In Defense of Senator Obama
by isaacjosephson, Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 06:27:22 AM EST
Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.
Some progressive press outlets have jumped all over this as an indicator that Obama is a wolf in sheep's clothing:
- They say when he mentioned "the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s" he was referring to the civil rights and women's rights movements.
- They say that Reagan was a union buster, and Obama's statement is tacit approval of such tactics.
- They say that Reagan did more than any other President to roll back social progress in this country, which means Obama will also head in that direction.
Obama was making an academic statement about an historical moment in this country where the confluence of public attitudes, political message and personal charisma caused our country to move in a fundamentally different direction. He was suggesting that the country is ripe for another such categorical shift, and that he is best positioned (because of his message and his charisma) to make that shift happen.
Obama is not anti-union.
Obama is not pro-corporation.
Obama is not anti civil rights/women's rights.
All three viable Democratic candidates agree what the big picture problems are in this country. What it ultimately comes down to is a question of style.
Do you think we need an activist to tackle our problems head-on?
Do you think we need someone to inspire us, which will give an Administration the political will to address our problems?
Do you think that we can triangulate our way out of our problems?