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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This Election is About Absolution

Here's a brilliant reader comment from Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:

Even at this late date I have yet to see anyone accurately describe what this election is about. Iraq? No. The economy? No. Healthcare? No. Embarrassment, shame and guilt? Yes, yes and yes.

Only a few months after the 2004 election -- the first post-9/11 election, and the first election since the start of the Iraq War -- most Americans knew the truth: the Bush administration had retained power by mercilessly bullying its own citizens and playing the fear card to the nth degree. Maybe you didn't fall for it, maybe I didn't, but enough people.

Nothing like this has happened in anyone's lifetime, Andrew. Nothing. Nixon's resignation wasn't even close. This was wholesale abuse, and of the Constituon no less. Yet because the nation voted for these men, it was also self-abuse.

That's why voters want change: they desperately want to forget.

It's not about payback for Bush -- it's too late for that. This is about choosing someone who will get the blood off our hands. Someone who will make American strong and tall and right again. The press also missed the point that Obama's 'trouble' with Wright, and his subsequent speech ostensibly on race, left him as the only clearly identifiable and credible person of faith in the race, in either party. In effect, the Wright 'scandal' allowed Obama to claim ground that neither McCain nor Clinton will ever be able to take away from him. He is the priest in this election, and we need absolution. He understands faith, and how badly ours has been tested. Forgiveness. Sin. That's what this election is about.

This is a deep wound, and it's going to take time to heal. Which is why voters are looking for a healer. And in political terms that means, first and foremost, a statesman.

I see only one.