Alarming News

April 27, 2007

The man behind the myth

“When I talk to conservatives who are dismissive of Obama, I am reminded of that Bob Dylan line: Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is.”-Philip Klein

“In the following confrontation, where Obama expressed a sort of generic Albrightian foreign policy, I saw a flash of Reagan – the same kind of ballsiness and economy of language, if obviously not the substance. Any Republican who things he’s going to fade out or implode is, frankly, delusional.”-David Weigel

I find it hard to imagine Barack Obama as the eventual Democratic nominee, I do. And it’s not because of his lack of experience, the fact that his middle name is Hussein or that media darlings rarely do well when confronted with actual voters (see McCain, John or Dean, Howard).

I see Obama as a blank slate onto which Democrats can project their hopes.

He speaks in sweeping generalizations; when asked if he’s for gay marriage he’ll respond that he’s against gay bashing. When asked if he is pro-choice, he talks about praying to assume the best in people who are not.

His sunny optimism is certainly catchy after years of “America sucks and everything we do is wrong” rhetoric by the other members of his party.

But I see all of this as only going so far. He can get away with vague thoughts on issues because of this ridiculously long primary season, but he’ll have to eventually actually answer some questions.

So, no, I’m not saying that Republicans should expect a cakewalk if Obama is the nominee but I’m definitely more worried about a match-up with Hillary. And while I’m not dismissive of Obama, I also have yet to see evidence that he walks on water despite what the media seems to imply. I’m afraid, though, that Republicans will become so overwhelmed by a Democrat who is actually optimistic, and more or less normal, that they won’t attack him on the issues. There’s a lot to question and there’s a lot to criticize. Taking him seriously means not being afraid to do just that.

Posted by Karol at 07:38 PM |
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Comments

“attack him on the issues”? If just one of u had done that to President Dim Witted about five to seven years ago …we wouldnt be in this fine mess we’re in now

Posted by: faye at April 27, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Huh?

Posted by: Karol at April 28, 2007 at 5:17 am

The surprise of the primary season will be the revelation that Obama has been an Al Qaida sleeper agent since he was 16.

Posted by: Jake at April 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

I have no clue what the Progs are going to do when Bush is no longer President.
Oh, wait, I do know: “We wouldn’t be in this [insert new crisis] mess right now if it hadn’t been for eight years of ChimpyMcBushHitler”.
That should alleviate the need to actually think all the way through the 2020 election season…..

Posted by: Mark Poling at April 28, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Nice post. The question is: Who will be worse for America? Barack or Hillary? I really don’t know.

Posted by: Craig at April 28, 2007 at 12:43 pm

One thing about Obama which should not be underestimated. There’s a need for calm in human affairs; a restoration of order after years of chaos. It’s why America tried to put the breaks on the endless strife of the 1840s, 50s and 60s with Grant. It’s why Harding was so popular after TR and Wilson and one of the reasons Ike was so popular after the 30s and 40s. After the fall of the Soviet block, we have seen drastic shifts and battles in American politics. The swing to Clinton, then to Newt, then back to Clinton, then the whole impeachment mess, then the Florida recount, followed by 9/11, the rallying of the American people behind Bush, the popularity of the Iraq war at first before the Bush meltdown in the second term and the rise of Pelosi. If Obama is the Oprah of American politics, he might be able to tap into this. I saw that a bit in the debate Thursday when he talked about gathering around the table, prolifers and antilifers, on abortion. McCain, Rudy and Hillary are all confrontantional politicians. I’m curious to see if Obama can make this work to his advantage.

Posted by: Von Bek at April 28, 2007 at 2:18 pm

You may be right about how the Left will react to a Bushless reality. We won’t be alone, however–the Right has been blaming everything on Clinton for the past eight years. It’s the Circle of Life.

Posted by: Michael at April 28, 2007 at 2:44 pm

You may be right about how the Left will react to a Bushless reality. We won’t be alone, however–the Right has been blaming everything on Clinton for the past eight years. It’s the Circle of Life.
There definitely was Clinton-derangement syndrome on the right but nothing compared to BDS, nothing.
Also, there is no guiding philosophy on the left currently. What do Democrats stand for? It seems to be following public opinion polls as closely as possible.
Republicans are imperfect, I know. And Bush hasn’t lived up to many conservative ideals. But at least we, as a group, have a guiding philosophy (low taxes, hawkish foreign policy, limited government). Democrats have a “me too” policy (Iraq, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, etc. etc.) until there is a public opinion change at which point they change too. I’d rather be us.

Posted by: Karol at April 28, 2007 at 2:50 pm

… it seems to be following public opinion polls as closely as possible.
This may not be a bad thing, considering that we are supposed to live in a representative democracy. That the pols may live in die by our collective wish is maybe an ideal we should strive to.
But at least we, as a group, have a guiding philosophy (low taxes, hawkish foreign policy, limited government).
Do you think that you could put together a detailed platform of governance, a roadmap to get there in 20 years, and a synopsis of its effects on our lives as Americans based on this philosophy? Steve Forbes was all about flat-taxing the US, but when confronted with the fact that it was revenue negative, he said something like, “So what.”

Posted by: David at April 30, 2007 at 1:01 pm

“limited goverment”….Bush? Seriously?????
c’mon, karol – I would hope even you can’t say this with a straight face. Bush is a disgrace to true conservatives.

Posted by: anon at April 30, 2007 at 7:05 pm
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