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Archive for August 5th, 2008

In a year when the fundamentals favor the Democrats so strongly — a slowing economy, eight years of Bush misrule, gas prices, housing crisis, Iraq, you name it — why is Obama still essentially tied with McCain according to all opinion polls?

Alex Castellanos offers a perceptive explanation. In a piece titled The Molten Core of Barack: Why Obama Can’t Win, he writes,

Despite the McCain campaign’s effectiveness, however, the best campaign against Barack Obama is not being run by his opponent, but by Barack Obama. It is Obama’s campaign that presents their candidate as an ever-changing work-in-progress. It is his own campaign that occludes our ability to know this man, depicting him as authentic as a pair of designer jeans.

To earn the Democratic nomination, as Fred Thompson points out, Obama ran as George McGovern without the experience, a left-of-center politician […] In his general election TV ad debut, however, Obama pirouetted like Baryshnikov. The shift in his political personae has been startling. Obama has moved right so far and so fast, he could end up McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick. […]

And as he abandons his old identity for the new, breeding disenchantment among his formerly passionate left-of-center supporters and, equally, doubts among the center he courts, he risks becoming nothing at all, a candidate who is everything and nothing in the same moment. […]

Dreams from My Father is a staggeringly beautiful book, lyrical, powerful and poetic. It is also the story of a man who has been many men, all named Barack Obama. […]

At each place and stage, as Barack Obama chronicles the chapters of his life, he tells us how he has re-invented himself, becoming the role he inhabits, though not falsely or in-authentically, like Bill Clinton. He actually seems to transform himself, becoming what must be next. He has been called distant, aloof and somewhat unapproachable, perhaps because we cannot approach what he does not have, a solid core. His soul seems to be molten and made up of dreams, which is at once breathtakingly inspiring and forbiddingly indeterminate. […]

This is the trap Barack Obama has made for himself, the one he cannot escape, the one Hillary Clinton foresaw, the one that may doom him.

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In a remarkable case, a Russian judge threw out a sexual harassment lawsuit on the grounds that employers were obliged to make passes at female staff to ensure the survival of the human race.

From the Telegraph report:

[The unnamed employee] alleged she had been locked out of her office after she refused to have intimate relations with her 47-year-old boss.

“He always demanded that female workers signalled to him with their eyes that they desperately wanted to be laid on the boardroom table as soon as he gave the word,” she earlier told the court. “I didn’t realise at first that he wasn’t speaking metaphorically.”

The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally.

“If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children,” the judge ruled.

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