog for Obama when the Republicans get nasty. Apparently you have to have that to win these days...

My heart is sick of, and exhausted from eight years of the worst administration I have ever known. Under this administration America is now known as a nation that tortures human beings. TORTURES them. TORTURES THEM!! For eight long years I have been heart-sick about it. And I do not think that under Republican McCain that kind of mentality, down in the ranks, will change. There must be a no-tolerance-policy to really get it stopped, and those in the military who approve of such horror will assume another Republican administration will again give them a green light. Or at least a wink and a nod.

I heard an interesting interview this morning on Speaking of Faith. Krista Tippett was interviewing Rick and Kay Warren (of Saddleback Church in Southern California) who were talking about the need to restore civility to our public discourse. And they spoke about the need for Christians to be concerned with both family issues and issues of poverty and econimics--it's not an either/or for Evangelicals anymore, at least among the younger generation. Apparently Kay Warren had a Damascus experience a few years ago in which she 'saw the light' about HIV-AIDS in Africa. They spoke about how that horrible disease, and poverty, and corruption, and prostitution, and trafficking in women and children is all tied together.

The Warrens had a huge conference on HIV AIDS at their church a couple of years ago, and Obama was one of the speakers. That impressed me. I'm glad they have given him a forum.

One of my spiritual directees watched Rick Warren interview Obama and McCain last week. I didn't see it, but she told me that it wasn't good for Obama. People tended to applaud McCain a lot more, she said. Her belief is that Obama is so thoughtful, so nuanced in his thinking, that it could cost him the race.

Oh, please NO. Obama must win. We need, the world needs someone in the White House who has a basic respect for human life and is not so arrogant to think that America can do whatever it damn well pleases. Oh, please NO. Obama must win. We need someone in the White House with an ability to think through difficult issues and will ask to hear and then will actually consider the opinion of those who disagree with him. Oh, please NO. Joe Biden, p l e a s e, be the right candidate for this ticket.

Honestly, I was so depressed in 2004. If Obama doesn't win this thing I really might have to get serious about moving to Canada. No joke.

6 comments:

mompriest said...

I am less than thrilled with the choice too...but I can live with it. He was an awesome speaker today...

regarding the interview. I did watch it. I thought Warren asked good questions (better than I anticipated having read, The Purpose Driven Life)...Obama was fabulous - he gave very thoughtful complex answers to those difficult questions, McCain was simplistic.

The fact that the audience applauded McCain more speaks to who that audience was - Saddleback congregants raised on simplistic theology...conservative evangelicals who would understand McCain and not understand the depth of response that Obama gave

For example: on the issue of abortion and when life begins - Obama refused to say when HE thinks life begins instead he said, (I'm paraphrasing) "If you think that life begins at conception and I don't then we have nothing to discuss. But the issue of abortion is more complex than that...we need to find a middle road with this issue - one that keeps abortion legal AND reduces the need for abortion by offering appropriate education, availability, and use of birth control." He said a lot more, but that's what I remember....

McCain simply said, "At conception." No ability to understand or explain the complexity of the issue and what would happen if abortion were made illegal again - all the women who would seek illegal ones and die...

Obama was right on with the need for a middle road. The only thing he could have added to his response was, "ANd we need to teach both men and women, boys and girls, appropriate sexual responsibility." It cannot remain the sole or primary responsiblity of women/girls...

Well. That's a long answer to only part of your post...but I don't think Obama hurt himself and I think Biden will be an asset...

And I'm hoping that Hillary Clinton gets a great cabinet position that affords her some real authority and an opportunity to make a difference....OK, now my post is even longer...sorry...

Jan said...

I'm hoping still. . . .

mompriest said...

Ok, I'll add yet another thought...my husband heard an interview on NPR, I think it was on the Diane Reams (sp) show...the person being interviewed thought that Obama really hurt himself simply by participating in this interview process BECAUSE it was in a church and not secular enough, not a civic forum...and it seems that the person being interviewed missed the best aspects of Obama's response because this person did not understand the theological language...even as simply as Obama used it...sigh...

I really do believe that we need a plurality of religious voices in the political and public sphere so that people can re-learn theological language and how well it addresses who we are and where we are...

alright...monologue finished...(for now)

Gannet Girl said...

If it comes to that, you and my father will probabhy be neighbors in Canada.

Diane said...

Check out David Brooks' column on Saturday morning. He didn't know that Obama had picked Joe Biden, and wrote a column, "It should have been Joe." I think he meant it to be a slam, but it turned out that Obama chose the man he recommended.

Also, I think Obama made a huge mistake in his Saddleback debate. I think Rick Warren himself tilted toward McCain, and he has never gone on record as repealing his comments/beliefs that the abortion issues is non-negotiable for Christians. In other words, he believes that Christians, whatever they believe about other issues, such as poverty, war and the environment, must NEVER vote for a pro-choice president.

I can't read Rick Warren's heart, and I desperately want to believe the best about him, because I believe that is the best for the Church, but I don't know...

mompriest said...

Diane, i agree with you regarding where Warren's heart is... he has had Obama to his church before, with all the best intentions, to discuss AIDS cure, prevention, and medication, which Saddleback is very invovled with - but Warren got a lot of flack from his congregation for having Obama - because Obama is prochoice....and, yes, I do think despite the fact that he had Obama on before, Warren is indeed tilted toward McCain - McCain and Warren speak the same simplistic language....

That said, Gosh, I really hope people are able to see the conversation for what it was...I know one of my blogger colleagues, who was on the fence, was persuaded toward Obama from that presentation...sigh...

But of course, we all know that I am a bit of a pollyanna...always hopeful about the best in people...sigh....