Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kvetchapalooza Revisited

I'm not looking to start another food fight (although it may be inevitable), but I think there are some worthwhile points that got lost in the shuffle in discussing this post. To wit: More...

  • I continue to be frustrated with the thing Susie Madrak describes: "If you put 100 Republicans who only agree on one thing in a room, they’ll come out of that room working together to win and focused on that one thing. If you put 100 Democrats in a room who agree on 99 things and not on one, they'll come out of that room fighting about the one thing they disagree on." The former is certainly sub-optimal, but the latter is suicidal.

    Call me narrow-minded, but I'm coming down firmly against suicide.

  • Obama's FISA vote is regrettable; like Steve, though, I think it's also understandable. To expect a presidential candidate who starts out on the defensive on national security to stick his neck out on an unpopular issue where the result is a fait accompli--well, I'm just not sure that's entirely realistic. Unfortunately.

  • FISA aside, the 'rightward shift' is (as Steve points out) almost entirely illusory. More precisely, the perception of a 'rightward shift' is a matter of rhetoric and focus (and, in the case of Iraq, ratfucking by the McCain campaign) rather than any substantive shift in positions. Obama has a solidly liberal voting record, and he remains a solidly liberal presidential candidate.

  • Note: 'not as liberal as I am' does not equal 'not a liberal'.

  • It seems to me that liberals' distrust of Obama is based far more on the sound of his rhetoric than on the substance of his policies. To the extent that this is true, it's just silly and self-defeating; liberals should welcome what Obama is trying to do. Which is simply this: redefining liberal values as American values. That was the core of his 2004 convention speech. That's the strategy behind every speech he makes. Maybe he can do it, and maybe he can't--who knows--but if he can, wouldn't that be a tremendous thing? Shouldn't we all be cheering him on, hoping against hope that he succeeds--not endlessly kvetching about the particular issues where he's slightly less liberal than we are?

    Isn't that a question that answers itself?

  • Of the ten highest political priorities this year, the first five are Winning the Election. #6 is some other thing. #7 and #8 are also Winning the Election. #9 is something else, and Winning the Election rounds out the list at #10. I'm no mathematician, but by my count that makes Winning the Election 8 out of the top 10 political priorities.

    Let's keep our priorities straight, folks.