Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama still stuck on changing the subject

Obama certainly will get the nomination and I still think it is likely to be a Democrat year. But can you really win the Presidency by insisting that issues that, for whatever reason, people seem to care about are "distractions" and "divisive."

The notion that Obama offers some kind of "new politics" or post-ideological reconciliation of the our past divisions has always struck me as fancy silliness. You can believe it only if you regard all attacks on the consensus of left-liberals as divisive. If you can dismiss being "overly" concerned with the war on terror or the cost in lives of a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, then Obama (who has, essentially, nothing to say about either)appears to be talking about the right things. If your economics tells you that the answer to America's economic slowdown is to reduce the return to work and investment, close the border to trade while effectively leaving it open to an influx of low-wage workers and making an uncompetitive health care market even less competitive, then the other side will look like plutocrats. If you are relatively unconcerned about the integrity of marriage as something privileged over other lifestyle choices or about the threats to the sanctity of life posed by abortion and biotechnology, then those that feel otherwise are mired in resentment and fear of the other. Knock yourself out.

But, if there are (and there do seem to be)many people who believe otherwise - so many, in fact, that they have managed to win seven of the past ten presidential elections - then how does it work to dismiss their concerns as irrelevant? Won't that come off as arrogant and condescending?

If that's what Hillary's continued vitality demonstrates, then the large numbers of Clinton supporters who are telling exit pollers that they will not vote for Obama in November are more significant than they seem to be. Sure, the Democrats will come together, but the independents may not follow. It may be Obama's election to lose, but if he's to avoid that, he may be tasked with changing the narrative of his life and recasting much of what he has done in public life. He may need to learn that he doesn't get to say what others ought to care about.


Anonymous said...

who has, essentially, nothing to say about either

As opposed to Sen. Bret Maverick's finely honed strategic vision.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor, (a die-hard democrat and friend)stopped over yesterday and told me that he never thought he would vote for a woman for President but that he would if Hillary is on the ballot. He made it perfectly clear that he will not vote for Obama because Obama doesn't stand for anything that he supports.

I told him that I'm blessed with a wife that doesn't nag and that I don't want to see one on the news every night and we laughed. I told my wife the same thing and she said that it's bad enough that we have to listen to Pelosi.

You may think that it's a demo year, but there appears to be alot of disappointment at the grass root level of democrats with what is going on in their party. Many democrats are not lefties.

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