Posted tagged ‘partisan’

Infuriating, or maybe just saddening

August 9, 2008

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/08/perspective-on-mazen-asbahi.html

I’m increasingly disappointed by Obama. It’s not that he’s a bad candidate. I (along with many others) projected unrealistic hopes onto him. As the recent New Yorker profile drove home, he above all is a savvy politician. I think we’re headed for a presidency of idealistic speeches but compromises that, well, compromise those ideals. I’m not against compromises with the right over policy differences (such as the current energy bill be floated around) but I’m incredibly disappointed that the Obama campaign immediately folded on this point (depending on your viewpoint, maybe that should read “had to fold.”) Spare yourself the high risk of bleeding eyeballs that reading the comments about Rany’s letter–I’ll paraphrase:

DEMOCRAT: Obama had two choices: fight the good fight and lose the election or fold the hand and win big. This is the way our elections/campaigns/government/society is: best to deal with it. Obama’s running a smart campaign. Once elected, he’ll do Great Things for the Left. Anyone who thinks Obama can take on the problems with the media/electorate/system AND win in November is a deluded fool.

LIBERAL: Obama’s turned out to be just another pol. He’s selling out his principles (or, at least, the principles we wish/expect him to have.) This is a shameful act on the campaign’s part.

RIGHT WING MOUTH-BREATHER: Obama’s a Muslim. All muslims are terrorists. Thus, Obama’s a terrorist. Or, my favorite: Obama’s a flip-flopper who’ll cave on any issue to get elected. Which would be true, is only you replace the word “Obama” with McCain.

Personally, I fall between the first two positions (and piss all over the third). Actually, it would be more appropriate to say I’m torn between the two: my head’s with the Democrat, my heart’s with the liberal. Part of why I got excited by Obama’s campaign is that I thought he wasn’t a typical politician–and the speech of Race shows that he stands at least a little bit out from the pack–so the continual proof to the contrary is supremely disillusioning. What I want, more so than a progressive politician to win, is for someone to defy the system and win. Is President Bartlet really too much to ask for?

Seriously, I see the realists’ point but I’m not willing to concede that fighting back against these ridiculous smears is a bad move. Didn’t Kerry prove that not pushing back is even worse? I expected Obama to respond strongly to this kind of shit. It has to be at least possible to make a principled stand and have your words and actions rise above the racists’ moronic shouting, especially when you have a gifted orator like Obama in your arsenal. Seize the moral high ground AND FUCKING STAY THERE.

The whole “courting the moderate vote” concept that drives this type of decision is nauseating. I myself am in some ways a centrist, though 8 years of Bush have certainly pushed me farther to the left than ever before. But I want to see an Independent seize that middle ground and break the fucked up partisan politics we currently tolerate, not watch two guys whose recent voting patterns show them to be near the extremes of the spectrum suddenly abandon their ideals and run out the bread and circuses act.

John, Pat, Heather, whoever else actually reads this thing, I’d like to know your opinions on any of this.

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