by glopster, Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:03:22 AM EDT
Over the last several days, I've read many diaries and countless posts with a bitter, even fuming, tones toward Obama for some of the policy statements he's made. Of course everyone has their own reasons for being pissed, but there seems to be a fair bit of common ground as well. Where is this anger really coming from?
I've seen so many posts (the "I told you so" posts) in which a person who said they had supported Clinton in the primary was frustrated that the Obama-primary supporters really could not see Obama for what he was and only now realize that Clinton was the better choice. Is it fair to identify this anger at Obama's perceived shift to the center actually just residual primary anger. After all, I haven't seen too many Obama-primary supporters coming out saying "gosh, I only wish I knew this about him, I would have supported Clinton instead!." I have only heard Clinton-primary supporters saying that that's what Obama-primary supporters must be thinking, right? To be clear, I'm sure that some of Obama's primary supporters are disappointed at what they perceive as a shift, but I believe most just see him playing to one of his strengths as a candidate- his attempts at post-partisanship. Because he has highlighted that quality all along, many Obama-primary supporters like myself are more surprised by the surprise than by the supposed shift. After all, being agreeable with republicans doesn't just mean being nice to them, it means finding some common political ground, which is in the center.
Maybe I'm wrong about the misplacement of primary anger, but it sure smells that way to me. Really, I wish we, as democrats could get past it already. There's a universe of difference between Obama and McCain on crucial issues. I'm not trying to say that people voicing their frustration or anger at Obama's positions is a bad thing. It's ok, and part of the process of (hopefully) helping him hear his supporters and helping us hear ourselves. But, I do think it's unproductive to mask primary anger as anger about his current positions and therefore be super-duper pissed about something like Obama wanting to channel some money to the needy through faith-based organizations.
by glopster, Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:46:50 AM EDT
For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to understand my feelings about HRC's campaign debt. On one hand, having Obama's supporters help her out will help build some goodwill within donor networks and will be a real step toward bringing the two camps together. On another hand, having to raise an extra 10 million from Obama supporters that will not go toward the national campaign at a time when republicans have been amassing a bigger war chest than the democrats seems like too much of a distraction.
Hillary has already graciously written off the 12 million she lent her campaign as an investment in her own brand. I'm trying to figure out what would be so bad about her "loaning" her campaign another 10 million to pay off her vendors and free up all donors to focus on Obama. I think this gesture would add some follow-through to her statements that she will do whatever she can to help Obama get elected, and it would demonstrate leadership and personal responsibility at a time when so many in our society are paying for things with money they don't have.
Although I don't understand exactly why, I have a feeling I will offend some with this suggestion. Am I crazy for thinking this way?
by glopster, Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 07:07:47 PM EDT
Although I reside in a body controlled by both x and y chromosomes, and I obviously possess male genitalia, in my adult life I have always considered myself in solidarity with feminists and feminist ideals. I have chosen a profession in which women outnumber men by huge proportions- I'm not just a teacher, but a special education teacher. I am one of those men who has deep and genuine friendships with females as well as males. I feel that I can accurately identify sexism or misogyny when I see them and I am repulsed by both. I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.
I am hoping that if I take the time to spell out my process for deciding to support Obama for president, I may be able to help reduce the tendency of those who have opposed Obama's nomination to simplify their characterizations of Obama supporters as X-label, or y-label. I have become alarmed at how the incidents of sexism, especially in the media, have turned off so many Clinton supporters to the point that they may actually be willing to support McCain over the Democratic nominee.
by glopster, Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:46:53 AM EDT
First of all, since this is my first diary here, allow me to state up front that I have been an Obama supporter since February (I mailed in vote for Edwards early from California).
That being said, a personal priority of mine is to remain as fair and objective as possible when interpreting matters of politics. I have noticed, even in myself, a tendency for my own objectivity to become clouded when I become too loyal to a candidate or cause. It is even easier to notice this trend in others. For example, when Obama's "bitter" comments surfaced, I noticed many fellow Obama supporters trying to excuse the comments as something other than what they were. They were a big mistake, costly to his public image, and they pointed out some of his imperfections as a candidate. Because of mistakes like this, I often remind myself that Obama is not the perfect candidate and I will not defend him for every statement and stance. But, I happen to prefer him over Hillary Clinton for my own set of reasons (everyone has their own, don't they).
My question is, do others on this site also value the exercise of more objectivity in political discourse here, or is it OK to let loyalty triumph over an attempt at reducing one's own bias in the course of argumentation?