Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama Notions

Well, political kiddies, it's time to come out of hiding. We've been so spoiled for so many months, reaching into our candidate bags and pulling out one prize after another. Tuesday is shut-up-and-choose time.

With Johnny Edwards relinquishing his race — striding, not slinking, away, Democrats, progressives and tepid allies can no longer hide. Just in time to play counterpoint to the Super Bowl clich├ęs, the next phase of the campaign will be brought to you by the word electability.

Picky Picky

Message One: We (on the side of reason, angels or however you define leftist virtue) must absolutely avoid the biggest right-wing boner. We can't toss a candidate on a single issue or even two.

If I did that, Obama, Edwards and Clinton would be off my list. None favors marriage equality and all are jive on GLBT rights. Talk. Talk. Talk. No guts.

On the GOP and other self-identified conservative sides, many voters tell pollsters that they scratch McCain for his immigration stance. Others with even a shred of humanity won't tolerate someone who votes for torture or spying on citizens. I hope they keep that attitude and stay home on November 4th.

We can't do that on our side.

Neither Obama nor Clinton is left enough for me. Neither advances sufficient policy and plans for my agenda. Neither is going to get there in the next nine months. Still, I'll actively support whichever gets the nomination.

Off the Starting Block!

Message Two: Take your fingers out of your ears. You have less than a week to settle on Clinton or Obama for the short-term goal.

Even if you can't tolerate Clinton's pro-war voting and divisive politicking, read and listen to enough to pick one of these candidates. I recommend:
  • Holy Coast's Electable Card post to make you consider how you come down on Clinton's chances
  • Slam on Obama for having the weakest solution to the mortgage crisis
  • Sharp stab at Clinton, making her the 1860 election's William Seward to Obama's Abraham Lincoln
  • Tom Hayden's (oo, flashback) endorsement of Obama, comparing the two candidates and concluding, "It is better to fail at the quest for greatness than to accept our planet's future as only a reliving of the past."
  • Bob Cesca challenges progressive bloggers to stop quibbling and choose. He ends up leaning toward Obama and calling this "a choice between a once-in-a-generation, transformational candidate who's running parallel to our collective desire to remake the party, and, on the other side, a candidate who represents a species of Democrat that we've traditionally rejected." See if you agree with his analysis.
Moreover, check out Ryan's last several takes on the race. On our Left Ahead! weekly podcasts, he has repeatedly come down on Obama for calling for bipartisanship in contrast to the successful GOP modus operandi of scorched earth politics. At the least, try is post-Edwards lament.

In that same vein, Gary Younge wants to go for Obama, but fears accommodation. He writes:
The terrible truth about the past seven years is not that the country has been divided but that the wrong side has been winning. The right has fought for its agenda and has never been in doubt about who its enemy is...Candidates can talk about "transcending" race, gender, region and party all they like. But before we can talk sensibly about transcending difference, we must first transform the conditions that give these differences meaning.
He'll have his final struggle this week too. Make your choice now.

Hill Yes/Hill No

Maybe it's my nature or perhaps it's the decade I lived in Manhattan, but I don't find Clinton's persona grating or threatening. I have lots of problems with various of her positions. I don't understand the large percentage of voters of various demographics who say they could never, would never go for her.

Of course, that's one consideration and one that Obama finally addressed yesterday. He said she was divisive, with the subtext that she might lose in November.

His larger criticism is that she represents the old Democratic Party way of doing business. That has often failed in Presidential and Congressional elections, and always failed in advancing large progressive issues.

Whether it is McCain or Romney, for us, we have to decide which Dem can beat that clown.

Personally, it looks like Clinton would have a much harder time headed toward November. She's an easier target, with many more vulnerabilities (including her husband's record and behavior) than Obama. She might be able to pull it off.

If she were able to win, what would we have? There's nothing she's advancing and promising that Obama doesn't do better.

His huge issue is what Ryan and Younge stick on — would he be so gentle, would he try so hard to compromise that we are left stagnating? Would his idealistic call for bipartisanship lead the GOP piranhas chomp his proposals?

We surely in a President who will demand the righting of our ship of state. This is not a time for let's just get along. The Republicans have largely destroyed our economy and caused the deaths of thousands of us while neglecting the very human needs at home.

Each of us needs to decide which of the two would be most effective in reversing that.

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1 comment:

Bill Baar said...

McCains the only candidate to have been tortured. It's why his arms hang oddly about him.

Obama's been silent for years about Democrat's complicity with torture and the Chicago PD.

Democrats as a party have made an accomadation with Gen Sanchez who lost his job over Abu Garib.

It's an accomadation McCain would not make.