I Reply in Comment Sections

As has been the way of things lately, he’s a long post by eriposte at The Left Coaster attacking Barack Obama for “running to the right” of the Democratic field in Iowa.

Rather than excerpt the parts of the post I disagreed with, I posted in the comments over there.. Here’s what I said:

Sigh.

I don’t even know what to say about this post. I mean, it’s been well thought out for sure, but I disagree with virtually all of it.

I think that, in Iowa, Obama has to run a little DLC’ish (if by that one means running a centrist campaign) because of the general conservative tilt of the state (if Edwards wins this week, then it will definitely have proven to be the wrong strategy). Since the Democratic front runners are generally close in their stances, one has to distinguish him or herself in some manner, and Edwards has done so by running left and Obama is doing so by running right. However, if you look at Obama’s past and voting records to this point, it seems pretty clear that he’s a progressive (certainly more so than Hillary and probably more so than Edwards, who has only become a netroots darling since leaving elected office and being freed from the accountability that being a U.S. senator demands).

I think what Obama might be able to do in the general is being played out in Iowa; lots of progressives are freting because they think Obama is eager to attack Dems and speak like a Republican. Well, if speaking like a Republican in a conservative state peels some independents and light Republicans into the Democratic party tent, then I think that’s a good thing…more people in the tent. It’s clear from his background that Obama knows he will get attacked for a variety of things and I think it speaks to the vanity of the lot of the netroots that they think he can’t see what’s coming. Do the (mostly white progressive bloggers) think that an African-American man (even one with the credentials that Obama has) thinks he’s going to have smooth sailing against the Republicans? Please. You might not like him, but the man isn’t dumb and he isn’t naive. Which, of course, goes to the other things lots of netrooters don’t like, which is Obama’s rhetoric. He certainly speaks in lofty tones and I generally agree that partisanship is needed to keep people interested in politics…but we also have to recognize that the netroots and the Republican media machine are perhaps not representative of our larger society. There are millions of Americans who, I would bet, have never heard of Atrois or Digby. Those are the Americans for whom politics probably only really matters during a presidential election year and perhaps when they have matters of local import to vote on. Otherwise, politics may not make up a significant portion of their identity. They are, by definition, “loose partisans” and I think Obama is appealing to those people with his “post-partisan” rhetoric. I agree that “High Broderism” sounds hokey (and might be hokey) but if it pulls people into the Democratic Party, let’s be hokey then.

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~ by uvasig on January 2, 2008.

One Response to “I Reply in Comment Sections”

  1. favorited this one, man

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