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Painting the town brown in Washington

In 2008, the White House should change color.

Friends, by the time you read this, we will have selected many new representatives to the not-so-hallowed halls of our U.S. Congress.

Perhaps we have finally come to the nearly posthumous realization that filthy rich old white Southern men may not be the greatest advocates for the young, the struggling and those of us without fat, rosy cheeks shot up with bile, Botox and baseless braggadocio.

It’s time to look toward 2008 and take the next step in attempting to restore the deeply fractured and mold-encrusted veneer of American dignity by electing an American president.

What do I mean by American?

I mean a political acknowledgment of the existence of race, class, gender and privilege living outside of the next class of Yale trust-fund babies.

What could be more American than tossing out the old guard – who had failed us by pricing their own lives over ours – and enabling the cultural plurality of freethinkers to take over government?

I can think of no cosmetically cleaner or more singularly potent way of doing this than by electing an ethnically diverse president.

I hate to use those ill buzzwords, but you get the point. It’s time to put a brotha (or a sista) or one of our tens of millions of funky Latino compadres inside that historically “White” House.

Once that happens, we the people should promptly repaint the White House brown as the first order of business.

But hey – back to the blackboard. How do we get a progressive populist, who also happens to be diverse, and pit them against a Fisher Price “yes” paperweight like current Secretary of State Condi Rice – and have our candidate survive the sound-bite smear-fest that would no doubt ensue with nauseating tax-funded glee?

Short answer: Barack Obama.

He’s that beautiful African-American junior senator from Illinois who delivered that amazing keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and since then trails only Hillary Clinton in the poll-driven hierarchy of his party’s presidential favorites.

Yes, he’s light-skinned and has matinee looks (baby steps, folks), but his middle name is also Hussein, which I think would be a bit of delicious (if not altogether devious) irony if he successfully led the free world.

Problems with Obama? Yes, and they are deeply saddening and disappointing.

After running on a reputation for uncharacteristically fiery antiwar rhetoric for the U.S. Senate in 2004, his hot-veined speech at a rally opposing the invasions two years before was silently removed from his Web site once he was elected and he was quiet on the war in Iraq for his first year in the Senate.

In fact, one of Obama’s first votes as a senator was to confirm Rice as Secretary, despite her leading role in the disgusting sham promoting the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction propaganda.

Of course, once the polls swung against the war, Obama was back in fighting form, which is still better than, uh, supporting the war. (We have to take what we can get.)

As columnist and progressive activist David Sirota points out, Obama is a solid and reliable liberal vote, but he’s no progressive – yet. But he is one of America’s most famous and well-regarded politicians, and he ain’t rich, white, old or Southern, so he’s a good start.

Get lifted, amigos – in 2008, we paint the town brown.

Adri Mehra welcomes comments at [email protected].

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