Saturday, July 26, 2008

Does America Want The Pride Back?

A couple of us here at L&Lpd have maintained that Obama isn't all that. A couple of others signed on early to his campaign, particularly after hearing Barack speak several times. Myself and maybe another couple have been cautiously on the fence, optimistic because of how his rhetoric moved his supporters (especially after my Iowa caucus), but wary of what Obama's campaign meant and where it might lead.

I'd like to direct you to this Fresh Air interview with Ryan Lizza, examining how Obama got started in Chicago, and how he got to where he is so quickly. Unllike most media stories about Obama, it's remarkably clear-eyed and honest, not only about the where the candidate was & is, but as to where he might be headed. There's no transcript, but you can catch the recording off the website or by podcast.

Short version is that Obama is ambitious (duh), and got where he was by courting moderates and even right-leaners to counteract the resistance he had from the old guard Democrats he was threatening to replace. Not only is it evident in his associations with other lawmakers and groups, its even quite explicit in his books and other writing. In other words - he's calculating and triangulating. He's willing to use right-wing frames to advance his own position. Something which his previous opponent has been castigated for. And something that's perceived by the liberal base as something that's against it's ethics or politics because of the compromises that same Clinton and her husband have supported that either limit or gut liberal reforms and programs.

It also puts Obama and his organization in eactly the same position of Bill Clinton in 1992. Both Bill Clinton and Obama represent change against the powers-that-be of the Democratic Party and Washington D.C. It's implicit in his campaign theme of Change - not only against the Republican incompetence and malfeasance, but also the Democratic Party itself.

But we all know how much the Clintons changed Washington. Meet the new Democratic Boss - same as the old Democratic Boss. But maybe change, as something different, is not what the country wants. Maybe we just want to return to competent government. To summarize a co-worker, the hope is that we can elect an Executive that is no longer a world joke. That at the very least is as competent as any other Western democracy. That co-worker has a had a very pleasant week because of Obama's European tour.

As Bob Rumson once said - "Does America Want the Pride Back?"

He's imperfect, but he's ours now. We may not like some of what represents, but he promises to be ten times better than the current idiot, and probably twice as better as the GOP nominee. And in our system, who else are ya gonna vote for? Ross Perot?


iamcoyote said...

the hope is that we can elect an Executive that is no longer a world joke.

There's something I can get in on, and it satisfies my cynical cravings.

Nice post, idio.

idiosynchronic said...

Thank you. Reading it the day after, it becomes even more obvious. Paradox even touched on it this morning before getting to the meat of his racism-bars-significant-domestic-investment topic.

All along since the '06 election, the implication is that Americans have suddenly woken up to (in significant enough quantities anyway) that the current boobs are just that. With a 2 party system, that automatically defaults to Democratic gains. Change to some though is not what change is to others.

With the advent of the boobs and their War on Terra, we libs and Democrats got wistful of the previous Clinton administration and What Could Have Been if Gore had won a court battle or another handful of electoral votes. A strong significant portion of the middle ground of the electorate are very disturbed that boobs are in charge and Everyone Knows It.

I think the general public caught up to us circa 2002-3 in '06. So we're voting for Change, but the same Change we've already had.

iamcoyote said...

I think the general public caught up to us circa 2002-3 in '06.

Oh, most certainly. I think that's what really drives a lot of the leftie netizens wacky - the slow pace of the zeitgeist when it comes to the Bushies. A compliant media helped. They still don't get, and prolly won't ever get, because of the right wing media, that it's not just Bush and his cronies, it's the Republican belief system that brought us to this point. And that they used mom and apple pie to get everyone to sign on - that the GOP don't believe in real values at all. Hopefully, the masses will be pissed enough at the Bushies to overlook that the Dems enabled his shit, too.

Seven of Six said...

Maybe we just want to return to competent government.

I'm confident that we would have had both with Obama or Clinton.
For me it was who to side with after Edwards dropped out. (Not this again!) I was tired of Clinton during the debates and her self coronation. Mark Penn sealed it for me. So I was rooting for the underdog.

What makes my skin crawl is the politicizing of every department of government. Then it really comes down to how inefficient they turn out to be. The freaking morons just want to collect a check and a huge one at that.

idiosynchronic said...

politicizing of every department of government = incompetence.


Historians with a political agenda like to remind us that we've always had political appointees and that's the nature of government, in justifying the actions of the administration. Those same, shall we say conservative, historians then turn around and decry governmental incompetence because of patronage when it suits their argument. Those same spoils become the very reason to reduce the government in their eyes when out of power.

We in the modern era have been mercifully free of political patronage in comparison to the post-Civil War and the Golden Age. Eisenhower Republicanism and the rapid post-war expansion set a high water mark for an unpolitical and competent governmental bureaucracy - it literally took us 40-some years for politicization to catch up. (But it never left, and certainly existed, just in reduced proportion.)

iamcoyote said...

At Talk Left, and Sadly No, there are discussions about the IG's report on Monica Goodling's DOJ hiring practices, and it looks like no one's going to get prosecuted. So, all the Regency grads who were put in place in civil service jobs will still be there, because no one's going to go and fire a bunch of civil servants. And the corruption will keep on going. The occupation and the Patriot Act and all that other shit may have damaged the US, but what's destroying it unchecked is these land mines sprinkled all over government answering to the most corrupt scumbags in our lifetimes. And Obama's not going to do a thing about it because he can't, without undermining the whole civil servant structure. Just as the fuckers knew would be the case. The only thing we can do now is dog these shitheads the rest of their lives, or like New Zealand, have people ready at the airport for when one of these guys come to town to arrest them on war crimes.

Seven of Six said...

I loved the comment at Talk Left, "wingnut welfare!"