Friday, January 18, 2008

Obama Needs to Get Smart

If Obama wants people to stop calling him a closet conservative, he's got to stop saying stuff like this:
"The Republican approach I think has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10 or 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies, when they're being debated among the presidential candidates, it's all tax cuts. Well, we've done that, we've tried it."
(sigh) And this the day after I defend his seemingly neutral Reagan comments.

Taken altogether, it's clear he's saying in the above statement that the Republicans had their shot to try out their crazy ideas for 10-15 years, and their ideas all failed, so now let's give the Democrats a turn. Which is hard to argue with. And he's careful not to characterize the ideas because he doesn't want to offend anyone old enough to vote. But to say that Republicans have been the "party of ideas" is to imply that the Democrats haven't had ideas during that same time, which is patently false. I think Obama's looking ahead to the general election, knowing he's going to have to defend a pretty liberal voting record and trying to soften it with some non-offensive statements about Republicans and Republican icons (i.e. Reagan), but this doesn't make good political sense. He's got to win the nomination first, and anything that even smacks of admiration for Republicans is death in a close primary fight. Hillary and Edwards have been beating him over the head with his recent spate of lofty, almost disinterested-sounding statements and, leaving aside for a moment whether the statements are true or not, it's just not good politics. It's dumb politics and he's got to be smarter to win this thing.

Of course, Hillary mischaracterizes what he said, saying, incorrectly, that Obama said Republicans had "better" ideas, which he did not say, but one can hardly blame her for taking the club Obama gives her and beating him over the head with it. She's trying to win too.

The Obama campaign responds to Hillary's response, some might say lamely, here.

Also: further developments on the Ron Paul newsletter story. Apparently, Ron Paul was close to naming who he believed was responsible for writing some of the more unsavory items in those newsletters, but opted not to. Even if it becomes clear that Paul was responsible for writing exactly none of those racist articles, I think he needs to come out and explain why he let those newsletters go out under his name for decades and decades without a lawsuit, or even a word of protest.

And fellow blogger Peter Fedak has seen "Cloverfield." His teaser review is quite brief.


Craig Moorhead said...

My biggest problem with Obama is his short time in office. He's got a hell of an aura, though. He's so super polished and smooth, he just feels lightyears beyond what we have now.

And I'm not sure what Ron Paul could say that would make me feel any better about that situation. Even if he doesn't have a racist or homophobic bone in his body, this still shows that he can't even manage a newsletter without things getting completely out of hand.

He makes the race interesting, but he's not fit to be president.

nathan said...

I really didn't get what was all that terrible in that quote. It didn't seem conservative. If anything it sounded like he was staying the dems have been stale the last few years but what the republican's have done with their chance at things didn't work.

besides, he's dreamy.

Gretchen said...

I'm with hinesy. I didn't see what was all that bad. It kinda seemed like he was just calling his own party out for being the shitty party they've been for so long.

Anonymous said...

I disagree.

Check out Paul Krugman's excellent article against Obama regarding this -

If you read my previous posts - you will see that Obama has more than a nuetral affection for Reagan.

Moreover, here is an excellent piece outlining the utter bankruptcy of the "war on terror".


Anonymous said...

Again, Obama is a marketing ploy - a Trojan horse. Inside - he is a conservative capitalist and will do absolutely nothing to help workers. He believes in the war on terrorism, he is pro-business, and doesn't believe that race or class matters. What planet is he living on?

Hillary Clinton (although much of the same and worse) is the only one that can give the Republicans a run for their money. She has savvy, knows her adversaries and their tricks well, has allies in the cooridors of power and can use them to push through needed legislation. With Hillary, you know what you are getting. She is no Trojan Horse.

Unfortunately, she has the stigma of her husband and a mobilized evangelical base from the right, along with the left and progressives who despise her pro-war hawkishness and pro-business platform.

Hillary will lose the general election because she will not have a true grassroots base behind her.

Moreover, a Moderate Republican (like Romney or McCain) has a VERY good chance of winning the election.


Most Americans accept:

1) The War on Terrorism - want someone with military knowledge and connections to make things happen.

2) Want experience and someone who is bipartisan on legislative matters (Hillary is a polarizing figure).

This is sad - because the Dems who won the 2006 elections in their respective states did not win on an Obama/Hillary DNC (Democratic National Committee) Centrist platform but on a populist/progressive one. The Dems under the leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have squandered every chance to right the wrongs of the Bush Admin...


1) Did not fight to cut funding on Iraq 100% and push for a pull out. We know that Sunni's and Shia's had no problems with each other before the occupation and that the US is dividing and conquering the country for our own advantage.

2) Did not push for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

3) Did not fight harder against Bush on the constitutionality of his "anti-terror legislation" - Military Commissions Act, Violent Radicalization Act, Wiretapping, Animal Enterprise Act, Patriot Act.

Because of this (and we haven't even entered economic or social concerns) the US voters will make the Dems pay for their spinelessness.

Get ready for another Republican Admin.

And pray that Huckabee doesn't get the nomination. This will be worse as he is a populist type figure.